Abortion clinic uses fear of fetal pain to sell costly general anesthesia

In a webcast on December 21 sponsored by And Then There Were None, three abortion facility workers shared their stories of working in the abortion industry. One clinic worker, Jackie, was asked the following question:

If the woman asked you specifically what does the baby look like, or is the baby going to feel pain, is the baby going to feel anything during the abortion, what were some of the things that you guys were instructed to say to the women who asked these questions?

Jackie answered:

At our clinic we were instructed to tell them a number of things. And a lot of it depended on the gestation of the pregnancy. Most of our patients were early in the pregnancy… Things like, that the central nervous system hadn’t developed yet so it wouldn’t feel anything, and the second one was for patients that were further along, that the baby feels what they feel. So if they choose to do the more expensive sedation method, you also limit the pain that the fetus would feel also. That’s what we were instructed to tell patients.

In this way, abortion workers were able to sell costly general anesthesia to late-term abortion patients who were afraid their babies would feel pain. Playing on the women’s fears, the facilities were able to make more money. General anesthesia is not only more expensive than local anesthesia, it carries with it much greater risks.

In the textbook Abortion Practice by late-term abortionist Dr. Warren Hern, it says:

CDC investigators found a two to four times greater risk of death associated with the use of general anesthesia. In another study, general anesthesia was found twice as likely to be associated with uterine perforation and cervical injury.(1)


The degree of bleeding experienced under general anesthesia is greater, the risk of perforation is greater, and the risk of death due to aspiration of vomitus, among other things, appear to be greater. I believe it is preferable to have a patient who is uncomfortable but able to tell me what she is feeling and if she feels a strange abdominal pain than to have a patient who is quite comfortable because she is dead.(2)

If endangering women’s lives and using their fears to increase profits wasn’t enough, the abortion workers were lying to the women. The theory that anesthesia given to the mother reduces the pain her baby feels was thoroughly debunked before the Supreme Court in the partial-birth abortion ban trials. The pain the preborn baby feels is not affected by the anesthesia given to the mother.

Jackie’s abortion clinic was clearly putting profit before patient safety. Sadly, this shows the horrifying lengths that some abortion centers will go to to exploit women if profit is involved.

To listen to the entire webcast, go here.

  1. Warren Hern Abortion Practice (Philadelphia: J Lippincott, 1990) 35
  2. Warren Hern Abortion Practice, 119

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