Former abortionist Patti Giebink, who is now pro-life, wrote a memoir about her time working at Planned Parenthood. In the memoir, Giebink describes an encounter with a woman having an ultrasound to date her pregnancy. The woman was visibly pregnant and it was a moment in which Giebink’s personal views on abortion conflicted with her job at Planned Parenthood.
“I thought to myself, this is a baby, no doubt about it,” she said.
“Her tone was flippant”
The woman was 24 and a half weeks (more than six months) pregnant. Giebink informed her that she was too far along to have an abortion in South Dakota or any nearby state. Yet, the woman told Giebink that she already had an abortion scheduled in Kansas in two days. She said she would be able to have an abortion there if she was less than 25 weeks pregnant. Giebink had just told her she was. According to Giebink:
Her tone was flippant for someone of her age and situation. If I had suspected she planned to cross state lines in her quest to terminate the pregnancy, I might have been tempted to tweak the numbers to make her 25 weeks. But it was too late.
She was out the door with the paperwork, and I never saw her again. It was times like these when my personal views began to muddle and conflict with the establishment.
Even Giebink, who was regularly committing abortions, found it difficult to accept a young woman being so casual about having a late-term abortion. At more than 24 weeks, the baby was old enough to survive outside the womb. Babies born as young as 21 weeks have survived when given proper medical care. This child was completely healthy, and so was the mother. She simply didn’t want the baby.
Abortionist George Tiller, who was killed in a widely condemned shooting in 2009, committed late-term abortions at his facility in Kansas. This woman may have gone to him.
The myth of late-term abortions for “health reasons”
Pro-choicers claim late-term abortions are only committed in dire cases in which the woman’s life is at risk, or the baby is severely disabled or dying. But late-term abortion is never necessary to save a woman’s life. And this case was just one of many in which the baby and mother were physically healthy.
Tiller even admitted that most of the abortions he carried out were on healthy babies. In a speech at the National Abortion Federation, he said, “We have some experience with late terminations; about 10,000 patients between 24 and 36 weeks and something like 800 fetal anomalies between 26 and 36 weeks in the past 5 years.”
By Tiller’s own admission, only a small fraction of his cases were babies with health concerns. Luhra Tivis, who worked for Tiller, recounted:
I witnessed evidence of the brutal, cold-blooded murder of over 600 viable, healthy babies at seven, eight, and nine months gestation. A very, very few of these babies, less than 2%, were handicapped…
These late abortions were not, as Dr. Tiller had told me, being done for compelling medical reasons. Viable babies were being destroyed simply on demand.
When Tiller was under investigation, Dr. Paul McHugh examined his abortion records. The records McHugh looked at were for abortions between 26 and 30 weeks. In an interview, McHugh said:
[The records] highlighted certain kinds of things, which… were sometimes of a most trivial sort, from saying that, “I won’t be able to go to concerts,” or “I won’t be able to take part in sports,” to more serious ones, such as, “I don’t want to give my child up for adoption.” …
A trivial [reason] would not being able [sic] to go to a rock concert. A more serious one would be to say, “I am going to be worried about the life of this child later on in life.”
Tiller’s records showed that women and young girls were getting third-trimester abortions for frivolous reasons. These were all children who could’ve been born alive and survived. Their mothers could’ve delivered them and chosen adoption. But they had their babies killed instead.
The interviewer asked McHugh if Tiller’s records showed that he had ever refused any requests for late-term abortions. McHugh answered:
No, I saw no records of a rejection… in looking at those records … I can’t imagine that anyone wouldn’t satisfy those criteria … I can only tell you that from these records, anybody could have gotten an abortion if they wanted one…
Tiller seemed to have been willing to do any abortion at any time in pregnancy.
Of course, abortion is just as wrong if the baby has a health condition. No child should be intentionally killed for any reason. But Tiller’s abortions, and many third trimester abortions today, are done for social reasons, not health reasons, as the abortion industry wants people to believe.
Source: Patti Giebink, Kimberly Shumate Unexpected Choice: An Abortion Doctor’s Journey to Pro-Life (Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 2021) 61 – 62
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