Former abortion worker: 98% of babies aborted in third trimester are healthy

third trimester abortion, abortion training, abortionist

A former staff member of a late-term abortion facility has admitted there was nothing wrong with over 98 percent of the babies aborted at her facility.  Luhra Tivis spent one year working for George Tiller, one of a handful of abortionists who committed late-term abortions in the U.S. until he was murdered in 2009. Tivis shared eyewitness accounts of what she observed  with radio host Pat Hurley of the South Florida talk radio station, WFTL.

Tiller rarely referred to the preborn child as a “baby,” and in a tape he produced for patients, he told women, “Our process is natural. We are going to help you have the premature delivery of a small stillborn under twilight anesthesia using nature’s technique of labor and delivery.” The abortionist also says, “The woman is the patient, the fetus is the problem.”

Tivis was a sold-out believer in abortion, having previously been active in her local National Organization for Women chapter before her employment with Tiller, where she handled his medical records and scheduled patient appointments. Tivis said that it was what she witnessed inside the abortion facility that made her pro-life.

“In 1988, I was a employee of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita who does almost all third trimester abortions… seven-, eight- and nine-month babies, perfectly healthy. Not even the poor excuse of them being handicapped to kill them. It was what I saw in that clinic that started turning me around, I was so horrified,” Tivis said.

image: Late-term abortionist, George Tiller

Late abortionist George Tiller

“I was a medical secretary, a medical transcriptionist, I handled all the medical records — so even though I was not a nurse I had a full knowledge of all the medical facts of the case. And I also scheduled patient appointments….”

According to Tivis, during the time she was employed, Tiller ended the lives of approximately 1,000 babies a year in the third trimester, charging an average of $1,800 to $3,000 dollars at that time.

“He nets over a million dollars a year easily,” she stated. “And [patients] had to have cash.”

The first thing Tivis said she discovered was how Tiller lied. “He had told me that he only did late-term abortions for compelling medical reasons…. I saw that there was nothing wrong with well over 98% of these babies.”

She added, “A lot of the ones that had something wrong, it was very minor.”

Tivis claims that Tiller would manipulate the measurements of the BPD, a.k.a. the biparietal diameter, a measurement of the baby’s head, to determine the baby’s gestational age. Despite the fact that Tiller admitted the ordinary method of measurement was top to bottom, Tivis said Tiller measured from side to side.

READ: Abortion is violent and the photos are real, says late-term abortionist

“I was told to lie over the phone to these mothers…. I was required to falsify his medical records to indicate these were not third trimester abortions,” the former staffer claimed.

Tiller’s abortion process took four days, and according to Tivis, “basically what he would do is kill the baby and induce labor.”

She described how Tiller would inject “poison” called digoxin into the baby’s heart to begin fetal demise. The process ended with women “going down to the basement” on the third day where they “were heavily drugged,” and would go through “a full labor and deliver their baby.”

“[T]hese babies were definitely big enough that anybody could tell that was a real human being,” Tivis said. “There was no excuse for what’s going on.”


Tivis described the time that a former late-term abortion patient sent them a letter “vividly describing what was going on” at Tiller’s facility. “She said that all the women were screaming and crying and blood was running down their legs and it was the most horrible experience of her life.”

The facility had its own on-site crematorium where pro-lifers say they witnessed ashes descending from the sky after the ovens had been fired up.

Image: Tiller Smokestack abortion (Image credit: Carole Novielli)

Tiller Smokestack abortion (Image credit: Carole Novielli)

Tiller even offered women the option of a memorial service for their dead child.

Pictures of one of Tiller’s victim’s can be viewed here (Warning: some viewers may find photos disturbing).

In 2006, Operation Rescue interviewed another Tiller staffer who stated she witnessed Tiller’s associate, abortionist Shelley Sella, end the life of a 35-week baby. “Baby came out – and – it was moving!” she said. “Dr. Sella looked up right away at me and took a utensil and stabbed it, right here and twisted. And, it didn’t move anymore.”

No charges were ever filed.

Sella once called her years with Tiller “providing first, second, and third trimester abortion care,” the “happiest professional years of my life to date.”

Sella added, “Some can easily understand the need for third trimester services for a lethal fetal anomaly; maybe even for a nonlethal anomaly that would lead to severe mental or physical disability. It’s the abortions on healthy babies in the third trimester that poses the most difficult ethical dilemma for some…. I believe that gestational limits are artificial and arbitrary, and that frees me to help everyone with their multiplicity of experiences.”


In 2008, during the Feminist Majority Foundation’s annual Women’s Leadership Conference, Tiller conceded that late-term abortions are legal under the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court decisions:

[…W]e are able to use the wide definition and the full implementation of Roe v Wade decision which allows us to do post viability terminations of pregnancy. When read appropriately, the Roe versus Wade decision and the Bolton decisions says that, ‘A physician may use his judgement in determining all factors of a woman’s health, physical health, mental health, emotional health, family health, age of the patient, safety and well being.’ That’s the definition in the Roe v. Wade and the Bolton decision… The Bolton decision goes onto say that they understand that this allows wide latitude for the women…

Tiller later admitted that he had done abortions “up to the day before delivery.”

“Like” Live Action News on Facebook for more pro-life news and commentary!

What is Live Action News?

Live Action News is pro-life news and commentary from a pro-life perspective. Learn More

Contact for questions, corrections, or if you are seeking permission to reprint any Live Action News content.

GUEST ARTICLES: To submit a guest article to Live Action News, email with an attached Word document of 800-1000 words. Please also attach any photos relevant to your submission if applicable. If your submission is accepted for publication, you will be notified within three weeks. Guest articles are not compensated. (See here for Open License Agreement.) Thank you for your interest in Live Action News!

To Top