Human Rights

Abortionist explains why some aborted babies are born alive

Late-term abortionist Dr. Marilynn C. Frederiksen testified under oath in the partial-birth abortion trials, explaining why babies are sometimes born alive in late-term abortions.  The procedure she is talking about is one in which a poison (usually digoxin) is injected into the fetal heart to kill the baby, and then labor is induced. This is usually done on babies who are too far along to dismember with forceps (in a D&E procedure).  She says:

I have been unable in certain cases to actually put a needle into the heart for technical reasons or because the mother is obese or the fetus is in a particularly difficult position to gain access to the heart. When you put these agents not in the heart or near the heart, you can’t guarantee fetal death.

Unfortunately, the attorney did not ask what would seem to be the obvious follow up question, “How many times have babies been born alive during abortions you performed?” so we do not know the answer. But this quote is another piece of evidence that preborn babies do sometimes survive abortion.

Most babies born alive after abortions are premature and need medical intervention to survive. Live Action launched an investigation to find out whether abortion clinics were caring for any babies born alive, or whether they were denying them care and letting them die.  The results were disturbing.  Abortionists on the videos told the undercover activist that they would let the baby die.

In one Live Action video, an abortionist said:

It’s too early to survive, usually. It will expire shortly after birth.  It’s all in how vigorously you do things to help a fetus survive at this point. ..We would not help it.


Before a congressional hearing, a Planned Parenthood representative was asked what would happen to a baby born alive in a Planned Parenthood facility.  She was asked the question several times. At one point, she answered: “We believe that any decision that’s made should be up to the family and the physician.”

Her answers left one lawmaker “almost in disbelief.”

You can read about actual cases of babies born alive after abortion here. 

Perhaps if more people knew that late-term babies sometimes survive abortion and are allowed to die (or are in some cases killed outright) they would support an end to this awful practice. It is important that we educate people about babies born alive during abortions.

Source: Dr. Marilynn C. Frederiksen, abortionist, in sworn testimony in National Abortion Federation, et. al. v. Ashcroft, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, April 6, 2006

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