In her 2022 memoir, abortionist Christine Henneberg describes abortion procedures she witnessed and committed.
A surgical first trimester abortion is done by inserting an instrument called a cannula into the woman’s womb. It’s attached to a suction machine. The powerful suction tears apart the child and pulls him or her out in pieces. The abortionist must then check the remains to make sure they have removed all body parts, or the woman can suffer an infection.
Henneberg says, “At 10 to 12 weeks, it’s obvious what you’re looking for: tiny hands and legs, a string of vertebrae, the translucent eggshell of the fetal skull called the calvarium.”
Earlier in pregnancy, at five to eight weeks gestation (when the baby is three to six weeks post-fertilization) the child is less developed, very small, and torn apart completely by the suction machine. There may be no visible body parts. But Henneberg sees the gestational sac. She describes it as looking “delicate and transparent” but says:
[P]ress this little membrane under your gloved fingertip, and you will feel something stronger than you could ever have imagined. No matter how hard you pull and press on it, it will not tear.
It is enough to make you wary of what you have just done—something unnatural, yes, and nature has put up tremendous barriers to resist it.
Abortion, Henneberg admits, is “unnatural.”
Henneberg also writes about the pain abortion causes women. Describing dilating a woman’s cervix with laminaria (also called osmotic dilators) before second trimester D&E procedures, she says, “The placement of osmotic dilators can be very painful… When I was learning the procedure, many of the women cried out in pain… At first, I couldn’t stand it. I felt I was torturing them…”
Now, after committing abortions for years, Henneberg is used to causing pain.
Henneberg isn’t the only abortionist to mention women’s pain during abortion. One abortionist said, “[the women] are screaming in agony, but we just do what we do. In any other situation [it] would be considered torture, but we do it, and you know all of us just kind of pack it away.”
Henneberg reveals that when a woman is on the abortion table, she’s been told that “it is okay to cry, but not to scream” because her screams might frighten other women who are still waiting to have their abortions.
Describing a Second Trimester Dilation and Evacuation Abortion
Henneberg describes how she commits a D&E abortion:
Because the fetal parts are larger and more rigid, they cannot fit through a small plastic cannula. Instead, I use forceps, which look like slender salad tongs, to remove the fetus. I must have enough room to maneuver the handles, opening and closing them to grasp the fetal parts and pull them from the uterus.
The child is dismembered and pulled out, piece by piece.
When Henneberg learned how to do D&E abortions at Planned Parenthood, she remembers the abortionist teaching her, whom she refers to only as Rebecca, stating, “Start with the most proximal body part and then take the next, the next, the next. Calvarium, arms, trunk, legs, placenta. That’s how to do a good D&E.”
Henneberg Claims Dismembering Babies Is “Beautiful”
Henneberg loves committing abortions. She says:
I happen to think there is nuance and beauty in exploring the uterus, a three-dimensional space that one cannot see with one’s own eyes. (Some nights after a day of abortion training, I’ve had dreams of cave-diving in the dark, using my hands to navigate vast chambers and hidden passageways).
Henneberg describes Rebecca committing a D&E, saying, “[Rebecca] began pulling fetal parts out: calvarium, arms, spine and thorax, one leg, then another, then the pillowy placenta.”
Then Henneberg remarked:
I had seen D&Es before and had assisted in a few. But I had never seen anything like what Rebecca had just done… It wasn’t like surgery at all, but like some athletic feat. She moved with the kind of speed and agility that made the whole thing look at once easy, beautiful, and also impossible…
“See my hands? See my angle here? It’s like a dance.” And it was. She moved her body like a boxer or a ballerina—her stance wide, her arms strong, her movements precise and efficient.
After dismembering the baby and pulling him or her out in pieces, Rebecca then used the suction machine to remove any remaining shreds of the baby.
Henneberg says, “When she made her final pass with the cannula, she seemed to enter a quiet, internal space, like a pianist playing an exquisite chord progression.”
Dismembering preborn children, in Henneberg’s mind, seems like art, music, athletics, or dance.
The Joy of Crushing a Baby’s Skull
Henneberg also describes how happy and fulfilled she felt when she learned how to crush a preborn baby’s skull correctly.
After an abortionist dismembers a second-trimester baby, the child’s decapitated head is left behind in the uterus. The abortionist must remove it with the forceps.
Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino describes this:
The toughest part of a D&E abortion is extracting the baby’s head… You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You will know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see a pure white gelatinous material issue from the cervix. That was the baby’s brains. You can then extract the skull pieces.
If you have a really bad day like I often did, a little face may come out and stare back at you.
The first few times Henneberg tried to crush a baby’s head, she found it slipping out of her forceps. She did it, she says, “clumsily.” But, she says, “On the next procedure, I grasped the calvarium on the first try. I felt like I was flying, soaring under Rebecca’s strong and beautiful wing.”
Henneberg was happy, because “I’d found the thing I was good at, even gifted at.”
Source: Christine Henneberg Boundless: An Abortion Doctor Becomes a Mother (San Francisco, California, 2022) 215-216, 232-233, 218, 230, 238, 220, 236-237, 239
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