Dr. Susan Poppema, now retired, committed abortions up through 16 weeks in her abortion facility. While active as an abortionist, she wrestled with the problem of disposing of aborted babies’ remains. In her book Why I am an Abortion Doctor she describes what she sees as the best way to dispose of the bodies:
Realistically, the best and safest way medically to dispose of tissue from the uterus is to put it directly into the general sewage system. Waste of every kind, after all, eventually winds up being disposed of in one manner or another, and short of sacred burial rites it is safe to say that disposal of organic matter (which uterine tissue is) is generally a fairly straightforward proposition. The matter leftover from surgery is all natural tissue and blood.
What Poppema calls “uterine tissue” and compares to human waste are body parts of children. When a baby is 16 weeks in the womb, he or she is perfectly developed with arms, legs, fingers, and toes. He or she has a recognizable face. (See picture.) Her heart has been beating for 11 weeks. She has brain waves. She responds to touch and will show a startle reaction when something brushes against her. This means that the baby will pull away and react when the abortion instruments approach her. Some scientists believe she can feel the pain of being ripped apart. She can have the hiccups. She is already right or left handed. She has lungs and “breathes” amniotic fluid to practice for breathing air when she is born. If she is a girl, she has ovaries and a uterus of her own. She not only has hands and fingers but also fingerprints. These fingerprints mark him or her as a unique individual. It is pieces of children like these that Poppema wants to flush into the sewer system.
Poppema concedes that the “tissue” from aborted babies may be infected, but claims that putting human remains down the sewer is not a public health risk. She does have one concern, however:
So the disposal of human tissue differs not at all from the disposal of any other material. But the obvious problem is presented when considering that the larger pieces of tissue can block disposal pipes.
She fears that an arm or leg or the partially crushed head of an aborted infant might get stuck in a pipe and cause damage to the sewer system or obstruct water flow. But never fear, Poppema has a solution.
She hired a plumber to install an industrial strength garbage disposal in her abortion facility, to grind up the parts so that they could pass through the sewer pipes more easily. Unfortunately, this got her facility in trouble after a plumber came to install it. Guessing the purpose the garbage disposal would be used for, the plumber became overcome with horror. Poppema says:
[T]he plumber we asked to come and install a disposal system on our premises…went into the room and went to work. But before the work was finished, my colleagues and I found the poor man on the floor literally sobbing at the thought of a disposal system at an abortion clinic.
The plumber went home and reported Poppema’s abortion facility to the health department, Poppema explains. This irritated Poppema. After all, she had already paid for the garbage disposal unit. Ultimately, she was still able to install the unit. The work was done by a pro-abortion plumber who, apparently, wasn’t bothered by the thought of pieces of human beings being ground up and flushed into the sewer system.
[H]e [the plumber] might have taken the trouble to ask us….We could then have said to him: “Here, this is a bowl of tissue that has resulted from an abortion operation. It’s tissue not unlike the stuff leftover from any operation. It contains organic material that once was living but now is not living. It was tissue contained in a woman who made a conscious decision that she no longer wanted this tissue in her body. You can feel free to regard this tissue any way you choose. But the fact remains that you have no claim to the tissue, and neither does anybody else in the world except the one woman who was pregnant but who chose not to be pregnant anymore.
Tearing apart babies had become so normal and routine to Poppema that she doesn’t understand the horror others have at her work. She refuses to admit that the “organic material that once was living” was a human child, peacefully growing in his mother’s womb. Instead, she regards the baby is nothing but garbage, fit to be flushed down the sewer and forgotten.
How does a human being become this hardened and calloused towards weak and defenseless human life? Repeatedly tearing apart developed babies limb by limb has robbed this abortionist of her humanity.
Over the years I’ve written numerous articles documenting the brutality of the abortion business. Readers have been exposed to stories about babies being dismembered, poisoned, born alive, killed inside and outside the womb, and dissected for spare parts. As hard as it is not to be overwhelmed by these horrible details, we must never become desensitized or overwhelmed. We must never give up. As ugly as abortion is, it can be defeated. Pro-lifers have saved countless babies from abortion, and, therefore, saved countless women from being forced to cope with the murder of their children. We have passed laws restricting the abortion industry. We may be on the way to overturning Roe vs. Wade. We are winning more and more people over to the pro-life side.
Let stories like this one fuel your passion to protect the preborn. Abortion is the human rights crisis of our time. Be assured that we are on the right side of the battle. Babies are being saved, abortionists are leaving the business, abortion clinics are closing, and more and more people are coming around to the pro-life side. Be strong, and continue the fight.
Source: Susan T. Poppema, M.D. and Mike Henderson. Why I am an Abortion Doctor (New York: Prometheus Books, 1996) 162-166