The abortion industry would like the public to believe that babies born alive after abortion attempts rarely occur. But babies accidentally born alive after abortions — the so-called “dreaded complication” — have plagued abortion profiteers for decades.
The Philadelphia Inquirer highlighted cases from the 1970s in a 1981 series entitled The Dreaded Complication. In one case, an infant accidentally survived a saline abortion. The abortionist told his nurses by phone to deny the baby oxygen, but thankfully, another doctor stepped in and the baby survived, only to be adopted later. In another case, a Nebraska abortionist reportedly told a nurse to leave a baby boy who survived a saline abortion because “it would probably die in a few minutes.”
In yet another case from the 1970’s, a baby boy survived a prostaglandin abortion and later died. But this time, the doctor who arrived on scene attempted to save the infant, clamping the cord and sending the baby to intensive care. “It was a shock, a totally unique emergency situation, very upsetting to all of us,” the doctor said. “Some people have disagreed with me [about ordering intensive care for an abortion live birth] but that seems to me the only way you can go. It’s like watching a drowning. You act. You don’t have the luxury of calling around and consulting. You institute life-preserving measures first and decide about viability later on.”
In 1989, Pennsylvania abortion doctor Joseph Melnick was convicted of infanticide after a baby he aborted survived. Hospital staffers there claimed a heartbeat had been detected, and the baby had moved and gasped. For this crime, he was given only probation and community service.
By the 1990’s, additional incidents of abortion survivors were being reported.
In Florida, a witness who worked at a hospital called the police after seeing a doctor smother a 23-week-old male with Down syndrome who survived an abortion. Miami Right to Life documented the case after being contacted by the witness, and pro-lifers endearingly named him “Baby Special.” The report said that the autopsy showed pockets of air in the baby’s stomach, indicating that he had taken a breath. The medical examiner testified that the baby lived for 34 minutes.
However, the doctor was cleared of all charges, saying there was no clear evidence that he smothered the baby. “When a fetus is aborted, sometimes there is some activity in the fetus and you normally don’t do anything. You let the fetus expire,” the abortionist told authorities. “The usual thing is just to take your time, don’t immediately do anything,” the abortionist told authorities.
In 1993, New York abortionist Dr. Abu Hayat — nicknamed the “Butcher of Avenue A” — severed the arm of little Ana Rosa Rodriguez while attempting an illegal third-trimester abortion. Her 20-year-old mother, Rosa Rodriguez, was about eight months pregnant when Hayat attempted the $1500 procedure. Rodriguez claimed she was strapped in stirrups and held down by Hayat and his assistants. She testified that she begged him to stop the abortion after he inserted a four-inch needle in her stomach that appeared dirty, and she began hearing women in other rooms screaming. Hayat was found guilty of assault, and in June of 1993, was sentenced to prison but was released on parole in 2006. He was discharged from parole supervision in 2009 and his sentence has been deemed completed. He tried to have his name changed but a judge refused his request. See video of Ana Rosa and her mother on the Phil Donahue show here.
Abortionists’ distorted view of preborn babies as non-persons can affect the way that an abortion survivor is treated. An example of this was seen in an interview with late-term Boston abortionist Kenneth Edelin. In this discussion from the 1990’s, Edelin referred to the preborn child as a “developing mass of tissue within the woman.” This is significant because Edelin was charged in the 1970s with manslaughter in the death of a 20 to 24-week-old baby boy after an abortion. The prosecution claimed Edelin tried to suffocate the child inside the mother during a failed saline abortion that morphed into a hysterotomy (C-section type) abortion, during which he “detach[ed] the fetus from the placental wall by hand.”
Jurors in the case saw a photo of the child preserved in formaldehyde. “It looked like a baby,” one told the Associated Press. “[…] it definitely had an effect on me.” But Edelin’s lawyers argued that since the child was in the uterus, a “person” never existed, so therefore a person had never died. Edelin’s conviction was later overturned. Edelin, who died in 2013, has been called a hero by Planned Parenthood.
Other famous abortion survivors are Gianna Jessen and Melissa Ohden, who survived saline abortion attempts at around seven months gestation. Even more survivors are part of The Abortion Survivors Network, educating the public on the reality of the existence of abortion survivors.
Editor’s Note: This article has been edited from its original format, published in 2017. That article can be read here.
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