Late-term abortionist Dr. William Rashbaum, who died in 2005, was profiled in a Mother Jones article in 2003. The reporter, Rebecca Paley, tried to write a sympathetic article, calling the abortionist “a champion of women.” But Rashbaum’s true colors were apparent.
Rashbaum was an expert in late-term abortions and had committed roughly 21,000 of them by 2003. He trained nearly 100 doctors to do them (as of 2003), and some of these doctors went on to train other abortionists, so he played a big role in increasing the number of late-term abortions.
He committed late-term abortions by D&E. In a D&E, the baby is dismembered, pulled apart piece by piece with a special tool. Former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino illustrates this below.
The article says:
Trained in an era when doctors were considered gods, Rashbaum is gruff, confrontational, and downright abrasive. He flaunts medical conventions at will, rankling nurses and orderlies, if it serves his needs.
No other doctor wanted to work with Rashbaum. The article said, “First- and second-year ob/gyn residents dread his cases. ‘It was always a fight about who had to do them,’ relates a former intern.”
Part of this was due to Rashbaum’s habit of screaming at residents while they did abortions:
In the operating room, Rashbaum readily yells at the top of his lungs at residents working with forceps inside a woman’s uterus, where he can’t see what they’re doing, to make sure they are as nervous as he is. “It’s not the best way to teach,” he admits. “Calm, cool, collected is better, but a tough screaming is not ineffective.”
One wonders how an abortion client might have felt during this. Lying on the table, she would have been forced to listen to Rashbaum screaming at the doctor committing the abortion. A stressed resident could become rattled enough to make a mistake an injure a woman.
The article goes on to explain why other doctors don’t want to do D&E’s:
Technical difficulty… is not why many doctors don’t want to do second-trimester abortions. What troubles them … is that as a pregnancy progresses, the fetus increasingly resembles a baby. The procedure, as anyone who has seen it, including Rashbaum, will attest, is gruesome.
One of his former interns remembers watching Rashbaum do a D&E on well-developed twins one hot summer day. He intently leaned in closely and methodically pulled piece after piece of the fetuses out of the mother’s uterus, ignoring the attending staff’s whispers of horror — “It’s twins. It’s twins” — to each other.
The intern reacted violently, running home, throwing up, and asking herself, “Is this right?”
Paley witnessed Rashbaum yelling at staff at the abortion facility. She recalled him yelling again, after the hospital’s administrator refused to let him show her an actual D&E:
Rashbaum has just finished yelling again. This time at the hospital administrator who is adamant that, under no circumstances whatsoever, is Rashbaum to allow a reporter to witness a D&E. Not even if the patient has given her consent.
It’s not hard to guess why the administrator refused to let Paley witness the abortion. Paley made it clear throughout her piece that she is strongly pro-choice, repeatedly praising Rashbaum. But if she had witnessed the doctor pull fully formed arms and legs out of a woman’s body and pile them together in a pan, only to pore over them later to make sure nothing was left behind – she might have had a hard time keeping her composure. She might have changed her views on abortion. At the very least, her article might have been less glowing and sympathetic towards Rashbaum.
The reporter said, “Rashbaum pisses people off with his cranky, despotic ways, but the other doctors are relieved he’s around to do a job they don’t want.”
Why did Rashbaum start doing abortions? Money:
When New York became the first state to legalize abortion in 1970, it coincided with Rashbaum’s split from his first wife, with whom he had two children… With the mounting divorce costs, including many therapy bills, Rashbaum began performing abortions in New York City, which had quickly become the abortion capital of the country. The clinic where he worked was open round the clock, with three sets of doctors and nurses each taking eight-hour shifts. He says, “You would go home with a g*ddamn barrel of money.”….
But in what began as a way to support two households, Rashbaum discovered a purpose and a mission.
Paley tried to paint Rashbaum as a heroic crusader for women’s rights. But in an earlier article in the New York Times, Rashbaum compared himself to a Nazi in a concentration camp.
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