In North Carolina, a bill protecting babies born alive after late-term abortions passed in the state House and Senate but was vetoed by Governor Roy Cooper. During the testimony for Bill 359, Rep. Pat McElraft spoke about her experiences working at a hospital where a late-term abortionist plied his trade. She testified:
You will hear from opponents of Bill 359 that there is no need for this bill. “We don’t have is happening in North Carolina.” I can testify to the fact that infanticide has happened in North Carolina. I’ve been witness to the results of those late-term abortions.…
There was an abortionist in Jacksonville, North Carolina, who was known nationally for performing late term abortions. We heard of many girls who came from other states to North Carolina — Jacksonville, North Carolina, to have their late-term abortions. Even hitchhiking down from New York, some of them did, to come in…
Those were the days when saline abortions were performed. The salt content of the saline was so strong that it burned the little baby’s skin.
Saline abortions were common in the 1970s and ’80s but are very seldom done today. Once committed in the late second and third trimesters, these abortions were done by injecting a caustic saline solution into the uterus. The baby would die over the course of a few hours and then the mother would go through labor to deliver her dead baby. Sometimes the saline failed to kill the baby and the baby was born alive. Melissa Ohden was one child who was born alive after a saline abortion and given care. She is now a mother herself. Gianna Jessen is another saline abortion survivor. Late-term abortions now are done by D&E in which the baby is dismembered in the womb or induction, in which the baby is injected with poison to cause cardiac arrest.
Pat McElraft continued:
Nurses told of stories of the babies that were born alive and [had] been taken by the doctor and turned over with their faces down in the saline to drown. Most of the nurses refused to work with this abortionist. He only did his abortions on the weekends.
One day I was on a break, [and] went in to visit with the pathologist in the pathology lab, and I asked him, I said, “What are all these little pigs doing in these buckets?” He told me, “Pat, look again.” And I did. They were perfectly formed little human babies in those buckets. Their skin was even pinker than a normal baby would be, because it had been burned by the saline. Those were the weekend’s abortions.
McElraft gave her testimony with only about half of the seats in the gallery filled. Several congressmen seemed to ignore her testimony, reading or working on paperwork while she spoke. Nevertheless, the bill passed. Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the bill. He said, “This needless legislation would criminalize doctors and other healthcare providers for a practice that simply does not exist.”
Clearly he, like many others, simply ignored McElraf’s testimony.
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