The Pain Capable Child Protection Act would have banned abortion after 20 weeks, but on January 29, 2018, the Senate voted not to proceed with the bill. The act would have saved the lives of between 12,000 and 18,000 preborn babies a year from abortion.
In response, former abortion worker Catherine Adair posted a heartbreaking message on Facebook. Adair has assisted in late-term abortions and is familiar with the most common late-term abortion method – the D&E.
Below, former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino describes the way a D&E abortion is committed:
In a D&E abortion, the abortionist first dilates the woman’s cervix with laminaria. This is usually done the day before the procedure. On the day of the abortion, the abortionist uses forceps to dismember the child and pull her out, piece by piece. This is obviously very painful for the preborn baby.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy described the D&E procedure, quoting from the testimony of Dr. Leroy Carhart, who regularly commits these abortions:
The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.
Dr. Carhart agreed that ‘[w]hen you pull out a piece of the fetus, let’s say, an arm or a leg and remove that, at the time just prior to removal of the portion of the fetus, … the fetus [is] alive.’ Dr. Carhart has observed fetal heartbeat via ultrasound with ‘extensive parts of the fetus removed,’ and testified that mere dismemberment of a limb does not always cause death because he knows of a physician who removed the arm of a fetus only to have the fetus go on to be born ‘as a living child with one arm.’ … In Dr. Carhart’s words, the abortionist is left with ‘a tray full of pieces.’
As a former abortion worker, Adair witnessed these abortions firsthand. She knows from bitter experience how horribly destructive and violent they are.
Horror, repentance, and sadness are evident in her words:
I find it really hard to talk about the defeat of the 20-week abortion bill by Senate Democrats. Every time I think about it, I am right back in the abortion clinic, staring at a jar filled with the severed arms and legs of a baby who just moments before had been ripped apart in it’s mother’s womb. I am right back to that place where I told mothers that the doctor was going to ‘gently extract the contents of the uterus.’ Women in their 23rd week of pregnancy were lied to and told it was a simple ‘procedure.’
Nobody told them that they and their baby would be in agony as the doctor used forceps and sharp instruments to dismember their child, pulling and tugging until the baby was ripped apart and he could pull the body out, piece by piece.
The brain and organs of the babies were most likely rushed to a hospital nearby and used for ‘research.’ The mother was quickly sent on her way, never to be seen again.
To see Senate Democrats high-fiving each other on the Senate floor truly left me sickened. Our society, the home of the free and the brave, joins the likes of North Korea and China in it’s brutal and inhumane abortion laws. What kind of a society allows such barbaric killing? What kind of a society allows late-term abortion to be used as a way to generate profits for a body parts selling industry? Have people lost all sense of their humanity?
Even writing this I can smell the sick, horrifying smell of the abortion procedure room. It is something that will never leave me. I want to run and hide and pretend like this barbarism isn’t happening. I truly can’t bear the horror. But I have to say something, if only in memory of the thousands of babies whose blood I have on my hands.
Adair is haunted by terrible memories of the abortions she witnessed and participated in. She will live with these horrible memories for the rest of her life.
Adair is not the only abortion worker to be upset by the D&E procedure. A D&E is so gruesome and violent that even career abortionists struggle to cope with committing them.
Shortly after the D&E technique was introduced in the 1970s, late-term abortionist Dr. Warren Hern, who specializes in these abortions and commits them in all three trimesters, wrote:
We have produced an unusual dilemma. A procedure is rapidly becoming recognized as the procedure of choice in late abortion, but those capable of performing or assisting with the procedure are having strong personal reservations about participating in an operation which they view as destructive and violent…Some part of our cultural and perhaps even biological heritage recoils at a destructive operation on a form that is similar to our own…
No one who has not performed this procedure can know what it is like or what it means…We have reached a point in this particular technology where there is no possibility of denial of an act of destruction by the operator. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment flow through the forceps like electric current…
Late-term abortionist William Rashbaum, who died in 2005, once said, “I do D & E’s because I think it is safer. It is a horrible procedure. Staff burnout is a major problem.”
Other abortionists, who have done thousands of earlier abortions, refuse to commit D&E abortions altogether. In the film Eclipse of Reason, which shows the results of a D&E abortion, an abortion doctor was interviewed by former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson:
Abortionist: I’d say I probably performed 10,000 or more [first trimester abortions]. I can remember days when I would do 30, 35 abortions.
Interviewer: would you do second trimester abortions, D&E’s even for medical reasons?
Abortionist: No, absolutely not. that is the most horrifying procedure I can think about. There is just absolutely no way I would ever do that.
Even though this abortionist had killed thousands of babies, he could not bring himself to do D&E abortions.
When pro-choice people try to defend late-term abortions by D&E, they often claim that these abortions are only done under very rare circumstances and only in cases in which a woman’s health or life is in danger. They may also say that babies with serious health problems are better off being killed this way.
In reality, no child deserves to die by dismemberment. And the belief that these abortions are only done for health reasons is a myth.
Katha Pollitt, an author who writes in favor of abortion, gave the statistics on the most common reasons for late-term abortions in an article in The Nation:
71% didn’t realize they were pregnant
48% had difficulty making arrangements
33% were afraid of telling parents or partner
The Allen Guttmacher Institute, a research organization closely affiliated with Planned Parenthood, did a study on late-term abortions in which it gathered statistics from abortion facilities. It found:
68% had no pregnancy symptoms
58% didn’t confirm the pregnancy until the second trimester
45% had trouble finding abortion provider
37% unsure of date of last menstrual period
30% had difficulty deciding on abortion
The study sample did not contain a single case of abortion for health reasons.
D&E abortions are usually committed on healthy children who suffer incredible pain when they are dismembered. Even hardened abortionists have trouble dealing with the grisly reality of these abortions.
Former abortion workers like Catherine Adair relive their experiences when they describe them. They are open about what they have witnessed in order to educate people about what is going on in abortion facilities throughout the country.