Oklahoma is poised to protect nearly all preborn children, with the added and medically unnecessary exception to save the life of the mother. Senate Bill 612 passed the House last week and now awaits Governor Kevin Stitt’s signature. Anyone found guilty of committing an abortion would face a felony charge, up to 10 years in prison, and a $100,000 fine — penalties that are for the abortionist only and not the mother. Unsurprisingly, the abortion industry is furious over the possibility of this bill’s passage, with Planned Parenthood specifically calling the bill “cruel.” Yet they seem to have forgotten the cruelty they perpetuate on preborn children each and every day.
USA Today recently profiled the response of “health care groups” to the bill, which in reality, meant Planned Parenthood, the Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood’s former research arm), the ACLU, and other abortion organizations. Renee Bracey Sherman, a long-time abortion activist and executive director of the pro-abortion group We Testify, called the legislation an effort to “ban abortion in the most sadistic and cruel ways possible.”
Yet what is truly cruel is abortion itself, on all levels — both to women and preborn children.
Abortion pill procedure
Many abortion procedures are committed when preborn children can already feel pain. While this often means pain for the child, it can also mean terrible pain for the mother as well.
Chemical abortions, or abortion pills, are now the most common method of abortion. The procedure begins when a woman takes mifepristone (or RU-486), which blocks progesterone and causes the lining of the woman’s uterus to break down, starving the baby of the nutrients he needs to survive. Some time later (traditionally one to two days), she takes misoprostol, which triggers contractions and bleeding to expel the baby from her womb. This can cause severe cramping, contractions, and heavy bleeding, as well as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and headaches. Some women have died, usually due to infection or undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy.
It has also been increasingly common for abortionists to embrace the “no test” protocol, meaning the woman will take the abortion pill at home without receiving a blood test or an ultrasound first, making it impossible to determine the true gestational age, whether she has an extrauterine pregnancy, or whether she has any contraindications for the abortion pill. Data has shown the abortion pill to be four times more dangerous than first-trimester surgical abortion, and it has caused severe pain and trauma for many women.
Other women in the first trimester might undergo an aspiration/D&C abortion. This is usually committed after eight weeks; research has shown that at this point, the preborn child may be pain-capable, with other research showing pain capability at no later than 13 weeks.
The abortionist begins by using metal rods or medication to dilate the woman’s cervix, and then inserts a suction catheter with 10 to 20 times the power of a household vacuum cleaner into the woman’s uterus. After suctioning the uterus, the abortionist uses a curette — a sharp metal device — to forcibly remove the baby from her uterus, if the suctioning did not already do so. This can cause injuries to the uterus or cervix, and the intestines, bladder, and nearby blood vessels may also be injured. Women are also at risk of hemorrhage, infection, and death. The damage to the cervix and uterus is also known to cause complications in future pregnancies, including premature birth and uterine rupture.
The most common second-trimester abortion procedure is arguably the most violent. A dilation and evacuation, or D&E, is usually committed up through 24 weeks of pregnancy, though some abortionists will continue the procedure through the third trimester, and it takes several days.
First, the abortionist inserts laminaria — sterilized seaweed sticks — into the woman’s cervix to begin dilation. The woman then waits one to two days before returning to the facility, giving the seaweed time to absorb liquid from her body, causing the laminaria to widen and the cervix to dilate.
When the woman returns to the facility, the abortionist inserts a large suction catheter into the woman’s uterus to remove the amniotic fluid. The abortionist then uses a sopher clamp to grip the baby’s arms and legs, dismembering the child limb from torso and removing other body parts, like the intestines, spine, heart, and lungs. Finally, the abortionist must find, grasp, and crush the baby’s head, and then uses a curette to scrape the uterus and remove the placenta. Afterward, the baby’s body is essentially reassembled to make sure nothing was left behind.
This procedure puts the woman at great risk for perforation or laceration of the uterus or cervix, as well as damage to the bowels, bladder, rectum, and other maternal organs. The forcible removal of the placenta can cause severe hemorrhaging, and if the uterus or cervix is damaged, the mother can suffer serious blood loss. There is also risk of cervical damage, scar tissue, and uterine rupture, which can again cause complications for future pregnancies, such as miscarriage and preterm labor. And as with other abortions, there is a risk of death, which increases the later in the pregnancy this procedure is committed.
A third-trimester induction abortion begins like a D&E, with the abortionist inserting laminaria first. But before sending the mother away, he will inject a fatal dose of digoxin or potassium chloride into the baby’s head or heart, or into the amniotic sac, which is expected to cause the death of the child. After the second day, the laminaria is replaced, and the abortionist performs an ultrasound to ensure the baby has died; if not, another shot is given. The abortionist then induces labor, and after another two to four days, she will deliver the body of her dead baby. While this will typically take place at the abortion facility, but it is not unusual for the woman to deliver at home or in a hotel room.
Risks include hemorrhage, lacerations, uterine perforations, and death. As with a D&E, the trauma to the woman’s cervix can put future pregnancies at risk.
Many claim that late-term abortions, like D&E and induction procedures, are only committed out of medical necessity. But this is false. If a woman has a medical emergency, a c-section is faster and can be performed in less than an hour, as opposed to waiting several days for an abortion procedure to be completed. If an abortion is committed for reasons of a fetal diagnosis, this is eugenics in action — killing a human being for having a disability or birth defect.
Despite popular belief, it is a myth that most women seeking late abortions have them due to fetal abnormalities or other health issues. A 1988 Guttmacher study found that just two percent (2%) of women who had abortions did so because of a health problem with the baby. More than 20 years later, a 2013 study (also published by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute) said, “[D]ata suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.” Pro-abortion researcher Diana Greene Foster stated, according to a report from the Congressional Research Service, that abortions for fetal abnormalities “make up a small minority of later abortion.” And a 2010 paper from Julia Steinberg, of the pro-abortion Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, said, “Research suggests that the overwhelming majority of women having later abortions do so for reasons other than fetal anomaly (Drey et al., 2006; Finer et al., 2005, 2006; Foster et al., 2008).”
The abortion industry may condemn pro-life bills are being cruel, but the real cruelty is the violence committed against desperate women and their innocent children, who deserve better than the lies of the abortion industry.
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