Pathologist: Dissecting babies killed in abortion ‘nothing med school prepares you for’

abortion, Planned Parenthood

In 2013, LifeNews ran an article with quotes from pathologists who examined the bodies of babies killed in abortion. The quotes in the article came from a forum sponsored by the Student – Doctor Network (SDN), a nonprofit organization that supports medical students. The SDN has a number of forums where people with different levels of education in the field of medicine can discuss issues with colleagues. There are forums for premed students, forums for medical students, and forums for established practitioners. In the “Pathology Forum” under “Physician/Resident Forums,” a pathologist posted a message for his peers about dissecting aborted babies.

If an abortion facility is following medical guidelines, it must send fetal remains to a pathology lab to be examined. (Sometimes abortion facilities do not do this, and instead simply dump fetal remains.) The examination is meant to double check that all the parts of the baby’s body have been removed and that nothing has been left behind. If any part of the baby is left in the uterus, it can cause a severe infection. Abortionists check aborted babies (or “products of conception,” as they call them) visually, but a pathologist’s examination is needed to rule out the possibility of an incomplete abortion.

The pathologist who started the discussion, whose posts are quoted in their original form without grammatical corrections, wrote about how examining the remains of aborted babies upset him:

Anyone get tripped on these? I’m talking especially the big ones, where you can actually make out facial expressions like they knew they were being hacked the hell up (im serious). I almost went bonkers once over one, that is some scary crap. Am I the only pathologist who freaks when a 0.5 cm eye ball comes rolling out of bag and stares right at you…. I know we are thinking this, just no one in pathology is talking about it.

Another pathologist responded:

Totally trippy man. We get a fair number of fragmented fetuses from abortion procedures and they come in a container with formalin. The fact that they’re all hacked up is disturbing to begin with. Of course, there is the whole eyeball issue which freaks me out as well.

Pathologists are accustomed to examining body parts and organs, but apparently, seeing the mutilated bodies of aborted children is deeply troubling to some of them. Abortion procedures are violent, regardless of how early they are committed. Dr. Anthony Levatino describes a D&E abortion, typically committed between 13 and 24 weeks of pregnancy:

The second pathologist also said:

Well, all you can say in a lot of these final diagnosis reports are that the fetus is fragmented, you don’t know what the sex is (unless you’ve found the gonads and histologically they’re confirmed as balls or babymakers), you’ve identified some organs, and you give the estimated gestational age based on foot length. I dunno what else really… I haven’t had too many of these cases but all of these reports with my name on it are pretty simple writeups.

The way the age of an aborted baby is determined is by measuring the length of one of the baby’s feet. This is sometimes done in abortion facilities; other times, it is done by pathologists. Also note that in some cases the sex of an aborted baby can be determined just by looking at the remains of the child.

A third pathologist said:

When doing one POC [product of conception] that was about 12-15 weeks, somewhere around there, I put through the entire hand into a histology block, so that I could see what a developing hand looked like. The histotech freaked out when she saw it and I wasn’t allowed to do that again.

Histopathology is the practice of taking a slice of tissue from a specimen and making a slide that is then examined under a microscope. The slide itself is called a histology block or a tissue block. The pathologist is describing how he prepared a slide of the baby’s hand and then examined it under a microscope. Although the pathologist may have found it a learning experience, the technician that was working with him was very upset.

A preborn baby at just 12 weeks is fully formed. He or she has had a beating heart for nine weeks. The brain is giving off brainwaves.  The baby responds to touch and pressure and shows a “startle response” when he or she is touched.  The baby is already right or left handed – embryologists have observed preborn babies favoring one hand over another as early as eight weeks.  A female preborn child at 12 weeks already has a uterus and ovaries of her own. The baby has fingerprints which are unique and different from any human being who has ever lived or ever will live.

The pathologist also said:

The strangest are when you get the macerated contents, and you are able to recognize a few parts here and there – usually a leg or an arm, sometimes the heart. But it’s odd when you can’t find a large portion of it.

If the pathologist is unable to find part of the baby, that might be a sign that the abortion was incomplete.

The third pathologist was also troubled by examining the eyes of aborted children:

On a related note though, eyeballs are the specimen that freaks me out the most. Cutting into an eye makes me squeal. I remember doing it the first time in anatomy lab and I felt like I was sticking a knife into my own eye.

The original poster then said:

I usually like chow down on White Castle while my trusty lab assistant has to stack all the baby body parts, limb amputations and reduction mastectomies into the incinerator. It has almost a Nazi concentration camp feel it all sometimes, one of my assistants today tried to joke about this leg and aborted fetus we were transporting, I snapped “have some f-ing respect!!” then started laughing too, you cant help it. Its so unbelievably insane. Nothing med school prepares you for.

One pathologist had no sympathy for the aborted babies and was not horrified by what he saw:

In any case, no, abortions don’t freak me out whatsoever…. [N]o amount of googly eyeballs or tiny jaws dislocated “mid-scream” does anything to humanize the little sacks of neverweres for me.

There are quite a few things that I find disturbing, but few of them spill directly out of the womb.

Another pathologist describes something that happened to him before medical school:

Before med school I worked as a autopsy tech/path lackey and one of my jobs was dumping the old surg path specimens to drain off the formalin and then bag the specs for incineration. Sounds unpleasant but I actually enjoyed it cause I could listen to NPR and not be bugged. Anyhow, I would get going fast just dumping specimen after specimen in the sink, until one day I dumped a whole intact fetus, ~ 25 weeks old into the sink. Closest I ever came to fainting. So completely unexpected after seeing gallbladders and colons day after day.

From the poster’s description, we can’t know for sure whether the baby was stillborn or died in abortion. Yet it is sad that the remains of the child were simply discarded with the medical waste. The way the baby was disposed of shows a lack of respect for the lives of children in the womb.

It is clear that abortion is different from ordinary medical practice. Pathologists don’t complain about how disturbing it is to examine a removed gallbladder or tumor. But, as one poster said, dissecting aborted babies is “nothing that med school prepares you for.” These pathologists’ stories are just more evidence of the horrific nature of abortion.


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