Pro-choice psychologist describes abortion she witnessed; baby would now be adult

Dr. Magda Denes was a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst who died in 1996. 20 years before her death, she wrote a book called In Necessity and Sorrow: Life and Death in an Abortion Hospital.   Magda Denes was pro-choice for her entire life and talks in the book about why abortion should remain legal. However, when it was published, the New York Times reviewer called it ”a highly emotional anti-abortion tract.”  Why?

It seems that Denes, who had had an abortion herself, was honest about what she witnessed in the clinic, instead of sugar coating the reality of abortion the way the New York Times (and other mainstream media) has always tended to do. She used plain, honest language to describe abortion procedures and the bodies of aborted babies.

One procedure she described was a D & E (dilation and evacuation) abortion. This procedure, which was new at the time, is still popular today. It takes place in the second and early third trimesters and consists of the abortionist reaching into the womb with forceps and pulling apart the unborn baby. You can see a diagram of it here. 

Denes describes a D&E abortion that she witnessed.

“‘Forceps, please,’ Mr. Smith slaps into his hand what look like oversized ice-cube tongs. Holtzman pushes it into the vagina and tugs. He pulls out something, which he slaps on the instrument table. ‘There,’ he says, ‘A leg. You can always tell fetal size best by the extremities. Fifteen weeks is right in this case.’ I turn to Mr. Smith. ‘What did he say?’ ‘He pulled a leg off,’ Mr. Smith says. ‘Right here.’ He points to the instrument table, where there is a perfectly formed, slightly bent leg, about three inches long. It consists of a ripped thigh, a knee, a lower leg, a foot, and five toes. I start to shake very badly, but otherwise I feel nothing. Total shock is painless…”

She describes the abortionist taking out other parts of the baby, including the head:

There lies a head. It is the smallest human head I have ever seen, but it is unmistakably part of a person.

Some may think that there is no point in describing an abortion that took place so long ago. But abortions are still being done this way, every day, in the US. It is likely that at least one has taken place since you started reading this article.

We can also reflect on what we have lost. Had this baby lived, he or she would already be 38-years-old. We have no idea who this child would’ve grown up to be. He could be a world-renowned scientist, a doctor who just cured cancer (or ebola), a famous actor, a best-selling children’s author – or just a loving father. The baby whose death you just read about could already have had children of her own. And he or she was just one of the thousands of abortion victims that day.

In Necessity and Sorrow has so many disturbing, powerful, and still relevant things to say that I will be referring back to it in future articles.

Source: Magda Denes, PhD. In Necessity and Sorrow: Life and Death Inside an Abortion Hospital (Basic Books, Inc.: New York, 1976)


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