According to a poll done in 2011, 59% of Americans believe that abortion is wrong. A similar poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus in 2010 gave the number at 56%. So over half of all Americans believe that abortion is morally wrong.
But many Americans do not realize quite how wrong abortion is. Many people believe that abortion simply “terminates a pregnancy,” removes “tissue,” or suctions out “collections of cells.” Pro-choice organizations perpetuate these myths. In the following quotes, we will see that abortion is much more than the simple removal of “cells” or “tissue.”
Reporter Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch described a trial where abortionist Dr. Crist gave testimony about how he performed abortions. Mannies writes (1):
In testimony Wednesday in St. Louis Circuit Court, [abortionist] Crist said that it is not uncommon for second-trimester fetuses to leave the womb feet-first, intact and with their hearts still beating. He sometimes crushes their skulls to get the fetuses out. Other times, he dismembers them.
Pro-Life Feminism: Different Voices, edited by Gail Garnier-Sweet, is a collection of essays written by pro-life feminists. Former clinic worker Paula Sutcliffe, in her essay “Precious in My Sight,” described what she witnessed in the clinic where she worked:
I found much distress in the clinic, but it involved not only the women. I saw the pain of the babies who were born burned from the saline solution used for late-term abortions. I saw the bits of feet, bits of hands, the mangled heads and bodies of the little people. I saw pain and felt pain.
Pro-choice author and researcher Magda Denes felt ambivalent and troubled after her abortion; her conflicting feelings compelled her to immerse herself in abortion research. She witnessed abortions at a busy abortion clinic and interviewed doctors and clinic workers. According to a receptionist at the clinic (2):
I went up to the lab one day and on the pathologiest’s table I saw what I thought was little rubber doll until I realized it was a fetus[.] … I got really shook up and upset and I couldn’t believe it. It had all its fingers and toes, you know, hands and feet[.] … I never thought it would look so real. I didn’t like it.”
This clinic worker, shielded from the reality of the abortion procedures, was not prepared to see the body of an aborted baby.
In an article in Commentary magazine, Denes quotes clinic worker Susan Lindstrom (3):
And then to see, to be with somebody while they’re having the injection when they’re twenty or twenty-four weeks, and you see the baby moving around, kicking around, as this needle goes into the stomach, you know.
It is disturbing that Lindstrom uses the term “baby” to describe the child being aborted. She seems to be under no illusions about the work she does at the clinic. At 20 to 24 weeks, the baby is fully formed; babies have survived after being born as early as 23 weeks.
Wendy Simonds wrote a book called Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic. She interviewed clinic workers and the staff abortionist. Like Denes, Simonds is pro-choice; she says derogatory things about pro-lifers (whom she calls “antis” – short for “anti-choice”) throughout the book. But she also presents some very candid admissions from clinic workers, including this one:
It’s just- I mean it looks like a baby. It looks like a baby. And especially if you get one that comes out, that’s not piecemeal. And you know, I saw this one, and it had its fingers in its mouth…it makes me really sad that that had to happen, you know, but it doesn’t change my mind. It’s just hard. And it makes me just sort of stop and feel sad about it, the whole necessity of it. And also….it’s very warm when it comes into the sterile room because it’s been in the mother’s stomach. It feels like flesh, you know…
The New York Times is not known for pro-life bias, but in the article “The Abortion Conflict: What It Does to One Doctor,” the reporter who interviewed abortionist Dr. Peter Bours and witnessed him perform an abortion at ten weeks said:
After an abortion, the doctor must inspect these remains to make sure that all the fetal parts and placenta have been removed. Any tissue left inside the uterus can start an infection. Dr. Bours squeezed the contents of the sock into a shallow dish and poked around with his finger. “You can see a teeny tiny hand,” he said.
At just ten weeks, this baby had perfectly formed hands and feet.
These are only a few of the many quotes from clinic workers and doctors describing abortions. They reveal the true tragedy of abortion – the destruction of a living, innocent child.
1. Jo Mannies, “Abortion Doctor Gives Graphic testimony Describing Abortion Procedure,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 25, 2000.
2. Magda Denes, PhD “In Necessity and Sorrow: Life and Death Inside an Abortion Hospital” (New York: Basic Books. 1979)
3. Magda Denes, PhD. “Performing Abortions” Commentary Magazine October 1976, 33-37
4. From “Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic” by Wendy Simonds. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1996