In February 2016, Live Action released a video of former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino, describing what is perhaps the most brutal method of abortion: a D&E, or dismemberment procedure. As you can see in the video below, a D&E abortion is done on fully formed babies from 13 to 24 weeks. These babies all have heartbeats and brain waves, and all body parts and organs are present. Many of them feel pain. A dismemberment abortion is exactly what it sounds like – the abortionist reaches in with forceps and dismembers the child, pulling her out piece by piece. The head, which is too large to pass through the dilated cervix, is crushed and removed in pieces.
The late Dr. Bernard Nathanson, former abortionist turned pro-life activist, describes a D&E this way:
The D&E is performed by breaking the bag of water with a pointed instrument thrust through the partly dilated cervix, then inserting grasping and tearing instruments into the womb. The fetus is then quartered, the torso isolated and disemboweled. The head is crushed and extracted in pieces. The placenta is located and scraped off the wall of the womb. This completes the procedure save for the abortionist reassembling all the removed parts on a side table adjoining operating table. The fetus must be reconstructed to verify that all the vital parts have been removed with nothing of significance left within the womb to perpetuate bleeding and or become infected. Such late abortions – by whatever means – are no small matter surgically and carry a death rate equal to or exceeding that associated with childbirth that term.
People who have witnessed D&E abortions have also written about how brutal they are. Margaret A. Woodbury, a reporter for Salon, wrote an article in which she described witnessing a dismemberment abortion:
Once that decision was made [to do a D&E abortion], the resident inserted a long-handled metal instrument into the woman’s uterus — called a Bierer forcep — and began what the doctor called “blind” pulling[.] …
Time after time, the resident plunged the Bierer into the woman’s womb, removing a leg, then an arm, then the liver, then the placenta, which the doctor ranted about, because this can make the fetal head extraction more difficult. The last step that I saw was the collapse of the skull and the removal of the brain matter.
After Woodbury witnessed the abortion, the doctor showed her how strong the forceps were:
Back in his office, the doctor demonstrated how powerful a grip can be used with the Bierer forceps. He clamped them down on a surgical scrub gown I held in my hands. “Pull,” he instructed. I pulled. “Really, really pull!” he yelled. I really, really pulled. The only way to break the bond between forceps and cloth was to tear the cloth; I inwardly winced as I realized that in the operating room the cloth could be a uterine wall, and with one misplaced pull by the forceps, a perforation could occur.
“This is why I hate overuse of forceps,” the doctor commented. “Things tear.” Rubbing a hand across his forehead, the doctor looked straight at me: “There are only two kinds of doctors who have never perforated a uterus,” he added, “those that lie and those who don’t do abortions.”’
So here we see that not only are these abortions torturous for the child, but they are frequently dangerous for the mother as well. Later in the article, Woodbury denies being emotionally upset by what she witnessed, but readers can come to their own conclusions.
Another reporter who witnessed a D&E abortion is B.D. Colen, a reporter for Newsday. After describing how the abortionist dilated the woman’s cervix and pulled and cut apart the preborn baby, he says:
A large petri dish sat on an instrument stand to the right of the girl’s feet, and most of the red material in the dish was unrecognizable. But from time to time during the procedure the physician would tap his forceps on the edge of the dish – and into the muck would drop a foot, or a hand, or a piece of rib cage…
Having seen what I saw, I cannot for a moment abide the disingenuousness of those who argue that a fetus is not human, or those who convince themselves that abortion is not killing.
Abortionists themselves have admitted to the graphic nature of the D&E. Testifying under oath, abortionist Timothy Johnson said:
THE COURT: Doctor, when you’re actually performing the removal of the fetus from the uterus, that process usually results in dismemberment of the fetus; is that correct?
THE WITNESS: Usually in my case. Yes, sir.
He also answered questions about crushing the baby’s skull:
THE WITNESS: “The instruments are thick enough and heavy enough that you can actually grasp and crush with those instruments as if you were picking up salad…”
THE COURT: “Except here you are crushing the head of a baby.”
THE WITNESS: “Correct.”
He was later asked:
THE COURT: Does it ever cross your mind when you are doing a dismemberment?
THE WITNESS: I guess whenever I –
THE COURT: Simple question, Doctor. Does it cross your mind?
THE WITNESS: Does the fetus having pain cross your mind?
THE COURT: Yes.
THE WITNESS: No.
THE COURT: Never crossed your mind.
THE WITNESS: No.
Abortionist Philip Bennett put it even more flippantly:
I dismember the fetus – pull it apart limb from limb – and remove it piece by piece and two hours later I’ve forgotten them.
In an undercover video recorded by the Center for Medical Progress, Planned Parenthood abortionist DeShawn Taylor joked that she had to “hit the gym” in order to have strength enough to do a D&E at 20 weeks or more:
Similarly, former abortion facility owner Carol Everett described how the abortionist she worked for had to expend a lot of energy crushing the baby’s skull:
Dr. Johnson handed the suction tube back to Leslie and once again used forceps to probe for the head. I saw the muscles of his right arm tighten and knew what that meant: He had located the head and was crushing it. Harvey used to joke about getting tennis elbow from this technique, and his right arm was actually slightly bigger than his left.
D&E dismemberment abortion is a horrific procedure that, tragically, is performed thousands of times a year in the United States. This is only a small collection of the many firsthand accounts from abortionists, abortion workers, and witnesses to this terrible procedure.