The recent documentary “After Tiller” portrayed late-term abortionists in a sympathetic light. Its directors assumed that Dr. Tiller was a champion of women who provided quality healthcare in his Wichita abortion clinic. However, the pro-life group Operation Rescue has compiled some disturbing stories from some of his patients.
A coerced abortion
A young woman identified as “Patient T” was 17 when her parents brought her to Dr. Tiller’s clinic. She did not want an abortion, but her parents gave her no alternative. From the time she arrived at the clinic, Patient T was looking for an escape route. She saw pro-lifers demonstrating outside the clinic, but Dr. Tiller security guards did not allow her the freedom to seek their help:
When I got to the clinic there were tons of protesters outside and security escorted us inside where upon we were checked with a metal detector wand for safety. I read all of the signs outside and heard all the pleas to run to a car to safety. They said that they would take care of me if I didn’t want to do it and that my mother could do nothing about it. I was scared to death and could not run, as security had met us at the car and were ushered in. But I wanted to, and I will forever regret not doing so.
Patient T says:
I kept crying. My mother would see me and tell me to quit and not screw this up. She said it was getting done one way or another.
She was brought in for an ultrasound. Unsurprisingly, the screen was turned away from her so she could not see her baby.
First of all, to confirm pregnancy they did a sonogram. The screen was facing away from me where I could not see it. I remember thinking that I felt unreal. I kept thinking this was a dream, then during the sonogram, I sat up to look at the monitor. The lady was shocked that I did this. I asked her, if there was a heartbeat. She paused then said, “Yes, right there,” and pointed. I asked her how far along I was. I remember her saying but I don’t recall exactly. It seems it was 14 to 16 weeks….
At 14 weeks, a baby has all major structures formed with every body organ in place.
A nurse began prepping Patient T for her abortion. Desperately, the young girl reached out to the nurse:
This was the first time that my mother was not by my side. I immediately told the nurse that I did not want to do this, that I was scared of going home not pregnant, explained past abuse and such, and asked her to help me.
So, Live Action readers. Based on what you know of abortion clinics, did the nurse respect the girl’s right to choose and find her help to carry her baby to term?
Of course not.
She [the nurse] said “If you really don’t want to do this then we can have someone take you to another clinic across town. They will do it against your will if you want.” All of this was happening so fast, they were having me strip and put on a gown, and she was prepping to give me the IV. I had no idea was coming. [sic] I looked at the vacuum they used. I was scared. I just knew she was going to go tell my mom what I had said, then my dad would find out, so through my tears I said, “No, I have to. Do it.”
So Patient T had an abortion she didn’t want.
Third trimester abortion for “fetal anomaly”
Patient C was told by her obstetrician that her baby had serious healthl problems. The doctor pressured her to abort, telling her that the baby was suffering and, if born, would continue to suffer.
I was told that she would endure many surgeries, will probably need a heart transplant, and most likely would die. I was told she currently had congestive heart failure and was suffering at that moment.
I was devastated.
When patient C arrived at the clinic, she was distraught. She says that she was “sobbing uncontrollably” and that she told the baby’s father to take her home; that she’d changed her mind. He refused. When she looked at the picketers outside of the clinic, he held his hands over her eyes.
One woman at the clinic was getting her second third trimester abortion.
Patient C describes the group “counseling” session:
Tiller came in and spoke to the group and answered questions that this was legal, that we were all there to protect our children and our bodies. He seemed proud of himself to actually learn our names. I think he was trying to make us feel like we are people to him but clearly I was not.
I had to sign some forms and a form that stated I read the information and was within the 24-hour waiting period. I had not read that information but my fiancé said he did and that was enough. We were told we needed to pay four thousand dollars and if I wanted to wait it would be an additional five hundred dollars every day and after 26 weeks it would be even more because he needed a second physician’s signature.
Tiller injected digoxin into patient C’s baby’s heart to kill the child. Patient C delivered her dead baby. The next day, she came back to the clinic and held her dead child, in order to say goodbye to her. Dr. Tiller offered this “service” in which he had staff clean up the baby, prepare the child to be viewed, and allow the mother to take pictures of the baby as a “keepsake.” He would then mail the ashes of the incinerated child to the mother.
These services, of course, were only for women whose babies had been wanted and were killed because they were disabled or very sick. Women also came for third trimester abortions simply because they did not want the child. Those babies were incinerated without ceremony and their ashes disposed of. Dr. Tiller had a full-size crematorium in his office where he burned the babies’ bodies.
Patient C says in her own words:
On December 21, I returned to hold my baby girl, name her, and have her baptized. I went into a room and she was wrapped in a blanket and there was a pastor there. I sobbed and sobbed as I held my daughter. She appeared perfect and I felt like I had been tricked and in some sort of nightmare. The pastor sprinkled water and blessed her and he actually cried at my grief. That is the first person in that awful prison that showed humanity. Edna [a clinic worker] was very proud of her “cleanup” of my baby. I was released with some prescriptions for antibiotics and more pain relievers and was told we could drive the nine hours back home in another state that day. I don’t remember much of that drive back.
I didn’t get any follow-up from Tiller’s office until weeks later. A package arrived with my daughter’s ashes and a note saying they were thinking about me. I don’t really know if those are my daughter’s ashes or someone else’s but I put them in an urn and a keepsake box of my horrible experience in Kansas. I never want to return to Kansas. I hate that state. I wish Tiller’s clinic is closed and I wish it was closed in December of ’06. I have so many regrets and I will never forgive myself.
A live birth?
Patient A was 26 weeks pregnant with a healthy baby when she and her husband change their minds about having the child and made an appointment at Dr. Tiller’s clinic. She describes a painful and traumatic experience.
First, she says that she received an ultrasound. She asked to see the picture of her baby. The ultrasound technician refused to show her the screen.
She describes what happened after the ultrasound:
They then gave me the shot into my cervix to insert the laminaria pack, which is the worst pain I have EVER to this day had in my life!! Don’t think that was normal…I was then told to go back to the motel room…
Well I awoke around 7am and from what I can figure was in FULL BLOWN labor. I was having contractions like I did with my other 3 children while in labor, I was feeling an urge to push, which was very odd, but I was in labor and mostly in pain. My husband FINALLY reached a nurse there, (said it was a 24 hour number yet no one answered), and they told me it was MY fault and that I was to be at the clinic at 6am.
She describes what happened when she got to the clinic:
We got to the clinic, they didn’t seem to even care that I was in so much pain. They took their time getting my IV in my arm and finally got me some pain medicine. There were about 5 other girls in this room with me, (like a small waiting room with beds), and they all had already had their abortions done. I was last for that part of the morning, I’m guessing because I was farthest along. They all literally looked like zombies just lying there. It was creepy. I was not allowed to have my husband come back to see me or comfort me.
Finally it was my turn. I was taken in and given a drug to almost knock me out. It’s one where they say you don’t remember things, but I do.
Patient A describes a horrific memory:
I can remember him [Tiller] half delivering my baby, jabbing the scissors into his head and killing him, then just kind of throwing him to the side and finishing up.
Patient A had been drugged into a near stupor. Did she really see Dr. Tiller stab her living baby? Most babies born alive at 26 weeks will survive if given medical care. It’s clear that the baby’s survival would have been the last thing Dr. Tiller would have wanted. It would have opened his clinic up to lawsuits and terrible publicity. Had the baby in fact been born alive, Tiller would have had ample motivation to kill him. And he would not have been the only abortionist to have done so at the clinic.
Patient A suffered complications after her abortion:
The worst part of this ordeal is that ever since having this done, I have had NOTHING but problems with my female parts, I have had cervical dysplasia, which is bad cells in your cervix that have required many painful treatments to try to treat. I have pain with sex, which never happened before, and just have general hard core cramping on a daily basis.
She concludes by saying:
I wanted to share my story. I’m glad you’re getting the word out about how horrible a man he is. I’m not saying I’m not to blame as well since I chose to do this, but I was told it wouldn’t be a bad experience. It would be something that would be easy for me to do. But it’s been nothing but trouble since the day I had it done.
These three women, plus one other, a teenage girl, who described giving birth to her dead baby into the toilet, told their stories to Operation Rescue. How many more horror stories are out there? How many more women are trying to forget traumatic experiences they suffered at Dr. Tiller’s clinic?