The Effect of Abortion on the Unborn

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 

Psalm 138:13-14 

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These children, these embryos, these beings, do not cease to exist with the abortion, but each embryo is one complete person, and, indeed, a complete soul. These children live in the other world and, as you have come to understand, so many millions of children have formed one entire army in the heavens. All of them protest, their innocent blood cries out to God that they were unjustly killed, and that they did not receive Holy Baptism.

-Geronda Ephraim of Arizona

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“Verily, I say unto you, insofar as ye did it to one of the least of these My brethren, ye did it to Me.” 

Matthew 25:40 

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Saline Abortion Survivor Speaks Out: 
Testimony of abortion surviver, Gianna Jessen,
before the Constitution Subcommittee of the House of Judiciary Committee
on April 22, 1996 

My name is Gianna Jessen. I am 19 years of age. I am originally from California, but now reside in Franklin, Tennessee. I am adopted. I have cerebral palsy. My biological mother was 17 years old and seven and one-half months pregnant when she made the decision to have a saline abortion. I am the person she aborted. I lived instead of died.

Fortunately for me the abortionist was not in the clinic when I arrived alive, instead of dead, at 6:00 a.m. on the morning of April 6, 1977. I was early, my death was not expected to be seen until about 9 a.m., when he would probably be arriving for his office hours. I am sure I would not be here today if the abortionist would have been in the clinic as his job is to take life, not sustain it. Some have said I am a “botched abortion,” a result of a job not well done.

There were many witnesses to my entry into this world. My biological mother and other young girls in the clinic, who also awaited the death of their babies, were the first to greet me. I am told this was a hysterical moment. Next was a staff nurse who apparently called emergency medical services and had me transferred to a hospital. I remained in the hospital for almost three months. There was not much hope for me in the beginning. I weighed only two pounds. Today, babies smaller than I was have survived.

A doctor once said I had a great will to live and that I fought for my life. I eventually was able to leave the hospital and be placed in foster care. I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of the abortion.

My foster mother was told that it was doubtful that I would ever crawl or walk. I could not sit up independently. Through the prayers and dedication of my foster mother, and later many other people, I eventually learned to sit up, crawl, then stand. I walked with leg braces and a walker shortly before I turned age four. I was legally adopted by my foster mother’s daughter, Diana De Paul, a few months after I began to walk. The Department of Social Services would not release me any earlier for adoption.

I have continued in physical therapy for my disability, and after a total of four surgeries, I can now walk without assistance. It is not always easy. Sometimes I fall, but I have learned how to fall gracefully after falling for 19 years. I am happy to be alive. I almost died. Every day I thank God for life. I do not consider myself a by-product of conception, a clump of tissue, or any other of the titles given to a child in the womb. I do not consider any person conceived to be any of those things.

I have met other survivors of abortion. They are all thankful for life. Only a few months ago I met another saline abortion survivor. Her name is Sarah. She is two years old. Sarah also has cerebral palsy, but her diagnosis is not good. She is blind and has severe seizures. The abortionist, besides injecting the mother with saline, also injects the baby victims. Sarah was injected in the head. I saw the place on her head where this was done. When I speak, I speak not only for myself, but for the other survivors, like Sarah, and also for those who cannot yet speak ...

Today, a baby is a baby when convenient. It is tissue or otherwise when the time is not right. A baby is a baby when miscarriage takes place at two, three, four months. A baby is called a tissue or clumps of cells when an abortion takes place at two, three, four months. Why is that? I see no difference. What are you seeing? Many close their eyes...

The best thing I can show you to defend life is my life. It has been a great gift. Killing is not the answer to any question or situation. Show me how it is the answer.

There is a quote which is etched into the high ceilings of one of our state’s capitol buildings. The quote says, “Whatever is morally wrong, is not politically correct.” Abortion is morally wrong. Our country is shedding the blood of the innocent. America is killing its future.

All life is valuable. All life is a gift from our Creator. We must receive and cherish the gifts we are given. We must honor the right to life.

source:  transcribed from recorded video of this speech which is posted on youTube. 
Gianna Jessen's autobiography can be read in her book entitled: Aborted and Lived to Tell About It.

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The Ultrasound - My First Viewing of a Suction Abortion 
by Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood clinic director 

In the following excerpt, Abby Johnson relates her first ultrasound viewing of a suction abortion at which time she was director of the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas. At that time, she had been with Planned Parenthood for eight years and had been director of the clinic for two years, but had never before been called into the exam room to assist the medical team during an abortion. The following episode took place when a visiting abortionist to her clinic, who preferred to do only ultra-sound guided abortions, called on Abby to assist with the ultrasound machine during a suction abortion. 

I took the ultrasound probe in my hand and adjusted the settings on the machine. I had never seen an ultrasound guided abortion before, but I had occasionally performed diagnostic ultrasounds for clients to confirm pregnancies and estimate how far along they were. I applied lubricant to the patient's belly, then maneuvered the ultrasound probe until her uterus was displayed on the screen and adjusted the probe's position to capture the image of the fetus. I could see the entire perfect profile of a baby. The detail startled me. I could clearly see the profile of the head, both arms, legs, and even tiny fingers and toes. Perfect.

“Thirteen weeks,” I heard the nurse say after taking measurements to determine the fetus's age.

“Okay,” the doctor said, looking at me, “just hold the probe in place during the procedure so that I can see what I'm doing.”

My eyes still glued to the image of this perfectly formed baby, I watched as a new image entered the video screen. The cannula – a straw shaped instrument attached to the end of the suction tube – had been inserted into the uterus and was nearing the baby's side. It looked like an invader on the screen, out of place. Wrong. It just looked wrong.

My heart sped up. Time slowed. I didn't want to look, but I didn't want to stop looking either. I couldn't not watch. I was horrified, but fascinated at the same time, like a gawker slowing as he drives past some horrific automobile wreck – not wanting to see a mangled body, but looking all the same.

My eyes flew to the patient's face; tears flowed from the corners of her eyes.

“It's almost over,” I whispered. I wanted to stay focused on her, but my eyes shot back to the image on the screen.

At first, the baby didn't seem aware of the cannula. It gently probed the baby's side, and for a quick second I felt relief. Of course, I thought, The fetus doesn't feel pain. I had reassured countless women of this as I'd been taught by Planned Parenthood. The fetal tissue feels nothing as it is removed. My head was working hard to control my responses, but I couldn't shake the inner disquiet that was quickly mounting to horror as I watched the screen.

The next movement was the sudden jerk of a tiny foot as the baby started kicking, as if trying to move away from the probing invader. As the cannula pressed in, the baby began struggling to turn and twist away. It seemed clear to me that the fetus could feel the cannula and did not like what it was feeling. And then the doctor's voice broke through, startling me.

“Beam me up, Scotty,” he lightheartedly said to the nurse. He was telling her to turn on the suction – in an abortion, the suction isn't turned on until the doctor feels he has the cannula in exactly the right place.

I had a sudden urge to yell, “Stop!” To shake the woman and say, “Look at what is happening to your baby! Wake up! Hurry! Stop them!”

But even as I thought those words, I looked at my own hand holding the probe. I was one of “them” performing this act. My eyes shot back to the screen again. The cannula was already being rotated by the doctor, and now I could see the tiny body violently twisting with it. For the briefest moment it looked as if the baby was being wrung like a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed. And then the little body crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula before my eyes. The last thing I saw was the tiny, perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube, and then everything was gone. And the uterus was empty. Totally empty.

I was frozen in disbelief. Without realizing it, I let go of the probe. I could feel my heart pounding – pounding so hard my neck throbbed. I tried to get a deep breath, but I couldn't seem to breathe in or out. I still starred at the screen even though it was black now. I felt too stunned and shaken to move. And it hit me like a lightening bolt: That was a human baby – fighting for life! A battle that was lost in the blink of an eye.

source: Unplanned, by Abby Johnson

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Abortion Survivor had Reoccurring Dreams Throughout Childhood
of the Abortion Attempt on her Life

If you ever want to know what a miracle looks like, just look at me. Hi, my name is Carrie Fischer, and I would like to share my story with you. Abortion almost claimed my life… BUT THANK GOD!!! Miracle of all miracles, I survived an attempted abortion on my life…in other words, I am an abortion survivor!! My mother already had my two older siblings when she dated my birth father. One day she realized she was pregnant and told him. He told her he wanted nothing to do with the baby and walked out of the relationship. My mother was devastated and didn’t know what to do. She felt hopeless and abandoned and thought abortion was her only option. She went to a clinic and had an abortion procedure performed. She would soon find that the abortion had failed and that she was still pregnant. Then, on June 10th, 1969, I was born.

I would not learn about the abortion until I was in my teens, but I remember as a little girl, the recurring dreams I had of a baby in the womb fighting for its life. I could hear the cries and screams of this baby, and it frightened me. I had no idea that the baby I was dreaming about was me. The dreams continued for several years until my grandmother told me one day that my mother had tried to kill me, and that my birth father didn’t want me. I just couldn’t help but wonder what she was talking about. Why would my own mother want to kill me? I finally sat her down and asked her about all this, and mom started crying, and that’s when she explained to me about my birth father and the abortion.

-Carrie Holland-Fischer

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Abortion Methods Described

Suction Abortion: Used during the first three months of pregnancy - A suction tube (27 times stronger than a home vacuum cleaner) is inserted into the womb. The powerful suction tears the baby apart limb from limb and sucks it from the womb along with the placenta. The baby's remains are deposited into an attached waste bottle.

Dilation and Curettage (D&C): Used at the end of the third month of pregnancy (approximately 12 weeks) - The cervix is dialated, ring forceps are inserted into the womb and the baby is extracted piece by piece. Then a curette (a sharp knife in a loop shape) is inserted and used to scrape away any of the baby or the placenta that remains. Profuse bleeding follows.

Dilation and Extraction (D&E): Used after 13 weeks - The cervix is dialated and the unborn child is dismembered with plier-like forceps. Force is needed to pull the baby apart. The instrument is used to seize a leg or other part of the body and then, with a twisting motion, tear it from the baby's body. The baby's spine is snapped and the skull crushed. After the baby parts are removed, they are reassembled outside the womb to be sure all are removed. Frequently baby parts are left inside the mother's womb. This can cause serious complications and sometimes death.

Inter-cardiac injections: Poison is injected into the chest or heart of the fetus via a long needle inserted through the mother’s abdomen. The dead baby is absorbed. Sometimes this results in the loss of all the babies when using this method for "pregnancy reduction" with multi-fetal pregnancies.

Saline amniocentesis: Used after 16 weeks - A concentrated salt solution is injected with an amniocenteses needle into the amniotic fluid. The baby breathes and swallows it and dies over an hour later of acute salt poisoning. The mother then delivers a dead burned baby. Use has declined because of dangers for the mother and sometimes the baby survives.

Prostaglandin/Induced-Labor Abortion: Used late-term - Prostaglandin is injected into the amniotic sac causing premature labor and delivery of a dead baby.

Chemical Abortions: The Pill, RU-486, methotrexate, Norplant, IUD’s, prostaglandin’s, and Depo Provera all cause early abortions. You may not be aware of the fact that the Pill has a "back up" abortifacient action that works to kill a baby very early in its development if ovulation occurs and conception takes place. With some of the new "mini-pills," scientific research shows that ovulation takes place in 67-81% of the women who use these "birth control pills."

Dr. Ronald Chez, a scientist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), publicly stated that the new Pills of today, with their lower estrogen dose, allow ovulation up to 50% of the time! It is estimated that Chemical "Contraceptives" cause between 7 to 12 million early abortions each year in America (Source: Study of Abortion Deaths Ad Hoc Commission 1995). Most women using the Pill (and other "birth control" methods listed above) do not know they can become pregnant and have early abortions.

Partial-Birth Abortion (also called D&X Abortions): Partial-Birth Abortions are used from the 4th month through the end of the 9th month of pregnancy. These late-term abortions are regularly used to kill healthy babies that pose no danger or threat to their mother.

For this abortion, the abortionist uses ultrasound to locate the unborn baby's legs. Forceps are then used to pull the baby's legs through the birth canal, delivering the baby feet first, except for the head. Scissors are then used to puncture the base of the back of the head. A suction device is then inserted to suction out the baby's brain so the skull will easily collapse. The dead baby is then removed.

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, along with hundreds of physicians and the Physicians' Ad Hoc Coalition for Truth (PHACT) said that this "procedure" is never necessary to save the life of the mother.

Dr. Nancy Romer, FACOG, Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Miami Valley Hospital in Ohio said, "People deserve to know that the partial-birth abortion is never medically indicated either to save the health of a woman or preserve her future fertility."

Dr. Martin Haskell, an abortionist who specializes in these late-term abortions, has admitted to performing over 1,000 of these abortions. He stated in a recorded interview with the American Medical News (the official newspaper of the AMA) that: "In my particular case, probably 20% (of these procedures) are for genetic reasons. And the other 80% are purely elective." That means in 80% (that's over 800 babies) there was no health risk for the mother and the baby had no handicaps.

It has been documented that thousands of these abortions are performed each year. A New Jersey newspaper reporter with the Bergen County Record discovered and reported that 1,500 babies are killed each year by partial-birth abortion at one New Jersey "Hospital" alone.

It's hard to know exactly how many of these abortions are performed each year, but we do know that the Centers for Disease Control reported there are over 17,000 abortions performed each year on babies older than 4 1/2 months gestation. Whether it's partial-birth abortion, or some other barbaric method, it's a tragic holocaust.


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Jill Stanek's Story

My name is Jill Stanek. In 1999, I discovered that Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, where I worked as a labor and delivery nurse, was leaving babies who survived induced labor abortions to die in the soiled utility room.

I personally held one of these infants 45 minutes until he gasped his last breath.

When I explained my experience to hospital administrators, they refused to stop their horrific treatment of these infants.

After going public, my story immediately grabbed the attention of legislators and media, which resulted in the introduction of the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

Christ Hospital fired me in August 2001 for reasons related to my public statements.

I testified before Barack Obama in the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee and Health and Human Services Committee as well as the US House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.

On August 5, 2002, I joined President George W. Bush for his signing of the federal version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.

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Confession of a Serbian Abortionist 
interview with Dr. Stoyan Anasevich, former abortionist 

Dr. Stoyan Antasevich is the only Serbian gynecologist who has publicly declared that abortion is murder. He has further declared that responsibility for this murder is attributed to both the mother as well as the gynecologist who performs the abortion. Dr. Antasevich has recently published a book (in Serbian), titled The Sanctity of Life. It is a collection of articles on the treacherous and horrible crime of infanticide within the womb of the mother. He gave an interview that was published within the pages of the Serbian periodical Orthodoxy. The content of this interview is quite shocking due to its subject matter as well as Dr. Antasevich's sincerity and frankness. A more fitting name for this interview would have been “A Public Confession and Repentance.” We provide a portion of this valuable and precious testimony.

QUESTION: Which was the specific moment when you realized that by performing an abortion, you are murdering a living human being?

ANSWER: I am a medical doctor, and as such I have full realization of all my past actions as they relate to my being an abortionist. I am truly guilty of all of the associated horrible atrocities that I committed as a “gynecologist.” I thus feel obliged to serve as a witness, to reveal, awaken, and warn others that willful interruption of any pregnancy constitutes essentially murder of the defenseless, unborn child. Among my many responsibilities as a “gynecologist,” I also had the unfortunate task of performing abortions, an activity that is grievously considered 100% legal. Back then, I had no concept that my actions were equivalent to murder; now, however, I have full knowledge and realization that my sinful acts before God are immense! In the university, I was taught that a child is alive only after it is born, after its first cry. Prior to this moment, we were all taught and truly believed that it is a mere “organ” within the mother’s body; it is “no different” than a tooth, or a kidney, or the outgrowth of an appendix. I performed up to 62,000 abortions! You could say that I am responsible for the murder of enough people to populate a whole city. Also, keep in mind that Belgrade has several hospitals and many private clinics, where doctors such as me perform abortions on a daily basis. In the latter part of the 1980’s ultrasound technology was introduced, which along with its diagnostic ability resulted in many “surprises,” at least for me. For the first time, I saw the fetus within the mother’s womb; I observed its heartbeat, movements, and opening of its mouth; for larger fetuses, I saw them sucking their thumbs. The fetus has the obvious ability to sense, think, and react to its environment, as it was made apparent by the deep ultrasound waves. I also realized that this same fetus—this obviously living, human being—within the four to five minutes that it takes to perform an abortion, ended up butchered on the abortionist’s table, right next to his surgical tools.

QUESTION: When did you stop performing abortions?

ANSWER: What I am about to describe to you is quite troublesome and extremely painful; it is no longer possible for any doctor or any person to continue sugar-coating or even embellishing and beautifying something which is so horrible and frightful. To my extreme sorrow, misfortune, and unhappiness, in 1988, I was performing an abortion on a four-and-a-half month old fetus. During that “procedure”, whose details I am and will remain unable to describe without becoming emotional and extremely disturbed, I was horrified to discover the murderer within me. A procedure, which should have been rather routine for me and my staff, became a true nightmare... With the first movement of the “crusher”, the surgical instrument that literally butchers the baby, I retrieved its little hand and placed it on my table. The end of the hand, where its nerves were exposed, touched a small cotton ball with iodine and immediately began to contract and move! Through my next movement I removed a foot, and the same thing happened: the foot began to contract and tremble! I had never had this happen to me before. I attempted to capture its heart, which I could feel through my instruments still beating rapidly at first, and then slower and slower...until it finally stopped. It was during that exact moment that I realized that I had just murdered a full human being! To make matters worse, the woman was bleeding profusely... I started to pray: “Lord, please help me to save this woman’s life and hold me and me alone accountable. Punish me!” From that day, I never again performed another abortion. And it so happened that my “newly” discovered knowledge— or rather, “realization”—coincides with the Church’s position, that the fetus is truly alive and a human being from the exact instant of its conception—in other words, the moment of the egg’s fertilization. I must emphatically state and inform everybody that murder of the child within the mother’s womb is a graver sin than “ordinary” murder; this is because the fetus within the mother’s womb is helpless and fully unable to defend itself, even though it is not guilty of any offense whatsoever. The fetus may be the only human being with no offense, since it has not even been born yet...

QUESTION: How are the aborted fetuses being utilized? The question also applies to fetuses that were fertilized in the laboratory, outside of the mother’s womb. What is the eventual fate of the bodily members or the microscopic dead fetuses?

ANSWER: Yes, it is a good and frequently posed question: what do hospitals and clinics do with the over-abundance of the fetus body parts? In our country (Serbia) there are neither public announcements nor any information disseminated on this question. There exist limited capabilities at best, in our country, as well as the rest of the world, to utilize fetuses in the pharmaceutical industry; it is apparently quite expensive to do this. Furthermore, I am unaware of any plans, conditions, or circumstances that would change that. For the medical industry, the aborted fetuses are truly considered an “outcast” or “rejected” material. They are placed within black sacks, along with organs or organic matter from various operations that are performed on adults, and disposed accordingly within the confines of environmental law—burned or... Bottom line, even after its murder, the fetus is still not treated with any amount of human decency or respect. I contend that as a society, we are obligated to protect the child medically, ethically, legally, and through solid, enforceable laws. The unborn child ought to have and must be granted the same rights as an adult. That child is an equal member of our society and our obligation extends to all of its members.

This interview continues with questions on birth control and in-vitro fertilization, and can be read in Chapter 13 on Bioethics.

source:  Orthodox Heritage, April 2006, volume 4, issue 4, pages 11-12 (
From the Greek Orthodox publication “St. Philotheos of Paros” («Ἅγιος Φιλόθεος τῆς Πάρου»), Jan.-April 2006 issue, pp. 96-100 (translated from the Greek by the staff of the Greek Orthodox Brotherhood of St. Poimen).

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Registered Nurse Testifies before U.S. Congress
Regarding Partial Birth Abortions

Excerpted from statement of Brenda Shaver, R.N., before the subcommittee on the Constitution Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives Hearing on the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act (HR 1833), 21 March, 1996.

I stood at a doctor's side as he performed the partial birth abortion procedure, and what I saw is branded forever on my mind. On the ultrasound screen, I could see the heart beating... Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby's legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby's body and the arms – everything but the head. The doctor kept the baby's head just inside the uterus. The baby's little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors through the back of his head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startled reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall. The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening and sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby was completely limp. Dr. Haskell delivered the baby's head. He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw that baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he used. I saw the baby move in the pan. I asked another nurse and she said it was just 'reflexes.' I have been a nurse for a long time and I have seen a lot of death – people maimed in auto accidents, gun shot wounds, you name it. I have seen surgical procedures of every sort. But in all my professional years, I never witnessed anything like this.

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Doctors On Fetal Pain

A wealth of anatomical, behavioral and physiological evidence shows that the developing human fetus is capable of experiencing tremendous pain by 20 weeks post-fertilization.


Pain receptors are present throughout the unborn child’s entire body by no later than 16 weeks after fertilization, and nerves link these receptors to the brain’s thalamus and subcortical plate by no later than 20 weeks. For unborn children, says Dr. Paul Ranalli, a neurologist at the University of Toronto, 20 weeks is a “uniquely vulnerable time, since the pain system is fully established, yet the higher level pain-modifying system has barely begun to develop.” As a result, unborn babies at this age probably feel pain more intensely than adults.


By 8 weeks after fertilization, the unborn child reacts to touch. By 20 weeks post-fertilization, the unborn child reacts to stimuli that would be recognized as painful if applied to an adult human—for example, by recoiling. Surgeons entering the womb to perform corrective procedures on unborn children have seen those babies flinch, jerk and recoil from sharp objects and incisions. In addition, ultrasound technology shows that unborn babies at 20 weeks and earlier react physically to outside stimuli such as sound, light and touch.


The application of painful stimuli is associated with significant increases in the unborn child’s stress hormones. During fetal surgery, anesthesia is routinely administered to the unborn baby and is associated with a decrease in stress hormones compared to their level when painful stimuli is applied without such anesthesia.

Abortion at 20 weeks

Despite the fetus’s advanced development at 20 weeks, the following abortion procedures are used:

Dilation and Evacuation (D&E): Sharp-edged instruments are used to grasp, twist, and tear the baby’s body into pieces. This continues until the child’s entire body is removed from the womb. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy describes the procedure saying, “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.”

Digoxin abortion: A drug called digoxin is injected directly into the baby’s heart, giving the fetus a fatal heart attack. The dead baby is then removed from his or her mother by dismemberment.

Saline abortion: Salt water is injected into the womb through the mother’s abdomen. The fetus swallows this fluid, is poisoned, and dies in a process that sometimes takes 24 hours.

Partial-birth abortion (D&X): The baby is delivered feet first, up to the head, which is then punctured at the base of the skull. The brain is then suctioned out, killing the child. (A federal ban on this method was upheld in 2007.)


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\In October of 1991 Ana Rosa Rodriguez survives a third-trimester abortion attempt by New York City abortionist Abu Hayat, but is born with one arm severed at the shoulder.  Abortionist Abu Hayat is convicted of assault and illegal abortion for his attempt to kill Ana Rosa Rodriguez by abortion because third-trimester abortions were illegal at the time of Ana's birth.

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Court Testimony of Dr. Leroy Carhart, M.D.,
specialist in partial-birth abortion 

In 1999 it was discovered that the University of Nebraska Medical Center was conducting experiments using brain tissue from children aborted by Dr. Leroy Carhart, a specialist in the D & X abortion technique (partial-birth abortion). In December the Nebraska University Regents board met to discuss the situation. When a board member tried to prevent someone from reading Dr. Leroy Carhart's testimony, it was decided that since Dr. Carhart was a specialist in the area perfectly suited for collecting live brain tissue, his testimony concerning his specialty was relevant to the discussion. Someone then read to the board Dr. Leroy Carhart's court statement, given in July 1997. Testifying under oath, Carhart spoke of procedures which, had they been described by a prolife advocate, would have been considered outrageous. The following is an excerpt from Dr. Leroy Carhart's July 1997 court testimony, with questions from attorney and judge.

Question: Are there times when you don't remove the fetus intact?

Carhart: Yes, sir.

Question: Can you tell me about that – when that occurs?

Carhart: That occurs when the tissue fragments, or frequently when you rupture the membranes. An arm will spontaneously prolapse through the os... we talk about the forehead or the skull being first. We talked about the feet being first, but I think in probably the great majority of terminations, it's what they would call a transverse lie; so really you're looking at a side profile of a curved fetus. When the patient's uterus is all ready starting to contract, and they are starting to miscarry, when you rupture the waters, usually something prolapses through the uterine, through the cervical os, not always, but very often an extremity will.

Question: What do you do then?

Carhart: My normal course would be to dismember that extremity and then go back and try to take the fetus out either foot or skull first, whatever end I can get to first.

Question: How do you go about dismembering that extremity?

Carhart: Just traction and rotation, grasping the portion that you can get a hold of which would be usually somewhere up the shaft of the exposed portion of the fetus, pulling down on it through the os, using the internal os as your counter traction and rotating to dismember the shoulder or hip or whatever it would be. Sometimes you will get one leg and you can't get the other leg out.

Question: In that situation... are you... when you pull on the arm and remove it, is the fetus still alive?

Carhart: Yes.

Question: Do you consider an arm, for example, to be a substantial portion of the fetus?

Carhart: In the way I read it, I think if I lost my arm, that would be a substantial loss to me. I think I would have to interpret it that way.

Question: And what happens next after you remove the arm? You then try to remove the rest of the fetus?

Carhart: Then I would go back and attempt to either bring the feet down or bring the skull down, or even sometimes you bring the other arm down and remove that also, and then get the feet down.

Question: At what point is the fetus... does the fetus die during that process?

Carhart: I don't really know. I know that the fetus is alive during the process most of the time because I can see the fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound.

The Court: Council, for what it's worth, it still is unclear to me with regard to the intact D & E when the fetal demise occurs. [note: “intact D & E” is another name for “D & X” or “partial birth abortion”]

Question: Okay, I will try to clarify that. In the procedure of an intact D & E where you would start foot first, with the situation where the fetus is presented feet first, tell me how you are able to get the feet out first.

Carhart: Under ultrasound, you can see the extremities. You know what is what. You know what the foot is, you know what the arm is, you know what the skull is. By grabbing the feet and pulling down on it, or by grabbing a knee and pulling down on it, usually you can get one leg out, get the other leg out, and bring the fetus out. I don't know where this... all the controversy about rotating the fetus comes from. I don't attempt to do that – just attempt to bring out whatever is the proximal portion of the fetus.

Question: At the time that you bring out the feet, in this example, is the fetus still alive?

Carhart: Yes.

Question: Then what's the next step you do?

Carhart: I didn't mention it. I should. I usually attempt to grasp the cord first and divide the cord, if I can do that.

Question: What is the cord?

Carhart: The cord is the structure that transports the blood, both arterial and venous, from the fetus to the back of the fetus, and it gives the fetus its only source of oxygen, so that if you can divide the cord, the fetus will eventually die, but whether this takes five minutes or fifteen minutes and when that occurs, I don't think anyone really knows.

Question: Are there situations where you don't divide the cord?

Carhart: There are situations when I can't.

Question: What are those?

Carhart: I just can't get to the cord. It's either high above the fetus and structures where you can't reach up that far. The instruments are only eleven inches long.

Question: Let's take the situation where you haven't divided the cord because you couldn't, and you have begun to remove a living fetus feet first. What happens next after you have gotten the feet removed?

Carhart: We remove the feet and continue with traction on the feet until the abdomen and thorax come through the cavity. At that point, I would try... you have to bring the shoulders down, but you can get enough of them outside, you can do this with your finger outside of the uterus, and then at that point the fetal... the base of the fetal skull is usually in the cervical canal.

Question: What do you do next?

Carhart: And you can reach that, and that's where you would rupture the fetal skull to some extent and aspirate the contents out.

Question: At what point in that process does the fetal demise occur between the initial remove... removal of the feet or legs and the crushing of the skull, or – I'm sorry – the decompressing of the skull?

Carhart: Well, you know, again, this is where I'm not sure what fetal demise is. I mean, I honestly have to share your concern, your Honor. You can remove the cranial contents and the fetus will still have a heartbeat for several seconds or several minutes: so is the fetus alive? I would have to say probably, although I don't think it has any brain function, so its brain dead at that point.

Question: So the brain death might occur when you begin suctioning out of the cranium?

Carhart: I think brain death would occur because the suctioning to remove contents is only two or three seconds, so somewhere in that period of time, obviously not when you penetrate the skull, because people get shot in the head and they don't die immediately from that, if they are going to die at all, so that probably is not sufficient to kill the fetus, but I think removing the brain contents eventually will.

source: ProLife Answers to ProChoice Arguments, by Randy Alcorn, 2000, pages 208-211

* * * * * * *

The Silent Scream:
transcript of Dr. Bernard Nathanson's 1984 Documentary Film 

The Silent Scream is a documentary presentation by Dr. Bernard Nathanson, M.D. in 1984. In this film, Dr. Nathanson shows a film recording of an ultrasound view of an abortion. Dr. Nathanson says this about the ultrasound recording: "This film was made at an abortion clinic. The physician who performed the abortion was a young man, who was working in two different abortion clinics at the time. He had already done close to 10,000 abortions in his young life. When he was asked to attend the editing session to review the film, he was so appalled at what he had done that he left the room momentarily, came back to finish the editing but never again did another abortion.” The young abortionist was actually Dr. Nathanson himself, and after his 'conversion' from abortionist to Pro-Life advocate, he produced The Silent Scream. This is the film referred to by Geronda Ephraim in his homily “The Final Hit” in Chapter 8 of this book.

An American Portrait Films Educational Presentation: The Silent Scream

"Now we can discern the chilling silent scream, on the face of this child, who is now facing eminent extinction."

"My Name is Dr. Bernard M. Nathanson. I am a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist. I have had a passing experience in matters of abortion. Now, when I was a medical student in 1949, we had no such science as Fetology. We were taught that the unborn child, the fetus, was something in the uterus. But it was really an article of faith as to whether or not it was a human being. And whether or not that human being had any unique personal qualities. But the whole story has changed since the 1970's. It was at that time that the science of Fetology exploded in the medical community. It exploded by means of the introduction of great new medical technologies, such as ultrasound imaging, fetology, electronic fetal heart monitoring, hysteroscopy, radio immunochemistry and a host of other dazzling technologies which today constitute in fact the corpus of the science of Fetology. "Real time ultrasound ... that is imaging of the child in motion ... has been available as a clinical tool since 1967."

The room for the ultrasound examination consists of a conventional examining table as well as the ultrasound imagining device itself...the bulky appearing machine here. Now, the pregnant women is position on the table for the examination. The abdomen is suitably draped. The head of the instrument is now placed over the uterus. This device in turn consists basically of a crystal which sends out pulsing, high frequency sound waves in a transducer which collects the echoes of these waves. The echoes are then collated by a computer which in turn assembles them into a recognizable image of the living, unborn child."

"Then the child can be imaged by either a linear scan which is useful for later pregnancies or a sector scan, which is more accurate for delineating the child in a early pregnancy such as this one. The image reconstructed from the echo pattern is capable of truly amazing resolution. And so discerning is this instrument that the tiny valves of the heart can be studied as they snap open and shut during the contractions of the heart. Mothers and fathers for the first time have been afforded a view of their unborn child by this spectacular technologies. And those technologies... those apparatuses... those machines that we now use every day, have convinced us that beyond question the unborn child is simply another human being, another member of the human community...indistinguishable in every way from any of us."

"Now for the first time, we have the technology to see abortion from the victims vantage point. Ultrasound imaging has allowed us to see this. And so for the first time, we are going to watch a child being torn apart, dismembered, disarticulated, crushed and destroyed by the unfeeling, steel instruments of the abortionist."

"What we are looking at here is a depiction of the development of the child in its prenatal state of life from virtually the very beginnings to its end of that stage. We have here the child at four weeks, eight weeks, at twelve weeks, at sixteen weeks, eighteen weeks, twenty weeks and at twenty eight weeks."

"As you can see there is no revolutionary or dramatic change in the form or in the substance of this person throughout the developmental stages. Now, this little person at twelve weeks is a fully formed, absolutely, identifiable human being."

"He has had brain waves for at least six weeks. His heart has been functioning for perhaps eight weeks. And all the rest of his human functions are indistinguishable from any of ours."

"Now this book is William's Obstetrics, sixteenth addition, written in 1980. It is a standard textbook, used throughout every medical school in the United States. The preference of this book, published in 1980, cautions us as follows: "Happily we have, we have entered an era in which the fetus, can be rightfully considered and treated as our second patient. Who would have dreamed--even a few years ago-- that we could serve the fetus as a physician."

"Traditional medical ethics and precepts command us that we must not destroy our patients, that we are pledged to preserve their lives. Now let's see what abortion does to this our second patient. "We have then the 12 weeks unborn child in the uterus, the uterus being this muscle that surrounds the child. When the abortionist commences the procedure, he will first place this instrument which is know as a speculum into the women's vagina and will then open it in order to visualize the cervix and the neck of the womb here. Having visualized the cervix, the abortionist then takes this instrument, which is know as the tenacculum and fastens it securely through the speculum onto the cervix in this manner, clamping shut the tenacculum and getting a firm grasp on the cervix."

"The next instrument that is brought into play is the sound. This instrument is then introduced into the uterus and it is then removed. The abortionist having ascertained exactly how deep and how large the uterus is. And this set of dilators, these metallic curved instruments are used to effect the opening of the cervix in order to introduce finally the abortion instruments themselves."

"The abortionist first introduces the most slender of these instruments to dilate the cervix, turns the instrument around to a slightly larger end introduces that end and then works his way through the various graduated, increasingly larger ends of this dilating instrument."

"He will then takes the instrument known as the suction apparatus which is opened. It is in a sterile container, prior to the actual use of the instrument and then this will be inserted through the dilated cervix, up into the uterus and will then puncture the sack surrounding the child, allowing the amniotic fluid to escape. The instrument then will come into direct contact with the child and with a pressure of approximately 55 or so millimeters of mercury, applied to the end of this instrument as it is attached to a long, thick suction tubing at this end and to the abortion instrumentation, that is the machine, at the other end, the suction suction tip will then begin to tear the child apart."

"The pieces of the body are torn away. One by one until finally all that remains are the shards of the body and the heads itself. The head will be too large to come through this instrument itself. This will necessitate the introduction of this instrument called a polyp forceps into the uterus through the already dilated cervix and the abortionist will then attempt to grasp the free floating head of the child in the uterus between the rings of this instrument. The head is then crushed, the contents of the head removed, and finally the bones of the head, and the abortion is then effectively at an end."

"We have seen what the 12 week child appears like on the ultrasound screen. And we have also seen the mechanics, the actual steps, of the 12 week abortion. Now for the first time, we are going to see a film, made with real time ultrasound imaging of a twelve week abortion. Bear in mind, that this is not an unusual instance, a late abortion. This is one of the 4,000 or so a day, done every day in the United States."

"This film was made at an abortion clinic. The physician who performed the abortion was a young man, who was working in two different abortion clinics at the time. He had already done close to 10,000 abortions in his young life. When he was asked to attend the editing session to review the film, he was so appalled at what he had done that he left the room momentarily, came back to finish the editing but never again did another abortion. The young woman who used the real time ultrasound camera, who was a feminist and a strong proabortionist, but she too was so moved by what she saw at the editing session, that she never again discussed the subject of abortion."

"Now let's turn to the actual film itself. We are now looking at a sector scan of a real time ultrasound imaging of a 12 week, unborn child. The child is oriented in this direction. You are looking now at the head of the child... here... the body of the child... here.. and this image is the child's hand approaching its mouth. Looking a little more closely at the child, we can discern, the eye or the orbit of the eye, here, the nose of the child, here... and the mouth of the child... here.. and we can even look at the ventricle of the brain, here. This is a fluid filled space in the brain. We see the body of the child here with the ribs in silhouette ... and the spine of the child at the back."

"This rather granular area of tissue at the top of the sector appears to be the placenta or afterbirth of the child. And we can begin to see down here, the thighs, the lower extremities of the child coming off the child in this manner. Now, we see the heart beating, here in the child's chest, The heart is beating at the rate of approximately 140 beats a minute. And we can see the child moving rather serenely, in the uterus. One can see it shifting position from time to time. It is still orientated in this manner and the mouth is receiving the thumb of the child. The child again is moving quietly in its sanctuary."

"Now this shadow that we are seeing, down at the bottom of the screen is the suction tip. We have colored the suction tip deliberately in order that you can discern it more clearly. The abortionist has now dilated the cervix and is now inserting this suction tip which you can see moving back and forth across the screen. You will note as the suction tip which is now over here, moves towards the child, the child will rear away from it and undergo much more violent and much more agitated movements. The child will move in a much more purposeful manner. Its orientation changes from to time. It is again rearing here. Now the suction tip has not actually touched the child, even though the child is extremely agitated and moving in a much more violent manner."

"The child has now moved back to the profile view and the suction tip is flashing across the screen. The child's mouth is now open... and we will see that in a freeze frame in a moment... but this suction tip which you can see moving violently back and forth on the bottom of the screen is the lethal instrument which will ultimately tear apart and destroy the child. It is only after the fluid has been broken, the sack has been disrupted, that the tip will actually come against the child. We can see the tip move back and forth as the abortionist seeks the child's body. Once again we can see the child's wide mouth open in a Silent Scream in this particular freeze frame. This is the silent scream of a child threatened eminently with extinction."

"Now the child's heart rate has speeded up dramatically. And the child's movements are violent at this point. It does sense aggression in its sanctuary. It is moving away can see it moving to the left side of the an attempt ... a pathetic attempt to escape the inextricable instruments which the abortionist is using to extinguish its life.

"Now the heart has again perceptibly speeded up. We can time this at approximately 200 beats per minute. There is no question that this child now senses the most mortal danger imaginable. The membrane has now has been punctured and the fluid has escaped. One no longer sees that large reservoir of fluid surrounding the child. But once the fluid, has been drained off, the suction tip has been firmly clapped to the child's body and the child is being pulled in a downward direction by the abortionist's suction tip with the negative pressure applied to it. And the body is being torn systematically from the head ... the head of the child being in this direction here... I am now outlining the child's head here."

"The lower extremities have already been lost and we see the suction tip flashing from time to time within the screen as a typhoon-like series of echoes and the child is being tugged back and forth as the suction tip has now been applied to the body and the abortionist is exerting his traction on the child in this manner. The child's head is still discernable here. The body is no longer discernable. The body has been torn from the head. What we see now is the head itself.... with what is called the midline echo of the head and the spiccuals or fragments of bone."

"Now this head which I am outlining here on this 12 week child, is simply too large to be pulled in one piece out of the uterus. The abortionist is going to have to employ this instrument, the polyp forceps in an attempt to grab the head. The abortionist will attempt to crush the head with this instrument in this manner and remove the head piece meal from the uterus."

"The abortionist and the anesthesiologist have a secret language between them which shields them for the grisly reality of what is going on. The abortionist and the anesthesiologist together refer to the head of this child as number one and the anesthesiologist will inquire of the abortionist, "Is number one out yet? Are we finished."

"We now see intermittently the shanks or blades of this instrument appearing in this image here. The head tends to float freely in the uterus. Here are the shanks or blades of the instruments here...and the head is now being locked on by this polyp forceps and the head is being pulled down towards the cervix. Now all we see remaining are simply the shards, the remaining fragments, the pieces of tissue that document that there once was a living, defenseless, a tiny human being here."

"Considering the impact of abortion on our society, let's look at some figures as to what has actually happened in the last 20 years. We have reliable figures indicating that in 1963.. long before abortion became legalized by the infamous Roe v. Wade Decision. There were approximately 100,000 illegal abortions done annually in the United States. And very few legal abortions. In 1973 the first year in which the Roe v. Wade Decision prevailed in this country, there was 750,000 abortions done. And in 1983 the last year in which we have full and complete figures, there were 1.5 million abortions. Now let's look at abortion as an industry."

"Last year [1983] there were 1.5 million abortions done in this country. And the average cost of an abortion in this country is about $300 to $400 per operation. This has created an industry in this country of about $500,000,000 to $600,000,000 per year which would qualify to be on the Fortune 500 list of largest industries in the world."

"Ninety percent of these monies are going into the pockets of the physicians and the remainder into the pockets of the entrepreneurs, who operate these clinics. Now we have had some recent investigations on the question of these clinics. Clinics are being franchised out like fast food services across this country."

"We know there are chains of them in California and through the southwest and even through the southeast of the United States. And there is some evidence that increasingly these clinics are falling into the hands of the mob...of the crime syndicate here in the United States and that this money .... abortion money is tainted...not only by the blood of the innocent victims of abortion but also by dark hand of the crime syndicate in the United States."

"In discussing abortion we must also understand that the unborn child is not the only victim. Women themselves are victims, just as the unborn children are. Women have not been told the true nature of the unborn child. They have not been shown the true facts of what an abortion truly is. Women in increasing numbers...hundreds...thousands...and even tens of thousands have had their wombs perforated, infected, destroyed. Women have been sterilized, castrated, all as a result which they have had no true knowledge. This film and other films which may follow like it, must be a part of the informed consent for any woman before she submits herself to a procedure of this sort."

"I accuse the National Abortion Rights Action League, I accuse Planned Parenthood and all its co-conspirators in the abortion industry of a consistent conspiracy of silence of keeping women in the dark with respect to the true nature of abortion. And I challenge all those purveyors of abortion to show this real time video tape or one similar to it to all women before they consent to abortion."

"You know I think I know a little about abortion. I was one of the founders of NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League in 1969 and for a period of two years I was Director of the largest abortion clinic in the Western world."

"Since those times we have a science which is know as Fetology which has allowed us to study the human fetus. And all those studies have concluded without exception that the unborn child is a human being indistinguishable from any of us and an integral part of our human community."

"Now the destruction of a living human being is no solution to what is basically a social problem. I believe a resort to such violence is an admission of scientific and even worse, ethical impoverishment. Somehow I refuse to believe that Americans, who have put men on the moon can't devise a better solution than the resort to violence. I think we should all here and now devote ourselves to an untiring effort to a better solution, a solution compounded equally of love and compassion and a decent regard for the overriding priority of human life. Let's all for humanity's sake, here and now, stop the killing."

Presented by Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson, M.D.
Executive Producer Donald S. Smith
Copyright 1984, by American Portrait Films. All Rights Reserved.

This video can be ordered from: American Portrait Films, P. O. Box 809, Brunswick, Ohio 44212;  phone: 1-800-736-4567
This video can also be ordered from: Orthodox Heritage,;  email:
The film transcript, along with screen shots of the film, can be viewed at