Methods of Induced Abortion

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The following definitions describe artificially induced abortion, the intentional removal of the child in the womb (embryo, foetus) prematurely, and most often before the child is viable outside of its mother’s womb or capable of sustaining its life outside of her womb. We do not focus here on miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) nor contraception (prevention of fertilization). We specifically discuss the direct and intentional killing of the child in the womb by induced abortion.

What kind of induced abortions are there?

In the first week there are micro-abortions caused by “contraceptive” drugs and devices. After implantation, there are those induced by drugs such as RU486, Methotrexate, and prostaglandins. In the first trimester there are surgical abortions like suction and D&C. In the second and third trimesters there ate instillation types, D&E, intracardiac injections and partial-birth abortions.

What are the first trimester surgical ones?

There are several types:

Menstrual extraction:

This is a very early suction abortion, often done before the pregnancy test is positive

Suction Aspiration

abort1The mouth (cervix) of the womb is stretched open. A suction curette (hollow tube with a knife-like top) is inserted into the womb. A strong suction (40 times that of a vacuum cleaner) tears the body into pieces, drawing it into a container. This is the most common method of abortion. Great care must be used to prevent the womb from being damaged. Common concerns are: failing to remove the entire body of the child thus causing major infection, accidentally puncturing another organ such as the liver, kidneys or bowels. Scar tissue may result on the inside of the womb which can cause difficulty in conceiving a child at a later date and sometimes even cause infertility.

Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

abort2This is similar to the suction abortion except that the abortionist inserts a curette, a loop shaped steel knife, up into the uterus. With this, he cuts the placenta and the baby into pieces and scrapes them into a basin. Bleeding is usually profuse.

What are second trimester ones?

In the 1970’s and 80’s the most common type was saline amniocentesis, or salt poisoning abortions. These are not used much anymore because of the danger to the mother. These are done after the 16th week. A large needle is inserted through the abdominal wall of the mother and into her baby’s amniotic sac. A concentrated salt solution is injected into the amniotic fluid. The baby breathes and swallows it, is poisoned, struggles, and sometimes convulses. It takes over an hour to kill the baby. When successful, the mother goes into labor about one day later and delivers a dead baby.

Is it actually poisoning?

Yes. The mechanism of death is acute hypernatremia, or acute salt poisoning, with development of widespread vasodilation, edema, congestion, hemorrhage, shock, and death. Galen et al., “Fetal Pathology and Mechanism of Death in Saline Abortion, Amer.Jour.of OB/GYN, 1974, vol.120 pp347-355

And other methods?

In the 70’s and 80’s, prostaglandin drugs were used to induce violent premature labor and delivery. When used alone, there was: “…a large complication rate (42.6%) associated with its use. Few risks in obstetrics are more certain than that which occurs to a pregnant woman undergoing abortion after the 14th week of pregnancy…” Duenhoelter & Grant, “Complications Following Prostaglandin F-2 Alpha Induced Mid-Trimester Abortion.” Jour.of OB/GYN, Sept. 1975

Because of these problems, the D&E, or Dilation and Evacuation Method, was developed and largely replaced the above. It involves the live dismemberment of the baby and piecemeal removal from below.

A pliers-like instrument is used because the baby’s bones are calcified, as is the skull. There is no anaesthetic for the baby. The abortionist inserts the instrument up into the uterus, seizes a leg or other part of the body, and, with a twisting motion, tears it from the baby’s body. This is repeated again and again. The spine must be snapped, and the skull crushed to remove them. The nurse’s job is to reassemble the body parts to be sure that all are removed.

This sounds dangerous

It is, but a report from the U.S. center for Disease Control, Dept. HEW, stated that it is still safer for a mother than the salt-poisoning or prostaglandin methods. “Comparative Risks of Three Methods of Mid-trimester Abortion,” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Center for Disease Control, HEW, Nov.26,1976

…Any new methods?

Yes, intracardiac injections. Since the advent of fertility drugs, multi-fetal pregnancies have become common. “The frequency of triplet and higher pregnancies….has increased 200% since the early 1970’s.” Since these are usually born prematurely and some have other problems, a new method has been developed.

Assisted Repro.Techniques…,L.Wilcox,Fertl. & Sterility, vol. 65, #2,’96, pg.361.

At about 4 months a needle is inserted through the mother’s abdomen, into the chest and heart of one of the fetal babies and a poison injected to kill him or her. This is “pregnancy reduction.” It is done to reduce the number or to kill a handicapped baby, if such is identified. if successful, the dead baby’s body is absorbed. Sometimes, however, this method results in the loss of all babies.

Are there 3rd trimester abortions?

Yes, there are, and as late as 8 months or more. These are done by intracardiac injection.

abort3A more recently developed method is the partial-birth abortion, also called “brain suction,” “D & X,” or intact dilatation and evacuation methods.
•These are done after 4 or 5 months.
•80% of babies are normal.
•Most babies are viable.
This is like a breech delivery. The entire infant is delivered out into the air, except the head which is held in the external birth canal. A scissors is jammed into the base of the skull. A tube is inserted into the skull, and the brain is sucked out. The now-dead infant is pulled out…

Perhaps it’s her only choice

“There are no medical circumstances in which a partial-birth abortion is the only safe alternative. We take care of pregnant women who are very sick, and babies who are very sick, and we never perform partial-birth abortions….There are plenty alternatives…This is clearly a procedure no obstetrician needs to do..” F.Boehm, Dr. OB Vanderbilt U. Med. The Washington Times, May 6th 1966,p.A1

But isn’t it the safest?

To do this was called “version or breech delivery.” This was abandoned decades ago as it was too dangerous. Instead today the much safer Cesarean Section is used. Dr warren Hill, author of the late term abortion medical text, said, “I would dispute any statement that this is the safest procedure to use. The procedure can cause amniotic fluid embolism or placental abruption.” AMA News, Nov.20, 1995,p.3

…”In times past, abortion took the life of one, for otherwise two would die. Today, abortion takes the life of one, where otherwise two would live.” H.Ratner, MD.

The above descriptions are taken from Abortion – Questions and Answers – revised version. Dr and Mrs Willke; Love them Both – Chapter 19 “What Kind and How”

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