If it’s all about choice, you might want to know what you’re choosing
One of the most maddening things to me in this cultural conflict that is the abortion debate is the stubborn and willful ignorance of the opposition. So many of them intentionally ignore the direct object of abortion…the entity which abortion targets and kills…the reason abortion exists…and speak only of the woman who carries the entity to be aborted. It’s only her body that counts, refusing to acknowledge that it’s not her body that is killed.
Abortion ends a life…that’s the whole point of it…but the woman gets off the abortionist’s table very much alive. The body she came in to have killed and removed from her own ends up in pieces on a surgical tray or in a jar…hidden from her sight just as abortion supporters try and hide it by making abortion all about “bodily autonomy” instead of the bodily assault and butchery that it is.
But when the cold, hard, objective realities of abortion are uncovered it becomes much more difficult to defend, which is why they deliberately and deceptively try to hide them. Abortion supporters talk only about the life of the mother, but abortion is by definition the death of the child. If their cause were just, they would be willing to speak to and justify the actual act of abortion, in all its gruesome methods, but it’s not…so they don’t.
Abortion methods and fetal pain are addressed in Chapter 3 of Francis J. Beckwith’s book Politically Correct Death: Answering Arguments for Abortion Rights (1), which I am currently covering in a series of posts. Everyone who takes a “pro-choice” position should know exactly what that choice entails, so Beckwith lists the most commonly-used procedures. He quotes former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop describing the first three.
Dilation and Curettage (D & C)
The cervix is stretched to permit the insertion of a curette, a tiny hoelike instrument. The surgeon then scrapes the wall of the uterus, cutting the baby’s body to pieces and scraping the placenta from its attachments on the uterine wall. Bleeding is considerable.
Beckwith adds that the attending nurse will reassemble the pieces to ensure that none were left behind.
A powerful suction tube is inserted through the dilated cervix into the uterus. This tears apart the body of the developing baby and the placenta, sucking the pieces into a jar. The smaller parts of the body are recognizable as arms, legs, head, and so on.
A long needle is inserted through the mother’s abdomen directly into the sac, and a solution of concentrated salt is injected into the amniotic fluid. The salt solution is absorbed both through the lungs and the gastrointestinal tract, producing changes in the osmotic pressure. The outer layer of skin is burned off by the high concentration of salt. It takes about an hour to kill the baby by this slow method. The mother usually goes into labor about a day later and delivers a dead, shriveled baby.
Dilation and Evacuation (D & E)
This abortion procedure is the most gruesome of all. Watch this former abortionist describe it to a House Judiciary Committee, and keep in mind that this is done on a living, feeling, human child.
That these second and third, and possibly some first trimester abortions cause extreme pain to the child is beyond a reasonable doubt. Beckwith quotes Vincent J. Collins, M.D., author of Principles of Anesthesiology:
…it may be concluded with reasonable medical certainty that the fetus can sense pain at least by 13 1/2 weeks. [But since] the neurological structures are at least partially in place between 8 and 13 1/2 weeks, it seems probable that some pain can also be felt during this time of gestation.
Just once in this presidential election season we are already in, I want to hear a Democratic candidate be asked, “What is your position on the tearing apart limb from limb or the slow, painful burning of human children in the womb?” I want to hear them defend the “right to choose” that. Somebody please ask them that.
Poor as they are, abortion rights supporters do have arguments in defense of them, as Beckwith’s title states. In Chapter 4 he begins answering them, so that’ll be for my next post.
1. Francis J. Beckwith, Politically Correct Death: Answering Arguments for Abortion Rights (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1993)