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The Horror of Late Term Abortion

Dec 23, 1997

The dilation and extraction method of abortion (D & X) is in the news after a Brisbane doctor proposed using the method in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. The medical doctor of Planned Parenthood Australia, Dr David Grundmann, is a proud proponent of late-term abortion, and particularly D & X abortion.

This procedure can be performed on unborn babies anywhere from 14 to 28 weeks old. Dr Grundmann thinks this is an especially good form of family planning because there is “no chance of delivering a live baby”.

The method is barbaric. The birth canal is dilated and the baby is turned. The abortionist pulls the baby out with forceps, delivering its body feet first, leaving the head inside. Brains are then sucked out of the live baby.

The difference between this procedure and homicide is about 6cm. If the head had also been taken out of the mother, the doctor would have a legal requirement to do all he could to save the child. But by leaving the head in, he can perform his “family planning” technique without fear of consequence. Because of the horrific nature of this killing, many American states have voted to outlaw the procedure. Concern about the pain and cruelty to the child is at the heart of the laws.

Recently the US House of Representatives and the US Senate voted to ban “partial-birth abortions”. (President Bill Clinton vetoed this, however.)

We now know without doubt that foetuses in the second trimester experience pain. For example, The Lancet recently reported unborn babies exhibit a full range of pain responses.

Bear in mind that the painful procedure is often performed on babies who are viable, i.e., who can survive an early birth. Indeed, premature babies respond to the soft touch of a nurse’s or mother’s hand. How much more the sharp cold scissors as they pierce his or her little neck?

“Ordinary” methods of abortion are equally painful. As John Noonan says, “The application of a sharp knife to the skin and the destruction of vital tissue cannot but be a painful experience for any sentient creature. It lasts for about 10 minutes.

“Hypertonic saline solution causes what is described as exquisite and severe pain if, by accident during an abortion, it enters subcutaneously the body of the woman having the abortion. It is inferable that the unborn would have an analogous experience lasting some two hours, as the saline solution takes about this long to work before the foetal heart stops.”

If animals experienced such pain, the outcry would be deafening. Animal Rights advocates such as Prof. Peter Singer would be the first to voice moral outrage. Yet when it comes to human suffering, there is only silence.

The pro-abortion lobby tries to cover up the facts. In the end, it all comes down to a question of values, of right and wrong. People such as Dr Grundmann and Herald Sun columnist Jill Singer have sought to limit the concept of personhood.

As commentator Mona Charen says, “The history of morality is the story of broadening, not limiting, our conception of who is a person. Is a slave a person? Our ancestors thought not. Is a woman a person? Not quite the way a man is, people used to think.

“Is a child a person? Under Roman law, the paterfamilias could kill his offspring with impunity. It is part of the Judea-Christian, as well as the humanist, tradition to insist that every human being – old or young, sick or well, and yes, wanted or unwanted, is a person.”

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4 Responses to The Horror of Late Term Abortion

  • Dear Bill,
    abortionist “pro-choicers” forget that the unborn babies who are victims of abortion (whether euthanasia: “It is better for a child to be dead than to be adopted or live with unfit parents”, or practical reasons (that puts us below the cruel, but at least honest nazis who started exterminating “unfit” humans – that is, before they began giving medlas to Arian mothers who bore children for the future war effort) should have the choice to life. But how can we stem the population explosion if the Third World continues to bear children to hunger and overpopulation?

    In Christ, Lars Munk Sørensen, Denmark

  • Thanks Lars

    Two responses come to mind. One is the presumption that we are living in an overcrowded, overpopulated world. The demographic truth is more to the effect that we are undergoing a birth dearth, certainly in the West. Many demographers do not believe we are overpopulated. I have written a number of articles on this. See the population section of this website for the facts, figures and arguments: https://billmuehlenberg.com/category/population-issues/

    Two, even if we are overpopulated, is that an acceptable reason for abortion? One might as well argue that we have 150 too many students in a crowded high school, so let’s kill 150 of them to stabilise the population.
    Just as the answer to a crowded school or apartment building is not murdering half the residents, so too here, murdering the unborn is not an acceptable solution. There are many couples eager to adopt children. That is certainly a more humane solution.

    And if we are serious about proposing death as a solution for the problems of world hunger and overpopulation, why stop at just killing unborn babies? Why not kill adults? After all, they eat a lot more than the unborn, they consume a lot more resources, they take up a lot more space, they make more demands on our environment, etc. The point is, one serious social problem cannot be solved by means of another serious social problem.

    Indeed, apply this to any other situation. Many prisons are experiencing manifest overcrowding. Would it therefore be right to kill, say a third of all prisoners, in the interests of reducing prison populations and to relieve overcrowding?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Dear Bill,
    thanks for your striking reply. Indeed, how can we achieve respect for all human life by a wobbly subjective morality that excludes wars, but allow a mother to have her unborn child killed?
    A vast amount of repressing the fact of killing goes into the “morality” that allows a mother the right to, as they say, “her own body”, ie. stopping what is already a maturing human being, the unborn child. When I confront “pro-choice” people with that fact, I am met with a righteous rage instead of arguments. I agree with your arguments, but how to reach the ear of a pro-choicer? I have had easier times discussing with former members of Hitler´s Waffen-SS. At least, they acknowledge the fact of having killed, and some even regret it. So nowadays, we don´t kill Jews, only babies…

    Lars Munk Sørensen, Denmark

  • Vote ‘pro life’ candidates, it worked in the recent Victorian Election.
    Stan Fishley

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