On Burning Babies Alive

Two events in the past 24 hours have once again got me thinking about our social and moral schizophrenia. We rightly exhibit moral outrage at certain despicable crimes under certain circumstances, but seem to simply yawn and make excuses for the same crimes when done under other circumstances.

Consider this headline just released hours ago in the news media: “Life for microwave baby killer”. The news item begins this way: “A mother who murdered her one-month-old daughter by burning her to death in a microwave oven has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.”

The BBC story continues, “China Arnold, 28, was spared the death penalty when the jury in Dayton, Ohio failed to reach a consensus. Prosecutors said Arnold, who maintains she is innocent, killed her daughter in 2005 after a fight with her boyfriend. Judge Mary Wiseman said the crime was ‘shocking and utterly abhorrent for a civilised society’. ‘No adjectives exist to adequately describe this heinous atrocity,’ Judge Wiseman said, rejecting a plea by Arnold’s lawyers for a sentence that allowed the possibility of parole after 25 years in prison.”

It is of course an absolutely shocking and horrendous story. So many questions arise: How could a mother do such a thing? How degenerate are we becoming as a society that something like this could take place? How many more babies will suffer in this manner?

Sure, this is hopefully a one-off. It happens very rarely. Thankfully we as a society could never condone such a thing. She certainly got the punishment she deserves. But there is one problem here. The second event which I experienced just yesterday requires that this story be seen in a very different light.

I refer to my time at the Victorian Parliament just 24 hours ago, where I heard Gianna Jessen from America give a powerful talk about her own life. You see, Gianna is an abortion survivor. She is not supposed to be here. Her 17-year-old mother wanted her dead. The abortionist wanted her dead. So in 1977 she was subject to a saline abortion procedure, which until recently was a quite common method of killing babies. Yet the abortion did not succeed, and Gianna today travels the world, speaking up for defenceless unborn babies.

Let me explain a bit about what a saline (salt poisoning) abortion is. This type of abortion is usually done in second and early third trimesters. A hypertonic saline solution is injected into the amniotic sac. This burns and poisons the baby for many hours. The baby breathes and swallows this solution which results in dehydration, convulsions and brain haemorrhage. Afterwards a dead baby is expelled by natural labour. This method is less popular now because: a) a baby can be accidentally born (eg., Gianna), and b) the mother can receive an accidental injection of the solution into her blood vessel, leading to harm.

Saline abortion victims are sometimes referred to as “candy apple” babies. That is because “the corrosive effect of the salt solution often burns and strips away the outer layer of the baby’s skin. This exposes the raw, red, glazed-looking subcutaneous layer of tissue. The baby’s head sometimes looks like a candy apple. Some have also likened this method to the effect of napalm on innocent war victims. This technique was originally developed in the concentration camps in Nazi Germany.”

Gianna, who had been in her mother’s womb for seven and a half months, spent 18 hours in the solution. She describes it this way: “It burns the baby inside and out. The mom is to deliver a dead baby within 24 hours. I did not die that day. I was delivered alive in a Los Angeles County abortion clinic in a room full of teenage girls who had already had the saline injections and were feeling their children die inside of them.” Fortunately a concerned nurse took pity on her, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Gianna tells the story this way: “The abortionist wasn’t on duty when I came into the world. Had he been there, he would have ended my life with strangulation, suffocation or leaving me there to die, which was considered perfectly legal up until 5 August 2002 in the United States. Now, a child who has survived an abortion must receive proper medical care. The abortionist had to sign my birth certificate. He had to acknowledge a life that just hours before he was trying to end.

“The only person even remotely concerned about my well-being was the nurse. She called an ambulance and had me transferred to a hospital. I was placed in an incubator weighing two pounds. They didn’t expect me to live. After several months they decided that I had a tremendous will to live. I was placed in the foster care system and at 17 months was diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to lack of oxygen while I was being burnt alive for 18 hours in my mother’s womb. I was 32 pounds, couldn’t move and they said that I would just be a vegetable for the rest of my life.”

Although she has cerebral palsy because of the abortion, she is a dynamic, vibrant, funny, intelligent and passionate young woman who travels the world speaking on behalf of the unborn. Her very moving talk yesterday to 160 religious leaders and politicians was a message every person on planet earth needs to hear.

The truth is, all abortions are horrible. Saline abortions are certainly horrific, but so are the many other common methods of baby killing. Let me describe a few more: In a Dilation and Curettage (D&C) abortion, a curette (a sharp loop-shaped steel knife) is used to scrape the walls of the uterus and dismember the baby. Body parts are then reassembled to check for completeness.

In a suction curettage (also called a vacuum aspiration or suction abortion), the mother’s cervix is dilated and a suction curette (a hollow tube with a sharp tip) is inserted into the uterus, and the baby is torn apart and sucked out. Body parts are then reassembled.

In a Dilation and Extraction (D&X, or late-term, or partial-birth) abortion, the birth canal is dilated and the baby is turned around. The abortionist delivers the baby’s body feet first, leaving the head inside. Scissors are then inserted into the base of the skull of the live baby and spread to enlarge the hole. The brains are then sucked out with a suction catheter.

There you have some of the dirty trade secrets of the abortion industry. The abortionists who are getting quite rich from such practices do not want us to know that they are doing these sorts of things on small unborn babies. The mainstream media is also loathe to inform us about these truths.

Thus it is absolutely vital that people like Gianna Jessen tell their stories, and they get as much promotion and publicity as possible. I offer some more words from Gianna’s testimony: “I started speaking out about abortion when I was 14. . . .  I believe that it’s important when something like this has happened to you to present the truth about not just abortion, but also about what a tremendous life you can possess through overcoming weakness. I don’t believe that killing is a right. I am completely against abortion in any circumstance.

“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.

“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.

“I believe that I am living proof that abortion is the killing of a human being. My biological mother felt that she was entitled to a choice [31] years ago that she thought would only affect her. And yet I bear the mark of her choice every day of my life with my cerebral palsy. Although I don’t hold it against her, I think it’s important for people to think about that before they make their decision.”

There are many video clips of Gianna and her remarkable story. Just go to Google images, for example, and type in the phrase “Gianna Jessen”. Please play some of these clips, and share them with your friends. These videos need to be spread far and wide.

We are all rightly horrified at a mother seeking to burn to death her own one-month-old baby in a microwave. But why are we not all equally appalled at a mother seeking to burn her own unborn baby to death in a saline solution, or to cut it to pieces or to suck out its brains?

Enough is enough. The truth about abortion must be told. Every one of us has a moral obligation to tell as many people as possible these truths. If we remain silent, the blood of 100,000 dead babies in Australia each year, and 50 million dead babies globally each year remains on our hands.


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26 Replies to “On Burning Babies Alive”

  1. Thanks for the article Bill (hey, I have to get a comment in here somehow)

    Recall the words of Gianna above where she mentioned that it is now US federal law that babies born alive from batched abortions must be protected. I remind all my readers that Barack Hussein Obama actually blocked the Illinois state Born Alive Infant Protection Act. He also supports partial birth (late-term) abortions.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  2. Great article Bill! If anyone has any doubts about how horrific an abortion is they can see an ultrasound of it occurring here… http://www.silentscream.org. This is a graphic website, but it does reveal the horrible truth of what is currently allowed in Victoria. The Victorian government needs to be introducing leglislation to restrict abortion, not make killing unborn children easier.

    We need everyone to stand up and say to the government that this is wrong. If you haven’t contacted your MP already, their details are simply a click away here….


    Dave Utting

  3. Thank you Bill for saying how it is, and not glossing over the actual procedures used in abortions. If the readers are shocked then maybe it will galvanise them into action. For too long those who are meant to be “Salt and Light” have hidden away and lamented the state of society but done nothing about trying to change it. Can I urge all Victorians to speak to/write to/lobby their member of parliament to oppose this terrible bill. I for one do not want the blood of these defenceless children on my hands or on my conscience.
    Michael Timmins

  4. Good article Bill. Unfortunately abortion has such an acceptance in the mainstream of society now, it is frightening. People have been brainwashed.
    Teresa Binder

  5. Hi Bill,
    I am not an Australian, but am working here and I applaud the tireless, relentless pursuit to be salt and light in our world. You have spoken well on our behalf of millions if not billions who feel the same way about abortion but have not spoken… enough at the right places.
    May the Lord multiply the efforts you and others like you have made to bring sanity back into humanity.

    I am also wondering if there are ways to help set up an infra-structure to assist people with this situation who may not be able to raise a child and to be able to leave for adoption, or to some kind of care facility that the church or even other organizations (including the government) could run. I know there exist some but perhaps more could be done in this area.

    It is one thing to fight abortion, it is another thing to help them cope with “unwanted” pregnancies. While many efforts are in place or are in the way to teach abstinence, we know that it is hard even for the elect to stay pure in this perverse generation we live in.

    I am also aware that if we do set up a great infra-structure it may be abused and people might just take advantage of that, making the even situation worse.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Mark Suredhran

  6. Abortion always raises an interesting, and genuine question of the religious for me Bill.

    What does God do with these aborted babies? Do they end up in heaven?

    Just in case people are skeptical of a crazy ‘atheist’ like me. This is an honest question, not something to try and trap you into some semantic argument. Although I do admit, I possibly have follow-up questions depending on our answer, but as someone who feels uncomfortable with abortion, I like to take in as many sides of the argument as I can.

    Chris Mayer

  7. Thanks Bill, for the timely (and constant) reminders of just how brutal we can be. We are truly living in a depraved world, where having a child is seen as a right and not a privilege. Moral relativism is a horrible thing. People can get upset and protest over the cropping of a dog’s ears, or the killing of whales, but be totally fine with the murder of defenceless children.

    George Kokonis

  8. Bill, I’m interested to know how many MPs were present at the Gianna Jessen meeting in state parliament yesterday? Were those present already pro-life MPs or were there some present who might be changing their minds and voting against the bill after hearing Gianna’s testimony?

    Ewan McDonald.

  9. Thanks Chris

    It is a good question. The general reply from Christians would be yes, they do go to heaven. Similar questions are raised about the death of infants, etc. The normal line is they are certainly covered by the grace and mercy of God, and they not have yet reached an age of accountability, wherein they would then have to get right with God.

    So while their eternal destiny is secured, there is still the major ethical issue of killing innocent human beings, and depriving them of life in this world. We treat animals better. Or at least we seem to make more of a stink about whales or baby seals, than we do our own unborn.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  10. Thanks Ewan

    It is not clear how many MPs were there. Some have said a dozen, some said more. But who exactly they were, and therefore where they stand on the issue, I don’t know. I would have to ask others who know of just who came. The only known MP I saw there was a Federal Senator! The organising committee would be better placed to answer your question.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  11. Bill, I found it hard to read this article. That probably means I have become hardened, so thank you for confronting me with the hard truth.

    Chris, your question is a serious one. We have lost at least three children via stillbirth, and as well as Bill’s explanation:

    “The general reply from Christians would be yes, they do go to heaven. … The normal line is they are certainly covered by the grace and mercy of God, and they not have yet reached an age of accountability, wherein they would then have to get right with God.”

    I would add that Christians are saved because of God’s gracious choice, not because of who they are or what they have done.

    The Biblical reference is to Jacob and Esau (Gen 25) who were not even born when God declared “the older will serve the younger” – a sign of where their destinies lay.

    Two points I would draw out:
    a) the children were regarded as real people before they were born (I would read that as a Biblical prohibition against all abortion but particularly late abortions)
    b) God chose Jacob to carry the line of inheritance, even though there was little or nothing in his character to commend him, nor was there anything he had done to “deserve” it.

    I hope that helps you think it through.

    John Angelico

  12. Bill,

    I commend you on writing such an excellent article.

    Abortion is legal in Queensland on this condition (Legal Aid): “Abortion is permitted in Queensland where the continuation of the pregnancy poses a serious risk to a woman’s physical or mental health.”

    Yet, as a long term marriage, family and relationship counsellor, I have heard of abortions in Qld. for other reasons than this. Because of confidentiality issues, I cannot raise these specifics. However, to challenge the Qld. law with evidence would cost the average person (like me) too much financially through legal fees.

    How can the dishonesty around the illegality of abortion in Qld be challenged without costing a mint?

    Spencer Gear, Hervey Bay, Qld.

  13. Chris,

    Yours is a good question, “What does God do with these aborted babies? Do they end up in heaven?” I have written an article on my homepage on “Children & Heaven” that covers the death of children and those human beings who are aborted: http://gear.dyndns.org/~spencer/Theology/childrenandheaven.html

    I have sometimes had people say to me, “If you believe that, why are you objecting to abortion as these unborn children who are killed go directly to heaven?”

    I believe this is an illogical conclusion because the same kind of logic would suggest murdering all children so that they go directly to heaven.

    God’s law is strictly, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13; Matthew 5:21). To murder children inside or outside of the womb is to disobey God and to face the judgment of God.

    Australia’s killing of 100,000 unborn children leads to God’s judgment (Matt. 5:21). How that judgment comes is God’s business, but surely the current drought in Australia should be an indicator! He used a drought previously to bring judgment, according to Deut. 11:17.

    The Lord’s holy anger against sin has been manifested previously through general affliction (Psalm 88:7), pestilence (Ezek. 14:19), slaughter (Ezek .9:8), destruction of Jerusalem (Lam. 4:11), leprosy (Numbers 12:9), the exile (2 Kings 23:26), etc.

    What can we say of the tsunami, Sept. 11, earthquakes, cyclones, etc.? How much longer will the Lord’s anger against the sins of Australians be thwarted? Psalm 78:38 reminds us that God “restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath” (ESV).

    Spencer Gear, Hervey Bay, Qld.

  14. I was reflecting last night on the oft-asked question, “Why does God allow evil in the world?” It seems to me, if you are ‘pro-choice’, then any credibility to ask that question evaporates, notwithstanding us humans having no place to judge God anyway.

    My answer to that question will now be a little different than it has been in the past! Abortion is a far greater evil than slavery, the Holocaust and any other historic atrocity you care to mention combined. God have mercy on us all.

    Mark Rabich

  15. The Catholic Church has certain beliefs in response to the question of Chris. John Loughnan of Melbourne supplies the following information on unborn and born but unbaptised babies.
    (From “A Catholic Dictionary,” by William E. Addis and Thomas Arnold, M.A., Third Edition Revised, London, Kegan Paul, Trench, & Co., 1 Paternoster Square, 1885, pp.518-9.)
    Michael Webb

  16. Thank you Bill for this data. The ‘Pro Life’ people are split; some are bitterly opposed to exposing the facts of this Holocaust which is arguably worse than the Nazi one. Is it likely that the math would suggest that more Jews, Gypsies, Poles, and Communists have killed off their own many times over than were killed by the German people?
    Another question: why are those ‘Pro Lifers’ who are against calling a spade a spade in this instance, insistent that it is OK to call a spade a spade when Nazis offend? Do you know if this double standard is used in this debate?
    Stan Fishley

  17. Thanks Stan

    Yes there does seem to be a bit of a debate about this. Some think graphic images of killed unborn babies are counterproductive, and will just add more guilt and grief to the mother, while others think we need to wake up the public as to what really happens in an abortion.

    Since I am not at the coal face of working with pregnant women, I may have to defer to the experts as to what they think. They might want to contribute to the debate here, making either the pro or the con case.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  18. Dear Stan

    I’m no expert but I think it is the right course of action to show the photos and graphics of what actually happens to those poor unborn babies. After all, there are medical textbooks that refer to the methods of killing the unborn babies with diagrams. That means that opponents in the pro death camp should not complain because the medical staff and doctors who perform abortion had to get trained somehow, in the first palce, with the use of diagrams, as well as live with qualified doctors whislt the university trainees were going through this bad form of learning. No, what is good for the pro death goose/geese is good for the gander.

    Here are some links to Frank Pavone’s pro life work:

    Michael Webb

  19. The fight against abortion is too important to worry about adding guilt and grief to those women who have had abortions. If we take this argument (that we shouldn’t show photos of aborted babies for fear of adding guilt) to its fullest extent, then we wouldn’t even raise the issue of abortion in public because this also reminds those directly affected of their guilt.

    The other point to make is that for the most part the tactic in this country has been to not show graphic images. Maybe this is why we have lost so much ground on this issue. Maybe it’s time for a change of tactic because the old methods don’t seem to be working. I am of the view that we need to wake people up to the reality of what abortion really involves. Those who think the use of graphic images unjustified, do not fully appreciate the horror and reality of abortion.

    The video of Gianna Jessen’s address at Victorian Parliament House is now on YouTube. Part 1 & Part 2.

    Ewan McDonald.

  20. Many thanks Ewan

    I thought her talk at Parliament House was an especially powerful one. I encourage everyone to have a look at it. Thanks for alerting us to this Ewan.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  21. Of course the display of graphic images is a controversial issue, but I think that truth outweighs feelings in the end. Collective denial in society over a long term cannot fail to be worse than the temporary discomfort of a few.

    But some of the hypocrisy annoys me here – pro-choice journo Neil Mitchell here in Melbourne wrote two articles this year that display this beautifully. In one he launches several scathing comments at pro-lifers for daring to show the reality of abortion… then 4 months later wrote an article on how road hoons should be confronted with pictures of the carnage they had created. Huh? What’s the difference?

    Given that we already have the graphic TAC ads here in Victoria for the effects of all kinds of driving offences (indeed, for many years now) there seems to be a strange change in the music when abortion is the subject of concern.

    And then, of course, there is that usual rejoinder that the fact a woman may agonize about the decision makes it better somehow. No it doesn’t. The facts are still what they are, regardless of feelings. It cannot possibly be in the interests of women in general to withhold the full truth.

    Oh, that’s right – “we’re not pro-abortion – we hate it – we’re only pro-choice…” …do they actually listen to what they say?


    Mark Rabich

  22. Ewan,

    I agree with you that some publicity of photos of an aborted child could help focus the horror of abortion. I have done this on my homepage with the article, “Abortion & life: A Christian perspective,” at: http://gear.dyndns.org/~spencer/HotTopics/abortionlife.html

    Here are some links to abortion pictures:

    I also find that there is a lack of knowledge among Christians in my community of the link between abortion and breast cancer. See: http://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/abcsummarypf.htm. The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer was formed in May 1999 by a group of women in the Chicago, USA, area concerned about the fact that women were not being told by the National Cancer Institute, by their physicians and by anti-cancer organisations that there are now 28 out of 37 worldwide studies, published since 1957, which have linked induced abortion to breast cancer.

    Spencer Gear, Hervey Bay, Qld.

  23. Gianna Jessen’s comment about the convenient classification of foetuses was very insightful and incisive. Hear, hear.

    Bill, I found your use of language a little sensationalistic (justifiably so I suppose), but thank you for providing some information on the saline procedure, which I’d never heard about before. From some quick googling, it appears the saline procedure you discussed is a subset of intra-amniotic “instillation abortions”, which have also involved other substances, e.g. urea. A search through the medical science academic databases showed that most of the research conducted on instillation abortions occurred around the 70s and 80s. An article by Autry, Hayes, Jacobson, and Kirby published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology in 2002 mentioned that other procedures have been established as ‘safer alternative[s]’ to instillation abortions since 1977.

    Thus, I think the saline procedure may have been phased out earlier than this article might imply.

    Lilian Man, Melbourne

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