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Partial-Birth Abortion Ban: Will It Survive Court Challenge?

JCWillke   |   February 01, 2004

No one can predict how the US Supreme Court will rule on this bill. Court decisions are not necessarily based on logic and facts. In any case, this issue will be with us for a long time. The media has done its best to disguise what partial-birth abortion actually is by describing the procedure in ways that range from partially accurate to outright falsification. Dr. Willke has many years of experience in delivering thousands of babies, many of them breech. He provides the following medically accurate description of partial-birth abortion.

Preparation for the Abortion
The mother is examined. Then laminaria are inserted into her cervix (the mouth of her womb). These are sterile, dried pieces of seaweed. She is usually sent to a nearby motel over night. The seaweed absorbs water. As it does so, the seaweed swells up, slowly stretching open the cervix.

After 24 hours, she returns. The abortionist removes the swollen seaweed and repacks the now partially open cervix with more laminaria. She is sent back to a motel or home for another 24 hours.

The Routine
The third day she is placed on the operating table, after having been given some oral sedation and pain medicine. Sometimes she is given a general anesthetic. The abortionist reaches through her vagina, through the now open cervix and finds a leg of the baby. Using his grasping forceps, he pulls the foot and leg down, through the cervix, through the vagina and out into the air. Returning, he locates the other foot and pulls that foot and leg also through the cervix, through the vagina and out into the air.

Breech Delivery
Now using both hands, he pulls on the legs, bringing the body of the baby out into the air until the body “hangs up.” At this stage, both arms are wrapped up along side of the head. He then inserts a finger into the vagina, curls it about the shoulder and sweeps the one arm down and out into the air. Pulling on it gently he also delivers the shoulder. He repeats this for the other side. Now he exerts a gentle pull, delivering, at this point, the entire body, except the head, out into the air.

At this point, the baby is kicking his legs, waving his arms, and very likely has urinated. The abortionist now turns the baby so that his nose is facing the mother’s tailbone. He pushes the edge of the birth canal away from the base of the skull, all the while holding the head inside.

The Killing
The abortionist jams a scissors into the base of the skull. With this the baby instantly rigidly extends all four extremities in spasm (decerebrate rigidity). He then spreads the blades enough to allow him to place a catheter between the blades and up into the skull. Turning on a powerful suction, he sucks out the baby’’s brains. This kills the baby and he becomes limp. The abortionist removes the catheter and the scissors and then pulls and delivers the head of the dead baby.

This method of killing a baby should not be called an abortion, for four-fifths of the body has been delivered into the air with only the head remaining in the birth canal before the infant is killed. Pro-abortion forces have renamed this “intact dilatation and extraction” or “D & X”. These sterile terms hide what is being done. We probably should not even call it “partial-birth abortion;” rather, always speak of “killing a baby during delivery,” for that is precisely what occurs.

In 1998, two state laws, Nebraska and Wisconsin, reached the US Supreme Court. Its decision, by a 5 to 4 vote, declared the laws to be unconstitutional. Their rationale was that they were vague and did not contain an exception for the health of the mother.
The court stated that this procedure can be confused with Dilatation and Evacuation (D&E). The D & E abortion dismembers the body while he or she is still in the uterus, and then pulls the body parts piece by piece through the vagina. A partial-birth abortion delivers the entire body through the birth canal and out into the air. The 2003 federal ban is quite clear about this.

The recently passed Congressional law banning PBA included many detailed pages of medical, legal and scientific proof that a health exception is not needed. The latest Ohio law, recently okayed by the federal Sixth Circuit, has the “health” exception accepted by the US Supreme Court in “Casey

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