Confessions of Abortionists and Staff
"After an abortion, the doctor must inspect these remains to make sure that all the fetal parts and placenta have been removed. Any tissue left inside the uterus can start an infection." Dr. Bours squeezed the contents of the sock into a shallow dish and poked around with his finger. 'You can see a teeny tiny hand' he said."
~Abortion clinic worker quoted in Is the Fetus Human? "The Abortion Conflict: What it Does to One Doctor," by Dudley Clendinen, New York Times Magazine Aug 11 1985, p. 26
" It [the fetus] is a form of life...This has to be killing...The question then becomes, 'Is this kind of killing justifiable?' In my own mind, it is justifiable, but only with the informed consent of the mother."
~Abortionist quoted in Democrat and Chronicle 7/5/92
"We were hiding from the women some of the pieces of truth about abortion that were threatening....It is a kind of killing."
~Former clinic administrator, Charlotte Taft, From The Dallas Observer, 3/18/95
"I have never denied that human life begins at conception. If I have a complaint about our society, it's that we don't deal with death and dying. Do we believe human beings have a right to make decisions about death and dying? Yes we do, and those decisions are made every day in every hospital."
~ One worker's quote, from the book, Lovejoy: A Year in the Life of an Abortion Clinic, by Peter Korn
Sue Hertz, author of Caught in the Crossfire: A Year on Abortion's Front Line, documents what she saw in and at one busy abortion clinic:"It was easy to shrug off an aborted pregnancy as nothing more than a sack of blood and globs of tissue-as many pro-choice activists did- if one never saw fetal remains, or products of conception (POC) as they were known in medical circles. But the nurses, medical assistants, and doctors who worked inside procedure rooms...knew that an eleven week old POC harbored tiny arms and legs and feet with toes. At twelve weeks, those tiny hands had tiny nails. Although the fetal head was too small at this stage to withstand the evacuation machine's suction, pieces of face-a nose and mouth, or a black eye...were sometimes found in the aftermath...Later abortions spawned even more gruesome fetal remains...the head did not come out whole during the evacuation, but the legs and arms and rib cage made it through intact. The hand of a second trimester fetus, as a Pre-term doctor described it, seemed big enough to shake."
"The counselor/medical assistants (CMAs) met regularly to discuss their feelings about their work...Inside a procedure room, facing the contents of the uterus, there was no denying what abortion was."
"During the procedure, Doris [Merrill] would offer her hand for the patient to squeeze, or if the abortion were particularly painful, a notepad for the patient to bite...Doris knew what [Dr. Waldo Fielding] was doing at the end of the examination table as he poured over the legs and ribs and hands, but she chose not to look. It wasn't that Doris ignored the truth, but rather that her commitment was to the woman, not the fetus... Waldo removed from the glass jar cheesecloth sack which caught the fetal parts, dumping the parts into a basin at the end of the table, between [the patient's] feet. Two legs, two arms, two fists, a skull, a backbone, a placenta. 'We've got it' he announced."
~ Caught in the Crossfire: A Year on Abortion's Front Line by Sue Hertz, New York: Prentice Hall Press, 1991
"Remember, there is a human being at the other end of the table taking that kid apart. We've had a couple of guys drinking too much, taking drugs, even a suicide or two."
~ Dr. Julius Butler, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, as quoted in The Crime of Being Alive: Abortion, Euthanasia, Infanticide, by Melody Green and Sharon Bennett
"Arms, legs, and chests come out of the forceps. It's not a sight for everybody."
~ Abortion provider, Dr. William Benbow Thompson
"If I see a case...after twenty weeks, where it frankly is a child to me, I really agonize over it because the potential is so imminently there...On the other hand, I have another position, which I think is superior in the hierarchy of questions, and that is 'who owns this child?' It's got to be the mother."
~Dr. James MacMahon, who performs D & X abortions, "It's Just Too Late: Third Trimester abortions are an Outrage and an Insult to the Human Race," by Nat Hentoff, July 27, 1993 Pittsburg Post-Gazette
"Never. I would never look down. Some of the nurses watched as he removed the tissue, but I never looked. If I looked, I would never be able to work there [the clinic] again."
~Carlean Turner, Kansas City, on D&E abortions Articles of Faith: A Frontline History of The Abortion Wars, by Cynthia Gorney (New York: Simon& Schuster, 1998)
"This can burn you out very, very quickly...not so much by the physical labor as the emotional part of what's going on. When you do an ultrasound, particularly if you have children, and you see a fetus there, kicking, moving, living, doing things that your own child does, bringing its thumb to its mouth, and things like that—it's difficult. Then, after the procedure, sometimes we have to actually look at the specimen, and you see arms and legs and things like that torn off...It does take an emotional toll."
~Dr. Ed Jones, who had worked at a Planned Parenthood Clinic for 4 years, as quoted in the book Abortion: Debating the Issue, by Nancy Day (New York: Enslow Publishing, Inc., 1995)
"Is abortion murder? All killing isn't murder...."
~Don Sloan, MD, abortion provider, author of Abortion: A Doctor's Perspective, A Woman's Dilemma. Quoted in "Abortion: Opposing Viewpoints," edited by Tamara L. Roleff
"It is when I am holding a plastic uterus in one hand, a suction tube in the other, moving them together in imitation of the scrubbing to come, that woman ask the most secret question. I am speaking in a matter-of-fact voice about 'the tissue' and 'the contents' when the woman suddenly catches my eye and says 'How big is the baby now?' These words suggest a quiet need for definition of the boundaries being drawn. It isn't so odd, after all, that she feels relief when I describe the growing buds bulbous shape, its miniature nature. Again, I gauge, and sometimes lie a little, weaseling around its infantile features until its clinging power slackens."
~ "We Do Abortions Here," by Sallie Tisdale (an abortion worker), Harpers Magazine, Oct. 1987, p 68.
"Counselors are just to give the appearance of help. [They] think of themselves as company for the women."
"I have never yet counseled anybody to have the baby. I'm also doing women's counseling on campus at Albany State, and there I am expected to present alternatives. Whereas at the abortion clinic you aren't really expected to."
~Abortion counselor, excerpted from Rachel Weeping and Other Essays About Abortion, James Tunstead Burtchaell, editor, New York: Universal Press, 1982
"Vital signs should be observed regularly, and a Doppler [for listening to the fetal heartbeat] inaudible to the patient should be used at intervals to determine the presence or absence of fetal heart tones.. This [informed consent] is a controversial area, but most professionals in the field feel that it is not advisable for patients to view the products of conception, to be told the sex of the fetus, or to be informed of a multiple pregnancy."
~ Abortionist Warren Hern in Abortion Practice, J. B. Lippincott Company, 1984, pgs 145, 304
"They [the women] are never allowed to look at the ultrasound because we knew that if they so much as heard the heart beat, they wouldn't want to have an abortion."
~Former abortion doctor, Dr. Randall, "Pro-Choice 1990: Skeletons in the Closet" by David Kuperlain and Mark Masters in Oct., New Dimensions magazine.
"When discussing the sonogram, you are supposed to tell the client that it is a measurement as far as the pregnancy is concerned, but not a measure of the fetal head or anything like that."
~Rosemary Petruso, on her training to be an abortion counselor. Her story appeared in the St. Louis Review and was also quoted in "Women Exploited: The Other Victims of Abortion," Paula Ervin, editor, Huntington: Our Sunday Visitor, 1985
"Sometimes we lied. A girl might ask what her baby was like at a certain point in the pregnancy: Was it a baby yet? Even as early as 12 weeks a baby is totally formed, he has fingerprints, turns his head, fans his toes, and feels pain. But we would say 'It's not a baby yet. It's just tissue, like a clot.'"
~Kathy Sparks told in "The Conversion of Kathy Sparks," Gloria Williamson, Christian Herald Jan 1986 p 28.
"In fact many women will come to me considering abortion, and I have been personally told that I am to turn the monitor away from her view so that seeing her baby jump around on the screen does not influence her choice."
~Shari Richards, quoted from The John Ankerburg Show, 3/7/90
Sylvia Hampton worked in an abortion clinic. She acknowledged the truth about fetal development if directly confronted, but tried to redirect. In her own words:
"Sometimes, they [the partners of those having abortions] would say 'Have you ever seen the abortion afterward?' and I would say, 'Yes, I have.' Then they would say, 'Well, what does it look like?' And I would say, 'Well, it depends on the stage of the pregnancy.' 'Does it have little feet and a heartbeat?' And I would say, 'Yes, at the early stages it does. But you have to have a magnifying glass to see it.' And that's beside the point. The point is that this is a developing embryo that is going to become a child, a teenager, an adult. Is this what this woman wants? Is this what this woman is ready for?....' I would kind of put it back on them: Yeah, it is a developing human being, but why isn't she carrying it to term? And then they would start to talk about that."
~Sylvia Hampton, quoted in "Articles of Faith"
"I have seen hundreds of patients in my office who have had abortions and were just lied to by the abortion counselor. Namely 'This is less painful than having a tooth removed. It is not a baby.' Afterwards, the woman sees Life magazine and breaks down and goes into a major depression."
~Psychologist Vincent Rue quoted in "Abortion Inc.," by David Kupelian and Jo Ann Gasper, New Dimensions, October 1991, p 16
"I was totally uninformed of available alternatives to abortion. I never recommended adoption or keeping the child. Furthermore, I was completely unaware of the medical facts, including the development of the fetus. I received no training in factual matters—my job was just to keep women happy and make sure they went along with an abortion."
~A quote from a former abortion clinic counselor, ProLife Answers to Pro Choice Arguments, by Randy Alcorn
"If you can't sell abortions over the phone, you will not last."
~Hellen Pendley, former owner-director of an abortion clinic, as quoted in The Ex-Abortionists: Why They Quit, by Mary Meehanan
"I can remember...the resident doctor sitting down, putting the tube in, and removing the contents. I saw the bloody material coming down the plastic tube, and it went into a big jar. My job afterwards was to go and undo the jar, and to see what was inside. I didn't have any views on abortion; I was in a training program, and this was a brand new experience. I was going to get to see a new procedure and learn. I opened the jar and took the little piece of stockingnette stocking and opened the little bag. The resident doctor said 'Now put it on the blue towel and check it out. We want to see if we got it all.' I thought, 'That'll be an exciting hands-on experience looking at tissue.' I opened the sock up and put it on the towel, and there were parts of a person in there. I had taken anatomy, I was a medical student. I knew what I was looking at. There was a little scapula and an arm, I saw some ribs and a chest, and a little tiny head. I saw a piece of a leg, and a tiny hand and an arm, and you know, it was like somebody put a hot poker into me. I had a conscience, and it hurt. Well, I checked it out and there were two arms and two legs and one head and so forth, and I turned and said 'I guess you got it all.' That was a very hard experience to go through emotionally."
~Dr. David Brewer, "Pro-Choice 1990: Skeletons in the Closet,"by David Kuperlain and Mark Masters in Oct, New Dimensions magazine
"I got to where I couldn't stand to look at the little bodies anymore."
~Dr. Beverly McMillan, when asked why she stopped performing abortions.
"I have been there, and I have seen these totally formed babies as early as ten weeks...with the leg missing, or with their head off. I have seen the little rib cages..."
"We all wish it were formless, but its not...and its painful. There is a lot of emotional pain."
~Abortion clinic worker, quoted in "The Ex Abortionists: They Have Confronted Reality," Washington Post April 1, 1988, p. 21
"I was for abortion, I thought it was a woman's right to terminate pregnancy she did not want. Now I'm not so sure. I am a student nurse nearing the end of my OB-GYN rotation at a major metropolitan hospital and teaching center. It wasn't until I saw what abortion really involves that I changed my mind. After the first week in the abortion clinic several people in my clinical group were shaky about their previously positive feelings about abortion. This new attitude resulted from our actually seeing a Prostaglandin abortion, one similar in nature to the widely used saline abortion.this method is being used for terminations of pregnancies of sixteen weeks and over. I used to find rationales. the fetus isn't real. Abdomens aren't really very swollen. It isn't 'alive.' No more excuses...I am a member of the health profession and members of my class are now ambivalent about abortion. I now know a great deal more about what is involved in the issue. Women should perceive fully what abortion is; how destructive an act it is both for themselves and their unborn child. Whatever psychological coping mechanisms are employed during the process, the sight of a fetus in a hospital bedpan remains the final statement."
~Quoted in The Zero People: Essays on Life, by Jeff Lane Hensley, editor. Ann Arbor: Servant Books, 1983
"At least 80 percent of the women would try to look down at the end of the table, wondering if they cold see anything which is why our doctor always went in with the scalpel first. Once the baby was already cut up, there was nothing but blood and torn up tissue for the woman to see. When a later abortion was performed, workers had to piece the baby back together, and every major part-head, torso, two legs, and two arms-had to be accounted for. One of our little jokes at the clinic was, "If you ever want to humble a doctor, hide a leg so he thinks he has to go back in." Please understand, these were not abnormal, uncaring women working with me at the clinic. We were just involved in a bloody, dehumanizing business, all of us for our own reasons. Whether we were justifying our past advocacy (as I was), justifying a previous abortion (as many were) or whatever, we were just trying to cope-and if we couldn't laugh at what was going on, I think our minds would have snapped. It's not easy trying to confuse a conscience that will not stay dead."
~Excerpted from Won By Love by Norma McCorvey
"I wanted to be the world's best abortionist, for the good of my patients. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right. So, after I met each patient, reviewed the medical information gathered by my nurse, examined the patient and performed the abortion, I would then carefully sift through the remains to be sure all the parts were accounted for. I had to find four extremities (two arms and two legs) a spine, a skull, and the placenta, or my patient would suffer later from an incomplete abortion...My attention was so focused on my perceived patient that I managed to deny that there were, in fact, two patients involved-the expectant mother and a very small child...I had to wonder, how can having a child be so wrong for some people that they will pay me to end its life?"
~Former abortionist Dr. McMillan, "How One Doctor Changed Her Mind About Abortion," Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs
"I walked in the laboratory every day. I saw dead babies every day for three years. If I could see fifty, I was so happy. Because, you know what? That meant I was really gonna' have a good bonus in my paycheck."
~Clinic worker Hellen Pendley, quoted by Mary Meeham in "The Ex-Abortionists: Why They Quit" in The Human Life Review
"Clinic workers may say they support a woman's right to choose, but they will also say that they do not want to see tiny hands and tiny feet....there is a great difference between the intellectual support of a woman's right to choose and the actual participation in the carnage of abortion. Because seeing body parts bothers the workers."
~Judith Fetrow, former clinic worker from San Francisco, quoted in "Meet the Abortion Providers III" from a taped conference in Chicago 4/3/93
"Abortions are very draining, exhausting, heart-rending. There are a lot of tears. Some patients turn on you...I do them because I take the attitude that women who are going to terminate babies deserve the same kind of treatment as women who carry babies...I've done a couple thousand, and its been a significant financial boon...the only way I can do an abortion is to consider only the woman as my patient and block out the baby."
~Abortionist quoted in M.D. Doctors Talk About Themselves, by John Pekkanan
"So when I went back to doing abortions and saw the fetus on the ultrasound, I recalled the early days of my pregnancies, when I found out I was pregnant and saw the baby on the ultrasound, and it really felt like this is a baby, a very real and potential being. Now, I do feel that this is a potential person and it does not have a life of its own outside of the mother, but I also am really aware that when you're ready to embrace a pregnancy, you can embrace it from the very moment you conceive or are aware that you are pregnant. Faye Wattleton said recently, 'I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don't know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus, but it is the women's body, and therefore ultimately her choice.'I believe that very firmly. You look at the ultrasounds and there's a fetus with a heartbeat and then after the procedure, there's the fetus, usually in pieces, in a dish. It was alive one moment and it's not the next. I don't believe it's a painful experience for the fetus because its nervous system is not 'wired' so that it can feel pain at that point. I don't believe, as some anti-abortion people would have you believe, that there's a 'silent scream. 'But it's very clear to me that it's killing a potential life. And I found that hard at first. "
~Anonymous, quoted by Camille Peri
"Nobody wants to perform abortions after ten weeks, because by then you see the features of the baby, hands, feet. It's really barbaric."
~Abortionist quoted in M.D. Doctors Talk About Themselves, by John Pekkanen, p 93
"In testimony Wednesday in St. Louis Circuit Court, [abortionist] Crist said that it is not uncommon for second-trimester fetuses to leave the womb feet-first, intact and with their hearts still beating. He sometimes crushes their skulls to get the fetuses out. Other times, he dismembers them."
—Jo Mannies, "Abortion Doctor Gives Graphic Testimony Describing Abortion Procedure," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 25, 2000
"But when I look in the basin, among the curdlike blood clots, I see and elfin thorax, attentuated, its pencilline ribs all in parallel rows with tiny knobs of spine rounding upwards. A translucent arm and hand swim beside."
~Sallie Tisdale, Author of "We Do Abortions Here," October 1987, Harpers Magazine
"Abortion is killing the fetus....Human life, in and of itself, is not sacred. Human life, per se, is not inviolate."
~Abortionist Dr. Smith, as quoted in "The Abortionist," by Leo Wang, Berkeley Medical Journal, Spring 1995 Edition
"No one, neither the patient receiving an abortion, nor the person doing the abortion, is ever, at anytime, unaware that they are ending a life..."
~Abortion provider William F. Harrison, MD, FACOG, from the essay "Why I Provide Abortions," 1996.
"I found much distress in the clinic, but it involved not only the women. I saw the pain of the babies who were born burned from the saline solution used for late-term abortions. I saw the bits of feet, bits of hands, the mangled heads and bodies of the little people. I saw pain and felt pain."
—One-time clinic worker Paula Sutcliffe in "Precious in My Sight," Pro-Life Feminism: Different Voices, Gail Garnier-Sweet, editor
"From May to November 1988, I worked for an abortionist. He specializes in third trimester killings. I witnessed evidence of the brutal, cold blooded murder of over 600 viable, healthy babies at seven, eight and nine months gestation. A very, very few of these babies, less than 2%, were handicapped...I thought I was pro-choice and I was glad to be working in an abortion clinic. I thought I was helping provide a noble service to women in crisis....I was instructed to falsify the age of the babies in medical records. I was required to lie to the mothers over the phone, as they scheduled their appointments, and to tell them that they were not 'too far along' Then I had to note, in the records that Dr. Tiller's needle had successfully pierced the walls of the baby's heart, injecting the poison that brought death...one day, Dr. Tiller came up the stairs from the basement, where the mothers were in labor. He was carrying a large cardboard box, and ducked into the employees only area of the office so that he wouldn't have to walk through the waiting room. He passed behind my desk as I sat working on the computer, and he turned the corner to go around a short hall. He called out for me to come and help him. The box was so big and heavy in his arms that he couldn't get the key into the lock. So I unlocked the door for him, and, pushing the door open, I saw very clearly the gleaming metal of the crematorium-a full-sized crematorium, just like the one's used in funeral homes. I went back to my computer. I could hear Dr. Tiller firing up the gas oven. A few minutes later I could smell burning human flesh. Mine was the agony of a participant, however reluctant, in the act of prenatal infanticide."
~Luhra Tivis on her experience in the abortion business, as quoted in "Where is the Real Violence?" Celebrate Life, Sept/Oct 1994
To begin, I must say that until yesterday, Friday, July 2, 2004, I was strongly pro-choice. I am a pre-medical student, and being very scientific, I understood that the mass of cells that forms the fetal body is not often capable of survival before 24 weeks in the womb. I am also somewhat liberal, and I believed that every woman should have the right to choose what she did with her body and one that could potentially be growing inside of her.
This summer, I was accepted into a pre-medical program in NYC in which we are allowed to shadow doctors and see all sorts of medical procedures. When given the opportunity to see an abortion, I did not hesitate to accept the offer. It was something new, edgy, and exciting that I had never seen. When I entered the operating room, it felt like any other I had ever been in. On the table in front of me, I saw a woman, legs up as if delivering a child although she was asleep. Next to her was a tray of instruments for the abortion and a vacuum machine for suctioning the fetal tissues from the uterus. The doctors put on their gowns and masks and the procedure began. The cervix was held open with a crude metal instrument and a large transparent tube was stuck inside of the woman. Within a matter of seconds, the machine's motor was engaged and blood, tissue, and tiny organs were pulled out of their environment into a filter. A minute later, the vacuum choked to a halt. The tube was removed, and stuck to the end was a small body and a head attached haphazardly to it, what was formed of the neck snapped. The ribs had formed with a thin skin covering them, the eyes had formed, and the inner organs had begun to function. The tiny heart of the fetus, obviously a little boy, had just stopped—forever. The vacuum filter was opened, and the tiny arms and legs that had been torn off of the fetus were accounted for. The fingers and toes had the beginnings of their nails on them. The doctors, proud of their work, reassembled the body to show me. Tears welled up in my eyes as they removed the baby boy from the table and shoved his body into a container for disposal. I have not been able to think of anything since yesterday at 10:30 besides what that baby boy might have been. I don't think that people realize what an abortion actually is until they see it happen. I have been tortured by these images—so real and so vivid—for two days now...and I was just a spectator. Never again will I be pro-choice, and never again will I support the murder of any human being, no matter their stage in life.
~This is from a medical student who withheld his name, Sat, Jul 3 22:29:15 2004
From Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic by Wendy Simonds. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1996. This work by a pro-choice author included a chapter on how to repel 'antis' (anti-choicers). However, there was also a chapter on how clinic workers emotionally deal with 'aborted tissue.' Here are some quotes:
"You're going from dealing with people to dealing with what most people here at the Center consider a real hurdle, to do sterile room, because you have to deal with the actual abortion tissue. And for some people, that's really hard. They can be abstractly in favor of abortion rights, but they sure don't want to see what an eighteen-week abortion looks like."
"It's just—I mean it looks like a baby. It looks like a baby. And especially if you get one that comes out, that's not piecemeal. And you know, I saw this one, and it had its fingers in its mouth...it makes me really sad that that had to happen, you know, but it doesn't change my mind. It's just hard. And it makes me just sort of stop and feel sad about it, the whole necessity of it. And also....it's very warm when it comes into the sterile room because it's been in the mother's stomach. It feels like flesh, you know..."
"It's going to be weird now because you're going to see the sono. You're going to see the heart beating-little hearts, you know-and then, all of a sudden, you're going to put his cardiac medicine in it to make it stop—to kill it. So you're going to see the exact moment when you kill the fetus. I won't kill it, the doctor will kill it...and, I mean, it might be more humane...[if] the fetuses do feel something, why not kill it, you know, fast, [rather] than rip its leg off?"
"I feel some sadness [about abortions] and I think part of the problem is that we don't talk about that...we don't talk about it as much as we think about it...somehow your pro-choice stance is compromised by saying the word 'baby.'...We don't allow ourselves to say or think that word...."
"At nine weeks...you start seeing fetal parts. And by the second trimester it's, you know, it's a baby, and by eighteen weeks it's definitely a baby. And by like, you know, twenty-two weeks, you go in and you watch someone do a sonogram, and you're like, "Oh my." There it is just moving, moving around. And it's really hard because I always thought of abortion in terms of just the woman, just her body."
"You're looking between the woman's legs; you're seeing, you know, what the doctor's doing. And it's what a lot of people would call kind of, I guess, gruesome—that's not really the word because—it's identifiable. I mean, when he...takes the forceps and pulls out a foot, you can see the foot, and my reaction- because I feel so strongly that women who want to have a twenty week abortion should be able to have that- but I mean when I look and was just like, you know, my first reaction was, you know, I was pretty horrified."
"So by it looking like a baby, you're associating it with yourself because...you used to be a baby, you used to be a fetus."
"...when you're, you know, putting a fetus's feet in over its head in a baggie, there's just this brief moment of "This could have been me," which I fundamentally believe is okay. She should have the right to choose..."
"...it looks like a baby. That's what it looks like to me. You've never seen anything else that looks like that. The only other thing you've ever seen is a baby...You can see a face and hands, and ears and eyes and, you know...feet and toes...It bothered me real bad the first time..."
"The destruction I can't deny....I wish we lived in a world where abortion didn't have to exist."
"You know, we still say "products of conception." Well, why don't we say it looks like—you know, a twenty-week fetus looks like a baby. Why can't we say that in public? Because that's what the antis say, you know."
"I think the tough part was seeing actual pieces of fetus being removed. And in the beginning, yes, I remember looking, standing behind this woman's shoulder [as she performed an early second-trimester-abortion] and thinking, "I can't do this...There's something emotionally upsetting about this. Features are discernible; you can count five fingers on a hand and five toes on a foot. You know, all the organ systems are formed. You know, you can see ears as structures, and the nose and eyes as structures...I have gotten to the point now that because I've been doing this work five months, four months, I look at it a little differently. I don't see the same things that I did. And, honestly, when I sit down to do one of these now, I am watching to be sure that I'm getting everything that I need to get. It's 'Do I have two lower extremities? Do I have two upper extremities? Is there a spine? ...and the skull?...It does become a bit routine after a while. I don't fear it."
"I hate it when people put it together to look like a baby. I hate that...I don't want to look like it when it's like that because it's like a broken doll, and that grosses me out.
From the author: "Many health workers told me they 'never look at the face' when processing tissue."
"I do think abortion is murder—of a very special and necessary sort. What else would one call the deliberate stilling of a life? And no physician involved with the procedure ever kids himself about that...legalistic distinctions among "homicide," "justified homicide," "self-defense," and "murder" appear to me a semantic game. What difference does it make what we call it? Those who do it and those who witness its doing know that abortion is the stilling of a life."
~ Dr. Magda Denes, PhD, "Performing Abortions," by Dr. Magda Denes, PhD., Commentary Magazine, October 1976, pages 33 to 37
"You have to become a bit schizophrenic. In one room, you encourage the patient that the slight irregularity in the fetal heart is not important, that she is going to have a fine, healthy baby. Then, in the next room you assure another woman, on whom you just did a saline abortion, that it is a good thing that the heartbeat is already irregular....she has nothing to worry about, she will NOT have a live baby...All of a sudden one noticed that at the time of the saline infusion there was a lot of activity in the uterus. That's not fluid currents. That's obviously the fetus being distressed by swallowing the concentrated salt solution and kicking violently and that's to all intents and purposes, the death trauma. ..somebody has to do it, and unfortunately we are the executioners in this instance..."
~Abortionist, Dr. Szenes
"And then to see, to be with somebody while they're having the injection when they're twenty or twenty-four weeks, and you see the baby moving around, kicking around, as this needle goes into the stomach, you know."
~Susan Lindstrom, M.S.W.
"I look inside the bucket in front of me. There is a small naked person in there, floating in a bloody liquid- plainly the tragic victim of a drowning accident. But then perhaps this was no accident, because the body is purple with bruises and the face has the agonized tautness of one forced to die too soon. I have seen this face before, on a Russian soldier lying on a frozen snow-covered hill, stiff with death, and cold."
~Dr. Magda Denes, PhD.
"We know that its killing, but the state permits killing under certain circumstances."
~Dr. Neville Sender, abortionist
"Even now I feel a little peculiar about it, because as a physician I was trained to conserve life, and here I am destroying it."
"You know there is something in there alive that you are killing."
~Another abortionist interviewed by Dr. Magda Denes, PhD.
"I went up to the lab one day and on the pathologist's table I saw what I thought was a little rubber doll until I realized it was a fetus. I got really shook up and upset and I couldn't believe it. It had all its fingers and toes, you know, hands and feet. I never thought it would look so—real. I didn't like it."
~Planned Parenthood employee quoted in Dr. Magda Denes' book, In Necessity and Sorrow: Life and Death Inside an Abortion Hospital, New York: Basic Books, 1979
"I am walking out the back door, and I see a plastic jar of tissue and blood waiting to be sent to the path lab, and in the plastic jar a tiny perfect white hand. That flat palm reaching up through a wine-red wash of blood. Why does that stay with me?"
~From the book Past Due, by Anne Finger, published by The Seal Press, 1990
"We had one saline born alive. I raced to the nursery with it and put it in an incubator. I called the pediatrician to come right down, and he refused. He said, "That's not a baby. That's an abortion."
~A New York nurse, as quoted in The Ambivalence of Abortion, by Linda Bird Francke
Compiled by Jean Marie Catherine Heimann