General Information / History / Stats / Types

Talking Points: Partial Birth Abortion (PBA)

Necessary?

Safe?

Protect Women?

Says Who?

Not Doctors.

This InFocus is a compilation of quotes from prominent physicians that refute common misconceptions surrounding PBA. 

“Partial-birth abortion is medically necessary.”

“This procedure is totally unnecessary and dangerous. If it becomes necessary to evacuate a uterus beyond 20 weeks gestation, there is a recognized standard method taught in all ob/gyn training programs which involves prostaglandins and pitocins.” — Dr. Dominick Caselnova, FACOG, correpondence to Senator Graham of Florida

“Because of the dangers posed to women, the distortions regarding the so-called ‘medical necessity’ of partial-birth abortion must not be allowed to stand…The most serious such distortion is the claim, now endorsed by President Clinton, that a partial-birth abortion can be medically necessary to protect the health of a woman carrying a child diagnosed with severe congenital or genetic disabilities…There is no medical basis for such an assertion. Given the many potential risks the procedure entails for the mother, far from being medically indicated, partial-birth abortion is actually contraindicated.” — Physicians Ad Hoc Coalition For Truth

“There is only one reason to ever consider the partial-birth abortion procedure “necessary;” to ensure the delivery of a dead child rather than a living one.” — Physicians Ad Hoc Coalition For Truth

“From the evidence that has been presented in standard obstetrical textbooks as well as in the annals of research in OB/GYN there is absolutely no medical necessity for this abortion technique portions of which have been clearly documented to be causal factors in the death and reproductive morbidity of women.” — Dr. Pamela Smith, Ob/Gyn, correpondence to Lisa Binns of 60 Minutes, 5-17-96

“I don’t think there are any maternal conditions that I’m aware of that mandate ending the pregnancy that also require that the fetus be dead…..there’s no reason these fetuses cannot be delivered intact vaginally after a miniature labor, if you will, and be at least assessed at birth and given the benefit of the doubt.” — Dr. Harlan Giles, Professor of “High-Risk” Obstetrics And Perinatology and Abortionist, sworn testimony in U.S. Federal District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, 11-13-95

“Partial-birth abortion is never medically necessary to protect a mother’s health or her future fertility. On the contrary, this procedure can pose a significant threat to both.” — former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop

“Partial-birth abortion is the safest procedure.”

“You really can’t defend it…I would dispute any statement that this is the safest procedure to use…Turning the fetus to a breech position is potentially dangerous. You have to be concerned about causing amniotic fluid embolism or placental abruption if you do that.” — Dr. Warren Hern, Abortionist, American Medical News, 11-20-95

“Partial-birth abortion is, in fact, a public health hazard in regards to women’s health in that one employs techniques manipulating a normally uncontaminated vagina over a course of three days (a technique that invites infection). Medically, I would contend of all the abortion techniques available to a woman, this is the worst one which could be recommended in the situation of a mother’s health.” — Dr. Pamela Smith, Ob/Gyn

“The standard of care that is used by medical personnel to terminate a pregnancy in its later stages does not include partial-birth abortion. Cesarean section, inducing labor with pitocin or prostagaldins, draining fluid to allow normal delivery, are all techniques taught and used by obstetrical providers throughout the country. These are techniques for which we have safety statistics in regards to their impact on the health of…the woman.” –Dr. Pamela Smith, Ob/Gyn, correspondence to U.S. Congress, 9-23-96

“The conversion of a fetus presenting as a vertex to a breech position…is capable of causing an abruption of the placenta and amniotic fluid embolism. This is a dangerous and life-threatening situation. Surely it would not benefit an already sick mother. Amnioinfusion of prostaglandins and induction of labor is a far safer procedure for the mother…” –Dr. Lewis Marola, Ob/Gyn, correspondence to NY State Assembly, 6-27-96

“Drawing out the child in a breech position ‘is a very dangerous procedure, and you could tear the uterus.’ A ruptured uterus could cause the mother to bleed to death in 10 minutes. The puncturing of the child’s skull also produces bone shards that could puncture the uterus.” — Dr. Joseph DeCook, ACOG, The Washington Times, 7-25-96

“Partial-birth abortion is necessary to protect the life, health, and future fertility of the woman.”

“Abortion methods utilizing forceful cervical dilatation are associated with poor pregnancy performance in subsequent pregnancies, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, infection and maternal death from uterine hemorrhage.” — Dr. Pamela Smith, Ob/Gyn, correpondence to Lisa Binns of 60 Minutes, 5-17-96

“The procedure is not only a brutal mutilation of the baby, but a threat to the health and safety of the mother. The mother is at risk for perforation or rupture of the uterus which could lead to hysterectomy or additional other major surgical procedures. She is also at risk for cervical incompetence, which would make it difficult to carry a subsequent pregnancy to term.” — Dr. Dominick Caselnova, FACOG, correpondence to Senator Graham of Florida

“The woman couldn’t have a normal delivery or natural birth because of the fetal condition.”

“I cannot think of a fetal condition or malformation, no matter how severe, that actually causes harm or risk to the mother of continuing the pregnancy.” — Dr. Harlan Giles

Partial-birth abortion is a normal delivery, done breech, for the purpose of aborting the child. –Physicians Ad Hoc Coalition for Truth

When they say other things…..Think about it.

If a woman’s uterus is in danger of rupturing, the last thing any knowledgeable Ob/Gyn would do is force dilate the woman’s cervix for 3 days, turn the baby inside the uterus, then blindly stick sharp scissors into the woman’s body.

In the event that a pregnant woman has a serious medical emergency, a responsible doctor would not recommend forcible dilation of the woman for up to three days.

Issue No.: 250
IF02G3
http://www.frc.org/index.cfm?i=IF02G3&f=WU04H12&t=e
archived on: 09-JUL-05

Please note: this article is an archived item on Family Research Council’s website; the information contained therein may be outdated.