Abortion violates the most basic medical tenet: "Do No Harm".
Primum non nocere!This Latin phrase meaning "First, do no harm" is one of the principal precepts guiding all medical intervention. Like the Hippocratic Oath which also vows to "never do harm", it is a reminder that the physician's role is to heal, not to harm. While many surgical procedures carry the risk of harm, their intent is to provide healing for the patient. The explicit intent of abortion, however, is to harm the embryo or fetus to death. Abortion may be a common procedure, but it is by no means simple or benign. From an ethical standpoint, it results in the violent destruction of a living human being. From a technical standpoint, it is a blind procedure which results in the forceful evacuation of the woman's uterus. Warren Hern is one of the most well-known abortionists in the United States. His book Abortion Practiceremains the only single-author abortion textbook in publication. In it, he describes the abortion procedure this way
One of my more experienced colleagues recently commented, "Abortion is a simple procedure except for the uterus's total intolerance to poor technique." The first half of this comment summarizes the popular notions about abortion within the medical community; the last half summarizes the wisdom of one who is experienced with the pitfalls of this "simple" procedure. In medical practice, there are few surgical procedures given so little attention and so underrated in its potential hazard as abortion.
No matter how much "relief" abortion provides for the mother who doesn't want a baby, it is a procedure which violates the most basic medical ethic. Listed below you will find information on the various methods used to "abort" a developing embryo or fetus. They are descriptions of legal, medical procedures designed to kill living human beings who have given absolutely no consent to be terminated.
Suction Aspiration or Vacuum Aspiration Abortion:
MEDICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF 9-WEEK SUCTION ABORTION (click images to enlarge)Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art, Inc. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com
Suction Aspiration abortion (also called Vacuum Aspiration) is the most common abortion procedure in practice today. About 90% of all abortions happen in the first trimester(Link to Abort97 'Abortion in SA: Statistics') and this method accounts for the vast majority of those first trimester abortions. For the procedure to begin, the woman's cervix must be manually dilated with a series of rods to allow for the insertion of a hollow plastic tube with a sharp cutting-tip. This tube is connected to a suction machine that is able to pull the tiny, developing human being apart as it is suctioned out of the uterus (killing him or her in the process). The remains are deposited into a collection canister. The placentamust then be cut away from the uterine wall before it, too, can be sucked into a collection bottle.
This is how the procedure is described by a typical abortion clinichttp://www.mariestopes.org.uk/Womens_services/Abortion/Abortion_options/Surgical_abortion.aspx Notice that they don't call the developing human being a baby, an embryo or even a fetus. Instead, they say it is the "pregnancy " that is being removed from the womb. How's that for honesty?
Recently, non-surgical abortion techniques have increased in frequency, but have not taken hold like many predicted. Medical abortions are a two-step procedure, generally requiring three trips to an abortion facility, and can be performed on embryos in the the first six or seven weeks of pregnancy. Patients that smoke, have asthma, high blood pressure or are obese cannot take the necessary drugs for a medical abortion. Those that do qualify begin the process by taking the first pill (RU-486 or mifepristone) to block the hormone (progesterone) that maintains the uterus' nutrient lining during pregnancy. Once the uterus is compromised, the embryo starves and dies. Two days later, the woman returns to the abortion facility for a dose of misoprostol to initiate uterine contractions. Most women will expel the dead embryo within four hours of taking the second drug. The final visit must take place two weeks later to ensure that the abortion has taken place. If it hasn't, which is true in 5-10% of all cases*, a surgical abortion will then be required.
This is how the procedure is described by a typical abortion clinic. http://www.mariestopes.org.uk/Womens_services/Abortion/Abortion_options/Medical_abortion.aspxLike the clinic linked above, their language is veiled. They describe medical abortion as causing the uterus to expel the "pregnancy", not as causing the uterus to expel the dead embryo, fetus, or child.
* Élisabeth Aubeny and É.É.Baulieu, "Contragestion with Ru 486 and an orally active prostaglandin," C.R. Acad. Sci. Paris (III), Vol. 312 (1991), pp. 539-545, obtained a 95% completion rate with women 49 days amenorrhea or less. Carolyn McKinley, et al, "The effect of dose of mifepristone and gestation on the efficacy of medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol," Hum. Reproduc., Vol. 8 (1993), pp. 1502-1503, obtained a completion rate of 89.1% for women 50-63 days amenorrhea.
Dilation & Curettage (D&C) or Sharp Curettage Abortion:
In a Dilation & Curettage abortion, a sharp curetteis used to dismember and remove the embryo or fetus from the mother's uterus (instead of the suction cannula used in the above procedure). The curette is inserted directly into the mother's uterus and used to scrape, first, the baby and then the placenta out of the uterus and through the cervix. Bleeding is generally profuse. Dilation & Curettage may also be used in non-abortive circumstances to treat abnormal uterine bleeding, dysmenorrhea, etc.
Dilation and Evacuation (D and E) Abortion:
MEDICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF 14-WEEK D&E ABORTION (click images to enlarge)
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art, Inc. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com
Dilation and Evacuation is a 2nd trimester abortion procedure. For the procedure to take place, the woman's cervix must first be dilated, usually with laminaria, over a two or three day period prior to the abortion. Laminaria sticks are made of sterilized and compressed seaweed that can be inserted into a woman's cervix. Here, they begin expanding from moisture absorption, resulting in an enlarged cervix. When the woman returns for the actual abortion to take place, forceps are inserted through the enlarged cervix into the uterus. The abortion provider then uses the forceps instrument to dismember the fetus by seizing a leg or arm and twisting it until it tears off and can be pulled out of the uterus. This will continue until only the head remains. Finally the skull is crushed and also pulled out. The body parts must then be reassembled to ensure that the entire baby has been removed.
This is how the procedure is described by a typical abortion clinic. http://www.safersex.co.za/dilation.htm Again, no mention of the terms: embryo, fetus, child, or baby.
MEDICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF 23-WEEK D&E ABORTION (click images to enlarge)
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art, Inc. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com
Saline Injection Abortion:
Dilation & Evacuation abortions have largely replaced the saline variety). Their extreme risk to the mother has removed them from common practice today. In saline abortions, done after the 16th week, a large needle is inserted through the woman's abdominal wall and into the baby's amniotic sac. A concentrated salt solution is injected into the amniotic fluid resulting in acute hypernatremia or acute salt poisoning. The baby breathes in and swallows the solution and is usually dead within a couple hours. Dehydration, hemorrhaging of the brain, organ failure, and burned skin also contribute to the fetus' demise. The mother generally goes into labor the next day and delivers a dead baby.
Dilation and Extraction (D and X) / Partial Birth Abortion:
Dilation and Extraction (often called partial birth abortion) is used during the 2nd or 3rd trimester and is usually performed on a viable baby. The Ultrasound-guided procedure is essentially the breach delivery of a live baby. Forceps, inserted through the cervical canal, are used to position the fetus so that it can be delivered feet first and face down. The child's body is then pulled through the birth canal, but the head (too large to pass through the cervix) is left inside. With arms and legs exposed (and likely flailing), the abortion provider then inserts blunt surgical scissors into the base of the fetal skull and spreads the tips apart. A suction catheter is inserted into the skull and the brain is sucked out. The skull collapses until the baby's head can pass through the cervix.
POSSIBLE OBJECTION: Though abortion procedures are not pleasant, abortion is a far better solution than for an unwanted child to be born into a life of neglect. It mercifully spares them a great deal of suffering.
TO LEARN OUR RESPONSE, CONTINUE TO THE NEXT PAGE: Abortion Pictures
- Abortion and the Hippocratic Oath: The original rendering of this historic creed explicitly condemns abortion.
- Does a Fetus Feel Pain?: There is significant debate over when in pregnancy a fetus can feel pain.
- Is Abortion Painful for Women?: Pain is relative, but many women do find abortion to be physically painful.
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
Adapted from Abort73. Used with permission. http://www.abort73.com/abortion/abortion_techniques/