Prolifers in North Dakota have asked Secretary of State Al Jaeger for a ballot measure banning the crushing of a fetus's skull "in a life-endangering manner."
The proposal seeks to stop procedures that its sponsors say happen during some types of abortions.
If the author had done any research, she would have found out it's not a matter of what sponsors say. In second trimester D&E abortions, part of the procedure is to grab and crush the fetal skull, which they refer to as the calvarium. I listened to a National Abortion Federation tape from a Risk Management Seminar in which Warren Hern and Mildred Hanson had a very lively debate about the best way to remove the fetal skull.
Hern held that the practitioner should use forceps to squeeze what he thinks is the fetal skull, and watch for the "calvarium show" -- fetal brains oozing out through the mother's cervix. If calvarium show is present, the abortionist can be confident that the structure he has in his forceps is indeed the skull, and he can crush and extract it with confidence, knowing that he's not crushing and pulling out a part of the mother's body. (In his book, he explains it thus: "As the calvaria is grasped, a sensation that it is collapsing is almost always accompanied by the extrusion of white cerebral material from the external os. ....Grasping and collapsing the calvaria are often difficult. Stripping the calvaria of soft tissue [tearing off the baby's face and scalp] is sometimes the first step in successful delivery of this part, followed by dislocation of parietal bones [crushing the baby's skull]."
Hanson found this appalling. She pointed out that of all fetal tissues that can get into the mother's bloodstream during an abortion, brain tissue is most likely to cause disseminated intravascular coagulopathy -- an often fatal clotting disorder. Hanson argued that pulling out sharp pieces of fetal skull, which can scrape and cut the cervix, is something you shouldn't do when you've just introduced brain tissue to the area. To prevent fetal brain tissue from getting into the mother's bloodstream, Hanson advocated first suctioning the brains out of the fetal skull, then crushing and removing the skull.
And it looks like now Hanson's method will be the winner in North Dakota, since if you follow her advice and vacuum the brains out first, you're not crushing the skull in a way that endangers the fetus' life -- the fetus will already be quite dead, with his or her brain in the collection jar of the suction machine.
HT: JJ via Jill Stanek
UPDATE: Here's more from Life Site News:
Daniel Woodard, head of North Dakota's Stop Decapitation Network, .... said that he was inspired to pursue the ballot initiative after reading the quotes of abortion doctors who, in federal court hearings regarding the partial-birth abortion ban, testified to decapitating and crushing the skulls of unborn infants in other types of abortions. Woodard's measure would apply not only to partial-birth abortions, but also to abortions inside the mother's womb.
Hern specifically recommends the use of decapitation scissors
(see example, right) to cut the baby's head off. Let that sink in a moment: somebody created a medical instrument, the sole purpose of which is to decapitate a fetus.
According to Woodard, the initiated measure would provide a class A felony penalty to physicians participating in skull-crushing or decapitation abortions. That penalty would become a class AA felony if a skull fragment from the unborn child were to cause serious bodily injury to the mother during or following a decapitation or skull crushing abortion.
We get back to the calvarium show versus vacuum out the brain debate between Warnie and Millie at that NAF seminar.
Red River Women's Clinic (RRWC) of Fargo declined to comment to LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) on the legislation because they had not yet seen the initiative. RRWC, North Dakota's lone abortuary, only provides abortion until the 15th week of pregnancy - at which point the child's head is too small to purposefully crush or decapitate.
I'm not sure about that last part. I recall abortionists discussing abortions between 12 and 15 weeks in which they crushed the skull.
Frankly, though, the greatest benefit of the proposal is that it will get people talking about how abortions are actually done, just as the PBA bans did. They didn't prohibit any babies from being killed, but they made the public examine what abortion is and what it does, and that was a huge blow to the abortion advocacy side. ANYTHING that gets people talking about the reality of what abortion is and what it does is a good thing.
Let's look at some testimony by abortionists on how they do their jobs.
Martin Haskell, who popularized what he called "D&X", more widely known as "partial birth abortion", testified about how he performs second-trimester D&E abortions in sworn testimony in US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin (Madison, WI, May 27, 1999, Case No. 98-C-0305-S):
And typically when the abortion procedure is started we typically know that the fetus is still alive because either we can feel it move as we're making our initial grasps or if we're using some ultrasound visualization when we actually see a heartbeat as we're starting the procedure. It's not unusual at the start of D&E procedures that a limb is acquired first and that that limb is brought through the cervix and even out of the vagina prior to disarticulation and prior to anything having been done that would have caused the fetal demise up to that point.
When you're doing a dismemberment D&E, usually the last part to be removed is the skull itself and it's floating free inside the uterine cavity...So it's rather like a ping-pong ball floating around and the surgeon is using his forceps to reach up to try to grasp something that's freely floating around and is quite large relative to the forceps we're using.
So typically there's several mis-directions, mis-attempts to grasp. Finally at some point either the instruments are managed to be place around the skull or a nip is made out of some area of the skull that allows it to start to decompress. And then once that happens typically the skull is brought out in fragments rather than as a unified piece...
Here's some testimony of LeRoy Carhart, who assumed George Tiller's mantle as the late abortionist of the midwest:
Carhart: We remove the feet and continue pulling on the feet until the abdomen and the thorax came through the cavity. At that point, I would try ... you have to bring the shoulders down, but you can get enough of them outside, you can do this with your finger outside of the uterus, and then at that point the fetal ... the base of the fetal skull is usually in the cervical canal.
Question: What do you do next?
Carhart: And you can reach that, and that's where you would rupture the fetal skull to some extent and aspirate the contents out. [I'm not sure if this would count as "crushing" the skull under the proposed law.]
Question: At what point in that process does fetal death occur between initial...removal of the feet or legs and the crushing of the skull, or I'm sorry, the decompressing of the skull?
Carhart: Well, you know, again, this is where I'm not sure what fetal death is. I mean, I honestly have to share your concern, your Honor. You can remove the cranial contents and the fetus will still have a heartbeat for several seconds or several minutes, so is the fetus alive? I would have to say probably, although I don't think it has any brain function, so it's brain dead at that point.
Question: So the brain death might occur when you begin suctioning out the cranium?
Carhart: I think brain death would occur because the suctioning to remove contents is only two or three seconds, so somewhere in that period of time, obviously not when you penetrate the skull, because people get shot in the head and the don't die immediately from that, if they are going to die at all, so that probably is not sufficient to kill the fetus, but I think removing the brain contents eventually will.
RELATED: Nebraska Law Prohibiting Abortion After 20 Weeks is the New Frontier. It challenges Roe's trimester system, in which they simply, by fiat, decided that you're only allowed to limit abortions after 24 weeks. (And the limitations have to have a "health" loophole broad enough that "I don't want to have to get up so often to pee" would suffice.) Abortion advocates will, of course, challenge the law, for several reason:
1. Any limit on abortion is purely unacceptable to them. You could draft a law banning the use of Drano for abortions and they'd fight it purely on principle.
2. Late second trimester abortions are very expensive, and thus big money makers.
3. Banning late second trimester abortions would reduce the incidence of aborting babies that eugenecists disapprove of, such as kids with club foot, Down syndrome, cleft palate, heart defects, dwarfism, etc. Call it the "Get that unsightly kid out of my face!" reflex. They can't see beauty in anybody who isn't just like them.