Bloomberg journalist Esme E. Deprez was tasked with informing readers about the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Act, which last month was introduced in both Kansas and Oklahoma.

The writing experience obviously wasn’t pleasant for her.

But, of course. To be forced to describe a “technique” that dismembers small, recognizable humans – Dilation and Evacuation abortions – can’t be fun.

Which is the point.

Deprez preempted pro-life depictions of D&E abortions with a reminder that they are “common… used in 96% of second-trimester abortions.”

In other words, everybody’s doing them, so they must be ok.

Yet pro-lifers are making D&Es sound so… depraved. Deprez tried to make us the bad guys for “deploying grisly language… to rebrand a medical procedure with a new and unsettling name.” I’ll own that.

Indeed, here is how the bills describe the “medical procedure” they aim to ban:

… to dismember a living unborn child and extract him or her one piece at a time from the uterus through use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush, and/or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body to cut or rip it off.

No surprise, abortion proponents told Deprez the bills “inaccurately describe” D&E abortions with “misleading and inflammatory language.”

Which raises the obvious follow-up question: Well then, what is an accurate description?

Which – surprise – Deprez didn’t ask.

carhart closeupBut here’s another surprise: a late-term abortionist who upstaged pro-lifers with an even more graphic description of D&E abortions – LeRoy “Crock-Pot” Carhart (pictured right).

In his dissent after the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly overturned Nebraska’s Partial Birth Abortion Ban in 2000, Justice Anthony Kennedy quoted testimony by Carhart (I’m removing footnote references and adding paragraph breaks for ease of reading):

As described by Dr. Carhart, the D&E procedure requires the abortionist to use instruments to grasp a portion (such as a foot or hand) of a developed and living fetus and drag the grasped portion out of the uterus into the vagina.

Dr. Carhart uses the traction created by the opening between the uterus and vagina to dismember the fetus, tearing the grasped portion away from the remainder of the body. The traction between the uterus and vagina is essential to the procedure because attempting to abort a fetus without using that traction is described by Dr. Carhart as “pulling the cat’s tail” or “drag[ging] a string across the floor, you’ll just keep dragging it. It’s not until something grabs the other end that you are going to develop traction.”

The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off. Dr. Carhart agreed that “[w]hen you pull out a piece of the fetus, let’s say, an arm or a leg and remove that, at the time just prior to removal of the portion of the fetus, … the fetus [is] alive.”

Dr. Carhart has observed fetal heartbeat via ultrasound with “extensive parts of the fetus removed,” and testified that mere dismemberment of a limb does not always cause death because he knows of a physician who removed the arm of a fetus only to have the fetus go on to be born “as a living child with one arm.” At the conclusion of a D&E abortion no intact fetus remains. In Dr. Carhart’s words, the abortionist is left with “a tray full of pieces.”

Well, ack. Talk about “inflammatory language.”

2015-02-11_0846What the abortion crowd obviously prefers is technical language. Quoting from the 2009 edition of the National Abortion Federation Handbook on how to commit D&E abortions:

After about 16 weeks’ gestation, the 16-mm suction cannula alone is not sufficient, and forceps extraction is necessary….

Once the forceps has passed through the internal os, open the jaws as widely as possible to encircle the fetal tissue….

After 16 weeks’ gestation, fetal skeletal development is such that the surgeon can manually sense the presence of fetal parts within the closed jaws….

After grasping a fetal part, withdraw the forceps while gently rotating it. This maneuver brings the fetus in the lower uterine segment before the grasped fetal part is separated (if necessary) and removed….

If a fetal extremity is brought through the cervix without separation, advance the forceps beyond the extremity to grasp part of the fetal trunk….

During the procedure, try to identify and keep track of fetal parts as they are removed. A “pouch” or surgical pan at the edge of the table to catch fetal parts can assist this process….

[T]issue examination at the end of the procedure helps to verify complete evacuation. Identify major fetal parts, including the calvarium, pelvis, spine, and extremities….

Measurement of fetal foot length has been used to estimate gestational age after abortion….

Fair warning, Justice Kennedy won’t like a sterile description of D&E abortions if and when a dismemberment ban reaches the Supreme Court. Again, from his aforementioned dissenting opinion:

Words invoked by the majority, such as “transcervical procedures,” “[o]smotic dilators,” “instrumental disarticulation,” and “paracervical block,” may be accurate and are to some extent necessary, but for citizens who seek to know why laws on this subject have been enacted across the Nation, the words are insufficient.

Repeated references to sources understandable only to a trained physician may obscure matters for persons not trained in medical terminology.

But, of course, obscuring is the point. Actually, NAF goes beyond obscuring to erasing. The diagram in its handbook of a D&E abortion completely omits the object of the surgery. Imagine a diagram of an appendectomy with no appendix. And yet (click to enlarge)…


But here is an accurate depiction of a D&E abortion, about which abortion proponents can possibly have no argument, since it merely illustrates their sterile description (click to enlarge):


Quoting Deprez again:

“Abortion care can be, in the abstract, deeply upsetting and the anti-abortion movement using the word ‘dismemberment’ is not an accident,” said Carole Joffe, a reproductive health sociologist at the University of California at San Francisco. “It puts the pro-choice movement on the defensive.”

And why not?

[HT: Susie; for NAF handbook and Kennedy dissent: National Right to Life’s Mary Balch]

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