Analysis

911 tapes: 21-week-old baby who survived an abortion was ‘breathing’ and ‘moving’

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Newly released 911 tapes have confirmed that a baby was born alive at an abortion facility in Phoenix, Arizona. An abortion worker called 911, and the baby was rushed to the hospital, but he or she did not survive.

Pro-lifers had heard rumors of an incident that occurred last February of a baby surviving an abortion at Family Planning Associates in Phoenix, Arizona, one in a chain of abortion facilities originally founded by abortionist Dr. Edward Allred. The 911 tapes have now been released, confirming that a child was in fact born alive. 

This particular facility does a high volume of abortions and employs four different abortionists.  There is no indication which abortionists were present when the baby was born. The baby’s mother, whose identity has not been released, was 27 years old.  The age of the baby was recorded as 21 weeks.

On the 911 call, a staffer can be hard saying tentatively:

There was a termination that was performed…There is a fetus that is breathing right now, so we need someone to do services.

The dispatcher asked if the “fetus” had been harmed in any way. The answer the facility worker gave was no, but one could consider being forced into birth too soon as being harm.

The mother had gone into spontaneous labor during or just before the abortion started. After the baby was born, the abortionist checked for a heartbeat and found none. But as they put the baby on a scale to weigh him/her, a clinic worker saw the baby move. The worker’s words were, “Oh my God, this fetus is moving.”

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The staffer, who called 911, told the dispatcher that they could not care for the “fetus” in the facility. In calling 911, the abortion center was operating within the law.

Such was not the case in 2005,  when a 22-week-old baby was born alive at a different abortion facility. That baby, whom the mother named Rowan, was not given medical care. Workers refused to help him, and when paramedics arrived, they were turned away at the door. The baby died in a toilet while his mother pleaded with the facility workers for help.

Interestingly, a Live Action investigator had gone undercover to this same facility several years ago. The investigator, who was 23 weeks pregnant at the time and posed as a woman seeking an abortion, asked a staffer what the abortionist would do if the baby were to be born alive.

In the video, you can see and  hear the counselor conceding: “It’s possible that there may be movement as they’re taking out the fetus.” She then assures the investigator “usually it stops on its own.” She also assured the investigator that the clinic would not try to resuscitate the baby.

So why did the facility worker call 911 in this case? There is no way to know. Perhaps the baby’s mother, realizing her baby was alive and moving, had a change of heart and wanted to save her child. Perhaps a worker took pity on the baby; or it could be that due to Live Action’s investigation, the worker knew they were being watched very carefully by pro-lifers.

In this case, the baby was rushed to the hospital, but sadly, died there. There have been cases of babies born at 21 weeks surviving with proper medical care, but they are believed to be rare. Time magazine documented one case in 2011.

However, new medical evidence is also demonstrating that babies who are born at 21 weeks fetal age can actually survive at a rate of 61-71%, if provide with “active care.” Such “active care” might have saved this baby who survived the abortion, or, as the SBA List reports, he would never have been aborted if a court had not struck down Arizona’s Pain-Capable legislation:

Arizona legislators took action in 2012 to protect babies from abortion more than halfway through pregnancy. The state’s Pain-Capable legislation was struck down by a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel in 2013 and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case on appeal. Without that obstruction from the judicial branch, this child might be alive today, as many preemies are.

Interestingly, the word “abortion” was only used a few times in the broadcast. The abortion center was labeled a” family planning clinic” by the newscaster, and on the 911 tapes, the worker said they were a “termination clinic” and the baby was born alive from a “termination.”

Another word avoided by the workers was the word “baby.” In the 911 tapes, the worker repeatedly refers to the child – a living, breathing child – as a “fetus.”  The scientific and medical term for a “fetus” that is born and is living independently of the mother is “baby.” It is not surprising that the worker did not want to use that word.

As part of the Inhuman investigation, Live Action documented workers at six other abortion facilities saying their clinic would not try to save babies born alive during abortions.

It is unknown how often babies are born alive in abortion facilities and not provided with medical care.

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