Former abortionist Dr. Kathi A. Aultman testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on March 15th, 2016. The purpose of the hearing was to discuss two pro-life bills. One bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks. The other would ensure that a baby accidentally born alive during an abortion procedure be given proper medical care and treatment. Aultman, who has performed both first and second trimester abortions, testified in favor of the bills.
During her time as an abortionist, she committed abortions by suction D&C (in the first trimester) and D&E (in the second).
A suction D&C, also called an aspiration abortion, is performed by inserting an instrument called a cannula into the woman’s uterus. The cannula is attached to a tube and suction machine. When the machine is turned on, the baby is torn apart by the force of the suction. The pieces go through the tube into a collection jar. The baby is dismembered in the process.
A baby is also dismembered in a second trimester D&E procedure, In a D&E, the abortionist pulls apart the baby with forceps, extracting the preborn child piece by piece, pulling out a leg, then an arm, etc.
These two abortion procedures are the most frequent ones used in the United States today.
After each abortion she performed, Aultman had to examine the remains of the aborted babies. Looking at the preborn babies’ torn apart bodies didn’t trouble her.
After each procedure I had to examine the tissue carefully to account for all the body parts to make sure nothing was left to cause infection or bleeding. I was fascinated by the tiny but perfectly formed intestines, kidneys, and other organs and I enjoyed looking at their amazing cellular detail under the microscope. I realize it is hard to imagine someone being able to do that and be so detached but because of my training and conditioning a human fetus seemed no different than the chick embryos I dissected in college. I could view them with strictly scientific interest devoid of any of the emotions with which I would normally view a baby. I wasn’t heartless I just had been trained to compartmentalize these things.
Aultman’s heart was hardened towards the babies who were not wanted by their mothers. But she still felt sad when a woman miscarried. In her mind, wanted children were babies and unwanted children were not. She says:
If I had a woman come in with a miscarriage or a still birth and she had wanted the baby I too was distraught with her and felt her pain. The difference in my mind was whether the baby was wanted or unwanted.
Aultman started to question this way of thinking when she began treating premature babies. She found herself trying to save the lives of preemies while aborting other babies the same age.
The only time I experienced any qualms about what I was doing was when I had my neonatal care rotation and I realized that I was trying to save babies in the NICU that were the same age as babies I was aborting, but I rationalized it, and was able to push the feelings to the back of my mind.
Aultman prided herself on being a good abortionist and continued to perform abortions even when she was pregnant. But after her baby was born, several things happened to shake her faith in abortion:
The first time I returned to the clinic after my delivery, however, I was confronted with 3 cases that broke my heart and changed my opinion about abortion. In the first case I discovered that I had personally done 3 abortions on a girl scheduled that morning. When I protested about doing the abortion, I was told by the clinic staff that it was her right to choose to use abortion as her method of birth control and that I had no right to pass judgment on her or to refuse to do the procedure. I told them it was fine for them to say but that I was the one who had to do the killing. Of course she got her abortion and despite my urging she told me she had no desire to use birth control. The next situation involved a woman who when asked by her friend if she wanted to see the tissue she replied “No! I just want to kill it!” I was taken aback by her hostility and lack of compassion towards the fetus.
When confronted with callous women who used abortion as birth control or trivialized killing their babies, she began to realize what a terrible thing she was involved in. Seeing the babies’ torn apart bodies every day, Aultman knew abortion was nothing to take lightly. For the first time, she began to have compassion for the baby.
Another woman had a completely different reaction:
The last case brought me to tears. This was a mother of four who didn’t feel she and her husband could support another child. How I hurt for that mother. What a terrible decision to have to make. She cried throughout her time at the clinic and that was the end of my abortion career. I had finally had made the obvious connection between fetus and baby.
Aultman claims that most doctors don’t perform abortions for very long:
I found out later that few doctors are able to do abortions for very long. Physicians are taught to heal, not harm. OB/GYNs especially, often experience a conflict of conscience because they are normally are [sic] concerned about the welfare of both their patients but in an abortion they are killing one of them.
Performing abortions is also hard because:
Although many people view an abortion as just removing a blob of tissue, the abortionist knows exactly what he or she is doing because they must count the body parts after each procedure. Eventually the truth sinks in and if they have a conscience they can no longer do them.
Aultman ended her testimony with an appeal to lawmakers:
I have always thought of myself as a good person but at one point I was horrified by the realization that I had killed more people than most mass murderers. Today when I meet young men and women that I delivered, the joy of meeting them and knowing that I played a part in bringing them into the world safely, is clouded by the thought of all the ones I will never meet because I terminated their lives. I would not want to be in your shoes and have the burden of knowing that I could have prevented the deaths of thousands, even millions, and did nothing.
Aultman’s story is powerful and compelling. We can only hope that lawmakers are moved by it and inspired to vote in favor of the bills, both of which will save preborn lives.