Abortions in the third trimester are committed by induction, which is a multi-day procedure. In this type of abortion, a needle is inserted into the baby, and a lethal does of digoxin (a medication normally used to treat certain heart conditions) is injected, poisoning the child and sending him or her into cardiac arrest.
After this, laminaria (small seaweed sticks that expand when they absorb moisture) are inserted to slowly open the woman’s cervix. Labor is then induced, and the mother will deliver her dead baby. Watch this detailed video from Dr. Anthony Levatino about the procedure:
A former abortion facility worker named Luhra Tivis witnessed the aftermath of abortions first-hand when she worked for late-term abortionist Dr. George Tiller, who was killed in 2009. Tiller’s murder was an unjustified act of violence that every mainstream pro-life group condemned. Violence against abortion workers will never be endorsed by true pro-lifers.
When Tiller was in practice in Wichita, Kansas, women came from all over the country to him to abort their third trimester babies. Tivis writes that she was forced to lie to mothers about the development of their children and also had to record the fact that the poison used to kill the baby pierced the baby’s heart:
From May to November 1988, I worked for an abortionist. He specializes in third trimester killings. I witnessed evidence of the brutal, cold blooded murder of over 600 viable, healthy babies at seven, eight and nine months’ gestation. A very, very few of these babies, less than 2%, were handicapped.
I thought I was pro-choice and I was glad to be working in an abortion clinic. I thought I was helping provide a noble service to women in crisis….
I was instructed to falsify the age of the babies in medical records. I was required to lie to the mothers over the phone, as they scheduled their appointments, and to tell them that they were not ‘too far along’ Then I had to note, in the records, that Dr. Tiller’s needle had successfully pierced the walls of the baby’s heart, injecting the poison that brought death.
Tivis also talks about how the bodies of those babies were placed inside a crematorium and turned into ashes from inside Tiller’s abortion facility:
[O]ne day, Dr. Tiller came up the stairs from the basement, where the mothers were in labor. He was carrying a large cardboard box, and ducked into the employee’s only area of the office so that he wouldn’t have to walk through the waiting room. He passed behind my desk as I sat working on the computer, and he turned the corner to go around a short hall.
He called out for me to come and help him. The box was so big and heavy in his arms that he couldn’t get the key into the lock. So I unlocked the door for him, and pushing the door open, I saw very clearly the gleaming metal of the crematorium- a full sized crematorium, just like the ones used in funeral homes. I went back to my computer. I could hear Dr. Tiller firing up the gas oven. A few minutes later I could smell burning human flesh. Mine was the agony of a participant, however reluctant, in the act of prenatal infanticide.
A full size crematorium burned the bodies of the children killed at Dr. Tiller’s facility, and their ashes could be seen mixed with smoke rising from a chimney attached to his roof.
Abortion advocates often claim that late-term abortions are only done for dire health reasons, but a number of late-term abortion providers have admitted that they do many of these abortions on healthy mothers with healthy babies.
Records acquired by Operation Rescue reveal that the reasons women gave for their third trimester abortions at Tiller’s abortion mill included wanting to participate in barrel riding at a rodeo and being frustrated for not being able to play high school basketball. (1) Another woman admitted she was getting a third trimester abortion at Tiller’s because she did not want her pregnancy to ruin her tummy tuck. (2)
And Tiller himself revealed that he often committed late-term abortions on healthy babies. In a speech to a friendly crowd, the National Abortion Federation, at an April 24 New Orleans convention, Tiller said:
We have some experience with late terminations; about 10,000 patients between 24 and 36 weeks and something like 800 fetal anomalies between 26 and 36 weeks in the past 5 years.
This means that in five years, Tiller performed over 9,000 abortions on healthy late-term babies. Also, since both birth and third trimester abortions are done by inducing labor, there is no way any of these abortions could have been done for the protection of the mother’s health, or to save her life.
As explained above, in a third trimester abortion, poison is injected to kill the baby and labor is induced. This extra step of injecting poison is needed to kill the child, because he or she is old enough to survive if born. Withholding the injection and giving birth to a live baby is actually safer than using poison to ensure a dead one. A Cesarean section can also be done at this stage without killing the baby.
So the over 9,000 abortions Tiller committed were for elective, not medical, reasons — women who simply chose to abort their viable babies for their own reasons.
Many Americans do not know that abortion is legal up to birth in the United States. Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, legalized abortion throughout all nine months, and for any reason. Currently, there is no federal law protecting preborn children from abortion at any time.
The U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to restrict abortions, and while many states have passed laws restricting certain abortions, not all do. In New Jersey and Colorado, for example, a woman can walk into an abortion facility and have her baby aborted on the day before the child is due, for any reason she chooses.
Third trimester abortions are still performed in abortion facilities throughout the United States.
- Troy Newman and Cheryl Sullenger Abortion Free (New York: WND Books, 2014)
- Newman, 2014, 97