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Partial-birth Infanticide

By Bill Lockwood

religion, articles, christianity

The political progeny of abortion as pointed out by James Thornton:

Serious violations of moral law carry not only penalties of a spiritual nature, but have ramifications that directly touch men and the larger community in the natural world. One cannot enjoy freedom unless one first understands responsibility; one cannot enjoy a measure of abundance unless one knows that its continued existence requires restraint and moderation; one cannot expect one's rights to life and liberty to be protected and preserved if one is willing to allow government to preempt prerogatives belonging solely to God (The New American, Apr. 15, 1996).

Murder is the deliberate taking of innocent human life. "Thou shalt not murder" (Ex. 20:13). "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man" (Gen. 9:6). "These six things cloth the Lord hate, yea, seven are an abomination to him ... hands that shed innocent brood" (Prov. 6:16­17).

Note carefully that which is in the womb is human life according to the Bible. "For thou didst form my inward parts: Thou didst cover me in my mother's womb ... My frame was not hidden from thee, When I was made in secret" (Psa. 139:15).

Charles Wordsworth commented upon Psalm 139:15:

The whole image and train of thought is one of striking beauty. We see the wonderful work of the human body, with all its complex tissue of bones, and joints, and nerves, and veins and arteries growing up, and fashioned, as it had been a piece of rich and curious embroidery under the hand of the manufacturer. But it is not the work itself that we are now called on to admire. The contexture is indeed fearful and wonderful; but how much more when we reflect what the divine Artificer wrought within the dark and narrow confines of the womb (Quoted by Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, vol. 3).

Medical science agrees with the Bible on this point. Dr. Paul A. Byrne of St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Conn., wrote:

I have never read a medical text, or heard of a medical doctor writing or stating that what exists at conception is not a new human life....Abortion destroys human life. Simply stated, before abortion there is life, after abortion there is death (quoted by Philip L. Grear, in Gospel Advocate, Oct., 1992).

Dr. Martin Haskell, a Dayton, Ohio abortionist, regularly inflicts the partial­birth murder. He presented a paper regarding his trade at a risk management seminar sponsored by the National Abortion Federation in September, 1992. In his paper he describes in detail the procedure (The following is from Robert W. Lee in The New American, Apr. 15, 1996, p. 4f).

After locating the baby within the womb, Haskell explained, the

surgeon uses his fingers to deliver the lower extremities [legs], then the torso, then the shoulder, and then the upper extremities.' With only the head remaining inside the mother, and the baby oriented 'spine up,' the 'surgeon then takes a pair of blunt, curved Metzenbaum scissors in the right hand. He carefully advances the tip, curved down, along the spine and under his middle finger until he feels it contact the base of the skull under the tip of his middle finger.' He then 'forces the scissors into the base of the skull. Having safely entered the skull, he spreads the scissors to enlarge the opening,' after which the scissors are removed and the surgeon inserts a 'suction catheter into this hole and evacuates the skull contents [sucks out the baby's brains]. With the catheter still in place, he applies traction to the fetus, removing it completely from the patient.

Planned Parenthood declares that such procedures are "done only in cases when the woman's life is in danger or in cases of extreme fetal abnormality." However, according to "eminent medical authorities a partial­birth procedure is never required to save the mother's life."

It may be supposed that the fetus feels no pain during the butchery due to lack of development or medication induced prior to the procedure. Yet, Dr. Paul Ranalli, a neurologist at the University of Toronto, declares that a human fetus at 20 weeks is "covered by pain receptors and actually has more nerve cells (around one billion) than most post­adolescent human beings.... In testimony before the House Constitution Subcommittee, Professor Robert White confirmed that the 'fetus within this time frame of gestation, 20 weeks and beyond, is fully capable of experiencing pain.... Without question, all of this is a dreadfully painful experience for any infant subjected to such a surgical procedure."

As motivation in that direction, think on the following account of Brenda Pratt Shafer, a registered nurse who aided Dr. Haskell's slaughterhouse for three days in 1993. Before the following experience Ms. Shafer was "pro­choice." But after "the most horrible experience of my life," now it is different. She stood by Haskell's side during three partial­birth abortions. Regarding one case which involved a 40­year­old woman who "apparently did not want a 'change­of­life' baby," Shafer stated:

The baby's body was moving. His little fingers were clasping together. He was kicking his feet. All the while his little head was still stuck inside. Dr. Haskell took a pair of scissors and inserted them into the back of the baby's head. Then he opened the scissors up. Then he stuck the high­powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby's brains out.

After the umbilical cord was severed and the placenta delivered, Maggie Gallagher described the aftermath:

The mother ... insisted on seeing the results. So Brenda and the other nurses cleaned it up, wrapped it in a blanket, and put the corpse of a little baby in her arm. Face­to­face with what she had done, the woman began crying inconsolably, repeatedly pleading, 'God forgive me' (ibid., p. 7).

God forgive us all.

Published January 1997