PHOENIX – Two new undercover videos by the pro-life group Live Action reveal details of late-terms abortions that rarely are discussed publicly – such as the tearing apart of an unborn baby at 23 weeks limb by limb to avoid a live birth or the killing of a baby at 26 weeks with a needle injection to stop its beating heart.
The gruesome details of the death of babies still in the womb are part of Live Action’s undercover investigation of clinics that perform late-term abortions. As part of the investigation, pregnant women wearing hidden cameras and microphones go inside the clinics and ask about obtaining an abortion, although they have no intention of getting one.
The latest videos are the third and fourth ones released as part of a series dubbed “Inhuman.”
In one video, a woman asks late-term abortion doctor LeRoy Carhart – well-known nationally for his defense of late-term procedures – details about the abortion. He explains that a needle is inserted “through your tummy, into the fetus.” The woman is at 26 weeks.
A baby born in Florida at 22 weeks survived in 2007. Infants who go to full term are born between 37 and 40 weeks
“We do a shot into the fetus to end the pregnancy the first day,” Carhart says. “If everything works out,” he explains, “you just deliver” an intact, but dead, baby. But if “for some reason that doesn’t happen, then we have to take them out in pieces.”
He tells the woman, “The heart slows down, and then it just stops.”
“Within an hour of the injection you shouldn’t feel it moving anymore,” he says of the baby.
The woman then asks if a baby at 26 weeks could survive outside the womb, if not given the injection.
“If it came out?” Carhart asks. “Oh yeah, it probably could. It would be a 50/50 thing, probably.”
Only four doctors nationally perform abortions at 26 weeks or later, he tells her. The week the video was made, he had seen four women wanting a late-term abortion.
Carhart then explains that after the baby dies from the injection, the baby “gets soft” and “mushy.”
“So what makes the baby ‘mushy’” the woman asks.
“The fact that it’s not alive for two or three days,” Carhart responds.
“Oh,” the woman says. “So I’ll have a dead baby in me?”
“For three days, yeah,” Carhart says. “It’s like putting meat in a crock pot, OK? … It gets softer.”
When the woman wants reassurance that the baby won’t be delivered alive, he tells her, “I’d have better luck standing in front of a train and getting hit and surviving – [with the train] going 100 miles an hour – than the baby will.”
In Live Action’s other new video, a woman at 23 weeks talks to late-term abortion doctor Laura Mercer in Arizona.
“We do the injection, which is a quick poke through your belly, and that stops the fetal heart, so that makes it so, if you were to deliver, there shouldn’t be movement,” Mercer says, describing a procedure similar to the one done in Carhart’s office that stops the baby’s heart.
The woman asks Mercer if the procedure is “guaranteed.”
“Yes we induce a demise – an intrauterine demise,” Mercer says.
“What does ‘demise’ mean?” the woman asks.
“Death,” Mercer responds.
Asked if the baby will come out whole or in pieces, Mercer says, “It’s more common that it comes out in pieces.”
“We use a combination of suction and then real instruments to, literally, go in and grab and pull pieces out,” Mercer says.
Later in the video, a counselor is seen talking to the woman, who is told she does not have to use the injection, which utilizes a drug known as digoxin.
“If they don’t use the digoxin, they’ll just suction the baby and it’s possible … that there may be movement as they’re taking out the fetus,” the counselor says.
“Like, movement after?” the woman asks.
“Mm-hmm,” the counselor answers affirmatively.
“And then what happens?” the woman asks.
The counselor tells her, “Well, then, usually it stops on its own.”
The counselor explains the procedure: “They use suction, plus they use instruments. And sometimes the fetuses don’t come out – you know, it’s not complete.”
The woman asks, “Will they resuscitate it? Will I have to take care of it?”
“Uh-uh,” the counselor says, shaking her head.
The baby will be pulled out in pieces, with or without an injection that kills it, the counselor says.
“The digoxin is probably the best thing for it,” the counselor says. “That way there’s no suffering, OK?”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Michael Foust is associate editor of Baptist Press. See video.)