Partial-birth abortions


Partial-birth abortion is a late-term abortion procedure. In 1992, the National Abortion Federation sponsored a presentation by abortionist Martin Haskell entitled, Dilation and Extraction for Late Second Trimester Abortion. In the presentation, Haskell graphically described the partial-birth abortion technique, known in the medical community as dilation and extraction (D&X).

“The initial step in performing a partial-birth abortion involves two days of dilating the mother’s cervix. Afterward, the abortionist uses an ultrasound probe to locate the lower extremities of the unborn baby. He then works large grasping forceps through the mother’s vaginal and cervical canals and into her uterus.

The abortionist grasps a leg of the infant with the forceps and pulls the leg into the mother’s vagina. “With a lower extremity in the vagina, the surgeon uses his fingers to deliver the opposite lower extremity, then the torso, the shoulders and the upper extremities. The skull lodges at the internal cervical os,” Haskell explained.

While clutching the baby’s shoulders, Haskell continued, the abortionist then “takes a pair of blunt curved Metzenbaum scissors… He carefully advances the tip, curve 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… The surgeon then forces the scissors into the base of the skull. Having safely entered the skull, he then spreads the scissors to enlarge the opening.

The surgeon removes the scissors and introduces a suction catheter into this hole and evacuates the skull contents. With the catheter still in place, he applies traction to the foetus, removing it completely from the patient.”

— Dilation and Extraction for Late Second Trimester Abortion, Martin Haskell, M.D., National Abortion Federation Risk Management Seminar, September 13 – 14, 1992, Dallas, Texas


  • After 4 or 5 months
  • 80% of babies are normal
  • Most babies are viable


To remove the baby feet first was called a “version & breech delivery.” This was abandoned decades ago as it was too dangerous. Instead today the much safer Caesarean Section is used. Dr. Warren Hern, author of the late term abortion medical text said, “I would dispute any statement that this is the safest procedure to use. The procedure can cause amniotic fluid embolism or placental abruption.”

But Hern is contradicted by Surgeon General Koop

“With all that modern medicine has to offer, partial-birth abortions are not needed to save the life of the mother, and the procedure’s impact on a woman’s cervix can put future pregnancies at risk.”

— Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, M.D. Letter to the Editor The New York Times, September 26, 1996

* Dr. Pamela Smith, Director of Medical Education, Dept. of Ob-Gyn at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Chicago, has stated:

“There are absolutely no obstetrical situations encountered in this country which would require partial-birth abortion to preserve the life or health of the mother.”

And she adds two more risks: cervical incompetence in subsequent pregnancies caused by three days of forceful dilation of the cervix, and uterine rupture caused by rotating the foetus in the womb.

* Joseph DeCook, Fellow, Am. Col., Ob/Gyn, founder of PHACT stated:

“There is no literature that testifies to the safety of partial birth abortions. It’s a maverick procedure devised by maverick doctors who wish to deliver a dead foetus. Such abortions could lead to infection causing sterility.” Also, “Drawing out the baby in breech position is a very dangerous procedure and could tear the uterus. Such a ruptured uterus could cause the mother to bleed to death in ten minutes.”.. “The puncturing of the child’s skull produces bone shards that could puncture the uterus.”

“Our panel could not find any identified circumstance in which the procedure was the only safe and effective abortion method.” The American Medical Association supported the federal ban on partial-birth abortions passed by Congress and vetoed by President Clinton.

— Daniel H. Johnson, Jr., M.D. Letter to the Editor The New York Times, May 26, 1997