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Is Abortion Killing? Abortion Providers Speak....

It's a central question in the abortion debate- does abortion take a human life? Some abortion providers give surprising answers to this question.

"I have the utmost respect for life; I appreciate that life starts early in the womb, but also believe that I'm ending it for good reasons.... So yes, I end life, but even when it's hard, it's for a good reason." (1)

Boston Abortion Doctor

"If I see a case...after twenty weeks, where it frankly is a child to me, I really agonize over it because the potential is so imminently there...On the other hand, I have another position, which I think is superior in the hierarchy of questions, and that is "who owns this child?" It's got to be the mother." (2)

The late Dr. James MacMahon, who performed D&X (also known as Partial Birth) abortions


"I dare say any thinking sensitive individual can't not realize that he is ending life or potential life." (3)

Abortionist Dr. Charles Bender

"A lot of people say they're killing their baby. You get a lot of that. Some people afterwards get very upset and say 'I killed my baby.' Or even before, they say 'My circumstances are such that I can't keep it, but I'm killing my baby.' They wouldn't rather have the baby, and give it up for adoption either. If you go into that with them they will say that they could never do that...and yet they still consider it killing the baby...well, they are killing a baby. I mean, they are killing something that would develop into maturity..." (4)

Clinic Worker Dora Greenwald


"When you do a D & C most of the tissue is removed by the Olden forceps or ring clamp and you actually get gross parts of the fetus out. So you can see a miniature person so to speak, and even now I occasionally feel a little peculiar about it because as a physician I'm trained to conserve life and here I am destroying life." (5)

Dr. Benjamin Kalish, abortionist

"In the beginning I was mixed up because I was taught by the Hippocratic Oath not to take a life." (6)

Abortionist Michael Christie

"It [abortion] goes against all things which are natural. It's a termination of a life, however you look at it." (7)

Abortionist Robert Harris

"[The author] said "Is this a fair way of expressing what you have just said, Doctor? You tell the mother "because your baby is defective, you have the right to kill it or not to kill it. If you choose to kill it, I will do the killing." "Of course," he [the abortionist] said. "There is no other way to say it and be honest." (8)

Conversation with an abortion doctor

"I have angry feelings at myself for feeling good about grasping the calvaria [head], for feeling good about doing a technically good procedure that destroys a fetus, kills a baby." (9)

Anonymous abortionist

"It [abortion] is a form of killing. You're ending a life." (10)

Abortion Advocate and President of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, Ron Fitzsimmons

"Nobody wants to perform abortions after ten weeks because by then you see the features of the baby, hands, feet....I do them because I take the attitude that women are going to terminate babies and deserve the same kind of treatment as women who carry babies...I've done a couple thousand, and it turned into a significant financial boon, but I also feel I've provided an important service. The only way I can do an abortion is to consider only the woman as my patient and block out the baby..." (11)

Unnamed abortionist

"I have never denied that human life begins at conception. If I have a complaint about our society, it's that we don't deal with death and dying. Do we believe human beings have a right to make decisions about death and dying? Yes we do, and those decisions are made every day in every hospital." (12)

Clinic Counselor Tim Shuck

"Abortion is killing the fetus....Human life, in and of itself, is not sacred. Human life, per se, is not inviolate." (13)

Abortionist "Dr. Smith" (Pseudonym)

"No one, neither the patient receiving the abortion, nor the person doing the abortion, is ever, at any time, unaware that they are ending a life..." (14)

Abortion provider William F Harrison, MD

"Women are not stupid ... women have always known that there was a life there." (15)

Faye Wattleton, then President of Planned Parenthood

"It's a really interesting thing that is happening. It's fascinating, when you can think about it clinically and not get involved in the babies, or the people..." (16)

Clinic Worker Dora Greenwald

"We know that it is killing, but the states permit killing under certain circumstances." (17)

Dr. Neville Sender, founder of Metropolitan Medical Service, an abortion clinic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dr. Magda Denes, who spent two years interviewing abortionists for her book In Necessity and Sorrow: Life and Death Inside an Abortion Hospital, told a newspaper the following:

"There wasn't a doctor, who at one time or another in the questioning did not say, "This is murder." (18)

"My whole professional training was to prolong life, to nurture and protect it. Abortion is clearly at odds with that ethos...[yet] I have never refused to perform an abortion because of any personal conflict..."(19)

Dr. Bertram Wainer, abortionist

"I am destroying a life." (20)

Dr. Harrison, who has terminated more than 20,000 pregnancies

[Abortion is] "destruction of life."(21)

Dr. William Rashbaum, abortionist and chief of Family Planning Services at Beth Israel Medical Center

After talking extensively to one abortionist, author Nancy Dey writes:

"Dr. Ed Jones (pseudonym) says its always in the back of his mind that he is terminating a life."(22)

Abortionist Dr. Susan Poppema on partial-birth abortion:

"They're saying, `Oh, we think it's a horrible idea to kill little babies about to be born.' Well, I'm not going to say I think it's a good idea either."(23)

Dr. Poppema supports keeping partial birth abortion legal

Abortionist Don Sloan, explaining the morality of abortion to his teenage niece:

"Is abortion murder? All killing isn't murder.  A cop shoots a teenager who "appeared to be going for a gun," and we call it justifiable homicide – a tragedy for all concerned, but not murder….And then there's war..." (24)

"And then to see, to be with somebody while they're having the injection when they're twenty or twenty-four weeks, and you see the baby moving around, kicking around, as this needle goes into the stomach, you know."(25)

Clinic worker Susan Lindstrom,  M.S.W.

" It [the fetus] is a form of life...This has to be killing...The question then becomes, 'Is this kind of killing justifiable?' In my own mind, it is justifiable, but only with the informed consent of the mother."(26)

Abortion Doctor (name withheld)

More from Ron Fitzsimmons:

"Well, when the woman comes in, the fetus is alive. But the doctors that we represent will affect fetal demise in utero. So that means the baby is effectively, you know, dead in the uterus and then the procedure starts."(27)

Note that he uses the term "baby."


This quote is from a medical student who observed abortions in a Planned Parenthood clinic.  Her blog can be found here. 

“The first patient I saw was at 11 weeks and some days. I completely wasn't expecting it, but there were fetal parts. Like hands. And legs. And kidneys. It was pretty shocking. But, of course, after the initial shock, I was fine. I was actually fascinated by it. Until I saw one with a face. Complete with eyeballs...It's amazing to think that all of this can form within only a couple of weeks..."(28)


Clinic worker "Karen" describes a second trimester abortion:

“You’re looking between the woman’s legs; you’re seeing, you know, what the doctors doing….it’s identifiable, I mean, when he….takes the forceps and pulls out a foot, you can see the foot…”(29)

Clinic worker "Nell" on seeing aborted babies:

“You can see a face and hands and ears and eyes and, you know…feet and toes…It bothered me really bad the first time…”(30)

"This can burn you out very, very quickly...not so much by the physical labor as the emotional part of what's going on. When you do an ultrasound, particularly if you have children, and you see a fetus there, kicking, moving, living, doing things that your own child does, bringing it's thumb to its mouth, and things like that- it's difficult. Then, after the procedure, sometimes we have to actually look at the specimen, and you see arms and legs and things like that torn off...It does take an emotional toll." (31)

Abortionist Dr. Ed Jones, who had worked at a Planned Parenthood Clinic for 4 years at the time of the interview.

"When I start to see little hands come out, it bothers me…. I totally adore and love children, so when I see these little body parts, I start seeing kids, and it bothers me."(32)

Abortionist Lawrence Scott

The doctor in this next quote is described performing a second trimester D & E abortion. He is reaching for the unborn baby's severed head:

“Dr. Johnson handed the suction tube back to Leslie and once again used forceps to probe for the head. I saw the muscles of his right arm tighten and knew what that meant: He had located the head and was crushing it.  Harvey used to joke about getting tennis elbow from this technique, and his right arm was actually slightly bigger than his left.”(32)


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1.  Cheryl Alkon "Confessions of an Abortion Doctor" Boston Magazine December 2004

2. Nat Hentoff "It's Just too Late: Third Trimester Abortions are an Outrage and an Insult to the Human Race" Pittsburg Post Gazette July 27. 1993

3. Magda Denes, PhD. In Necessity and Sorrow: Life and Death Inside an Abortion Hospital (Basic Books, Inc.: New York) 1976. p 64

4. Magda Denes, PhD. In Necessity and Sorrow p 77

5. Magda Denes, PhD. In Necessity and Sorrow p 140

6. Magda Denes, PhD. In Necessity and Sorrow p 145

7. Magda Denes, PhD. In Necessity and Sorrow p 147

8. Jeff Lane Hensley. The Zero People (Servant Books: Ann Arbor) 1983, p 9

9. Diane M. Gianelli, "Abortion Providers Share Inner Conflicts," American Medical News, July 12, 1993.

10. David Stout "An Abortion Rights Advocate Says he Lied About the Procedure" New York Times February 26, 1997

11. John Pekkanen. M.D.: Doctors Talk About Themselves (Delcorte Press: New York) 1988. Pgs 90-91

12. Peter Korn. Lovejoy: A Year in the Life of an Abortion Clinic (The Atlantic Monthly Press: New York) 1996 p 94

13. Leo Wang "The Abortionist" Berkeley Medical Journal Spring 1995

14. Dr. William F. Harrison "Why I Provide Abortions" 1996

15. Donahue, May 15, 1989, Transcript #3288 NBC

16. Magda Denes, PhD. "Performing Abortions" Commentary October 1976 p 34

17. John Powell, S.J. Abortion: The Silent Holocaust (Argus Communications: Allen, Tx) 1981, p 66

18. Daily News (Chicago) October 22, 1976) Quoted in Abortion: The Silent Holocaust by John Powell, S.J. p 67

19. Miriam Claire The Abortion Dilemma: Personal Views on a Public Issue. (Insight Books: New York)  1995, p 30

20. Nat Hentoff "An Abortionist's World: How to Rationalize Inhumanity" The Washington Times Febuary 6, 2006. Citing Stephanie Simon "Offering Abortion, Rebirth" Los Angeles Times November 29, 2005

21. New York Times Magazine April 7, 1977. Quoted by Magda Denes and Cited in Abortion: The Silent Holocaust p 67-68

22. Nancy Dey Abortion: Debating the Issue (Enslow Publishers: Springfield, IL) 1995 p 49

23. Stephen Chapman "Is Partial Birth Abortion Really So Awful?" Chicago Tribune March 23, 1997 p 23

24. Tamara L. Roleff. Abortion: Opposing Viewpoints (Greenhaven Press: San Diego) 1997 p 25

25. Magda Denes, PhD. "Performing Abortions" Commentary Magazine October 1976, 33-37

26. Democrat & Chronicle 7/5/92

27. ABC Nightline, Transcript # 97022601-J07, 2-26-1997

28. Blog Entry "I Love Uteri" posted on Thursday, July 7, 2005

29. Wendy Simonds Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic (New Brunswich, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1996) 82

30. Wendy Simonds. 88

31.Nancy Dey Abortion p 49-50

32. Miriam Claire. The Abortion Dilemma: Personal Views on a Public Issue (Insight Books: New York) 1995 p 130

33. Carol Everett and Jack Shaw. Blood Money: Getting Rich off a Woman's Right to Choose (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Press, 1991) p 11-12



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