Its a Baby
It’s A Baby
The following is a transcript of the February 3, 1990 airing of the John Ankerberg Show on the subject of abortion. Since this transcript was taken from audio tape, some of the names may be mispelled. For that, I apologize.
JOHN: You are looking through a fetus-scope, a fiberoptic
instrument which has been inserted into the uterus of a woman who is four and a half months pregnant. Notice the development of the hands, the mouth, the eyes; what do you think you are looking at? What would you call this living thing? Science tells us its the product of human parents. It is alive. It has its own brain from which brain waves can be detected, recorded and read. Its organ system, its internal organs, lungs, spinal cord and nervous system are all in place. The entire body is sensitive to touch. The digestive system is complete. The heart beats regularly, and is pumping up to 25 quarts of blood a day. It has its own blood type which may be completely different from its mother. It can suck its thumb. It moves, it feels pain. It is 18 weeks old. If you would ask any child what this is, they would tell you it’s a baby.
How many weeks after conception do you think it’s still legal for a mother to terminate the life of this child in her womb? Well, to answer this question, listen to Dr. Beverly McMillan [sp], who opened the first abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. She was soon doing fifty to sixty abortions per week and was the director of that clinic for two and a half years.
BEVERLY: Most people are woefully ignorant about what is even
legal in the United States about abortion. They don’t know it’s legal for the entire nine months. People think it’s legal in the first three months only.
MALE BEING SPOT-INTERVIEWED ON CAMERA: Well, in my understanding
the latest time that a woman can have an abortion during pregnancy is three months.
WOMAN: The age limit to stop abortion would be four months
for a fetus.
ANOTHER WOMAN: Legal? Six months.
ANOTHER MAN: I guess…I don’t know, about three or four months,
or something like that.
ANOTHER WOMAN: I think that it’s legal to perform abortions up to
between four and five months.
JOHN: Here is Miss Joy Hite [sp], formerly a medical assistant in
an abortion clinic in New Jersey. She participated in innumerable abortions in that facility.
JOY: Until I came face-to-face with abortions, I really didn’t
know what it was about. When I say that, I mean I REALLY didn’t know what I was getting into…and I think that, with abortion, a lot of us don’t know what it’s about, and we don’t know what’s going on.
JOHN: Today, it’s legal for a woman to obtain an abortion
anytime during her pregnancy, all the way to birth. You may be wondering: How many women actually obtain abortions late in their pregnancy? and, How many children are aborted that are as well-developed as the 18-week-old child that we’ve been looking at? Well, to answer these questions we will turn to Bernard Nathanson, a medical doctor who was a leader in the abortion movement in New York City, and who ran the world’s largest abortion clinic.
DR. NATHANSON: My name is Dr. Bernard Nathanson. I was co-founder
of the National Abortion Rights Action League, and for a period of two years, I was the director of the largest abortion clinic in the world. I bear ultimate responsibility for over 75,000 abortions. But over the past ten years, I’ve changed my mind on the acceptability of abortion, owing to the immense technological advancements which have been made in the field of obstetrics and fetology. Advances such as: ultrasound imaging, fetal heart monitoring, fetoscopy, which have allowed us now to perceive without question, the unmistakeable humanity of the unborn child. We will concern ourselves here with abortion in the second and third trimester.
Now, pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. The first trimester being the first three months of the pregnancy, the second [being] the second three months, and the third trimester from the seventh month to the end of the ninth month. Collectively, abortions done in the second and third trimesters are known as “late abortions.”
The Roe v. Wade 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion indicated that in the first six months, abortion could be done for no reason whatever, and stipulated that, in the third trimester, (seventh month to the ninth month), abortion could be done in the interest of the mother’s health. Whatever that means.
Let’s look at some data. In the United States annually, there are 1.5 million [abortions] done, eight percent of which are late abortions — abortions in the second and third trimester of pregnancy.
COMMENTATOR: In Canada, there are 65,000 abortions annually, of
which 11 percent (or 7,000) are late abortions. In the U.K., there are 170,000 abortions a year — 30,000 of which are late abortions. In the United States, there are 120,000 late abortions annually. Four hundred every day.
JOHN: Does this shock you? Do you find it hard to believe that
it’s legal to terminate the lives of children that could exist and live on their own outside of the womb? If it is, you’re in good company. It’s shocking to a lot of people.
WOMAN ON STREET BEING INTERVIEWED: I’d be pretty shocked that
they would take it that far late in the pregnancy.
ANOTHER WOMAN: No … not nine months, it’s too long. It’s a
person by then, definitely.
MAN: Well, it’s appalling! I mean, it’s absurd! The ninth
month? I mean, children are born at eight months. I think there are a lot of kids born at eight months, and they’ve had kids born sooner than that and still be alive and live.
ANOTHER MAN: Seven or eight months? I, uh, I, uh, I don’t know.
Seems like, incredible … a baby can be born at seven or eight months! I don’t know … it doesn’t make sense to me.
JOHN: Let me ask you: Is there any stage during a woman’s
pregnancy that you wouldn’t be in favor of her aborting and terminating the life of a developing child? I mean, everyone says 24-hours after a child is born, one shouldn’t kill a child. But if that’s true, how about 24-hours BEFORE a child is born? Has anything changed about the child? NO! So would you be opposed to abortion then?
The majority of Americans would say, “Yes!”
Go one step further. If a child *is* viable, that is, it can live and survive outside of its mother’s womb with the help of modern technology all the way back to 20 weeks, wouldn’t you say at least at THAT point it should be protected and not killed?
Again, I think almost everyone would say, “yes,” because there’s no real reason to say “no.” In fact, those of you who are “prochoice” usually argue that a human life in the womb must have certain characteristics before you assign to it the “rights” of full personhood. Usually, you argue, those characteristics must be viability — that is, the child must have the ability to live and survive outside the womb; brainwaves; heartbeat; movement; and, feeling of pain. Since science tells us that all these characteristics are there by 20 weeks, then the child fulfills your definition of personhood.
The point I’d like to make here: that is, if the unborn child fulfills all the definitions of both sides at 20 WEEKS, then SHOULDN’T we be protecting these innocent children from at least that time on?
If you agree that we should, you need to know that we’re NOT. What is happening to these well-developed children? In a few moments, you will witness the ultimate act of violence. This child will be destroyed before your very eyes.
Now, I would like to warn you: the scenes you are about to see are graphic. Some of you may find it *too* graphic. There’s blood, and death.
Recently we’ve seen films and television programs that have portrayed and shown us the horror of the Nazi death camps in Europe. We will NEVER forget the grisly images of the broken victims of Auschwitz, and Buchenwald [sp]; we’ve seen the terrible suffering of those who died at Hiroshima. Our hearts have gone out to the starving children in Ethiopia — gutwrenching pictures of starving babies have been flashed across the world.
But the babies in this film are not starving. But [along] with those other terrible images, they serve the right of the people to know. To know the victim.
Since 1973, abortion has claimed more than 25 million mute and innocent victims. This next segment speaks for them. The silence has to stop. I want to say “thank you” to Bernard Nathanson, for permission to use the following sequence from his film, “Eclipse of Reason.”
FILM SPEAKER, DR. NATHANSON: D & E, Dialatation and Evacuation,
is the procedure used to accomplish late abortion — an abortion in the second and third trimester of the pregnancy. In this procedure, a laminarium [sp] — this device — is placed in the cervix, the neck of the womb, the night before. This is simply a piece of seaweed which swells up during the night, and in swelling up, opens up the neck of the womb, so that the next morning — when the woman is brought to the operating room and put under general anesthesia — the neck of the womb (the cervix), is already partially dialated. And the cervix is further dialated with instruments of this sort: this instrument is placed up into the cervix… the neck of the womb is further dialated, and even instruments like this are used to accomplish dialation sufficient to allow breaking of the bag of water.
And then the introduction of this “grasping” instrument — an instrument which can locate the child in the uterus, and crush and destroy it.
The patient is being prepared for the procedure.
The fetuscope, the fiber-optic instrument through which we will observe this abortion, as it begins in a swirl of blood … the forearm [of the baby] … note the blood vessels running under the delicate skin … the hand, and the fingers … this thick blue coiled structure is the umbilical cord … this is the child’s life-line to the mother… this WAS a little boy… the ear is readily identifiable … it has been shown that in the later months of pregnancy, the child will react to sound … the nose … here is the mouth … this little fellow can be seen swallowing water … the eyebrows … the eyelids are still closed …
These are the tools of the abortionist’s trade. In a few moments, this little boy’s life will be summarily extinguished with these instruments.
The cervix has been sufficiently dialated, and the bag of water is broken. The umbilical cord has been severed, the life-line cut and collapsed.
Now it is being wrenched free of the child’s body. And now the abortionist is reaching into the uterus with the grasping instrument to dismember the child.
Piece by piece, the extremities are pulled away … then portions of the back … the spine … and the torso … a portion of the chest and abdominal wall has been torn from the body. The ribs are easily identified. Can anyone doubt this child has experienced an unimaginable agony? Pieces of the torso are being removed, and the parts are stacked on the table to the side of the abortionist for the purpose of reassembling the child to assure that the abortion has been complete.
In this pathetic pile of human rubble, we can discern a leg with the foot still attached.
The head is located … and, having been located, is grasped in the jaws of the clamp. The clamp crushes the head, and the head is then removed in pieces …
The crushed head has now been removed, and the white matter of the brain has spilled out. After the procedure has been completed, this instrument — a curet [sp] — is introduced into the uterus … this curet is used to scrape out all the fragments … and the shards … and the afterbirth … and the child which remain.
And then the procedure is at an end.
JOHN: Now listen to the testimony of Dr. J. Calenson [sp], who performed the abortion in the film, “THE SILENT SCREAM.”
INTERVIEWER: How many abortions would you think you performed in your career?
DR. CALENSON: I’d say I’ve probably performed ten thousand, or more. I can remember days when I would do thirty … thirtyfive abortions.
INTERVIEWER: Would you do second trimester late abortions, D & E’s, even for medical reasons?
DR. CALENSON: No, absolutely not. That is probably THE most horrifying procedure I can think about. I… there’s just absolutely no way I would ever do that.
JOHN: Here is Doctor Joseph Randall, former director of an abortion clinic in Atlanta. His clinic was doing 50 to 60 abortions a day…
DR. RANDALL: It made me realize for the first time and that… that I was doing … not the right thing, that I was killing babies and not serving women. Everything kind of … I just got fed up, and it was hurting so much … I was feeling bad inside and I … was nearly at times suicidal … I would be more willing to give my own life than to perform an abortion.
JOHN: Dr. Arnold Helpern [sp] was a director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic:
DR. HELPERN: The other thing that gave me license to do abortions was the fact that I never personally considered a fetus a real baby until 20 weeks of gestation when one could hear the fetal heart tones…and the woman feels movement.
Now, somewhere along the line, I … I was apprised — or, THOUGHT I was apprised — that a fetus was not a human being until it arrived to the point to where a woman could feel that baby move.
As we’ve gone from 1982 to 1986, and into the late 1980s, we realize that the fetus really IS a child, and that it really IS moving, and that the heartbeat is REALLY beating, by the use of ultra sound and modern, uh, modern techniques of detecting the fetus.
MS. JOY HITE [sp]: There is no difference between a first trimester abortion and a second trimester abortion, or a third trimester abortion or infanticide … it’s all the same human being, in different stages of development. I finally got to the point where I could not look at those little bodies anymore.
There’s no doubt in my mind that I could EVER perform an abortion EVER again. We have gone into a noble profession for HEALING, and we lose sight of what we were called to do when we get into the killing business.
NATHANSON: Medical technology is rapidly and drastically altering our concept of viability – the capacity to be born prematurely and survive. Today, babies born at six months have a sixtyfive percent chance of surviving and eighty percent of these babies will be perfectly healthy. Neo-natologists are keeping smaller and smaller babies alive.
Here is Renee King. She is now one and a half years old, happy and healthy. She was born at five months.
JOHN: Richard Exley tells a story of a young woman who tearfully confessed to him that eight years earlier she had aborted her baby. The child had been conceived out of wedlock, and the father had wanted nothing more to do with the young woman or the unborn child. In shame and desperation, she scheduled an abortion. She told Richard that on the way to the abortion clinic, she prayed that someone would stop her. She said, “If only ONE PERSON had asked me not to do it, my baby would still be alive today.”
Right now, if you are pregnant and you’re thinking of having an abortion, would you consider what you are about to do? Think about that innocent child inside of you that is depending on you. If you kill that child, you’ll be killing something of yourself. When it dies, something inside of you will die. And life will never be the same.
To others of you, do you think it’s wrong that our country permits the killing of children in the womb who are 20 weeks of age or older? If so, why do we permit it? If you believe these human children are not full persons, when would you say that occurs? What’s the basis for your answer? There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that human life in the womb after 20 weeks is FULL human life, and should be constitutionally protected. This should be common ground between those who are pro-choice and those who are pro-life.
In our next program, I’d like to go one step further in examining this question. During this progam, we have used prochoice’ s definition of personhood. Namely, that personhood depends upon what the child can do. Is it viable? Does it have brain waves? Is there a heartbeat? Is there movement? Is there feeling? On the other hand, pro-life groups argue that personhood should be defined by what the child IS — a human being.
In our next program, I want to talk with you about how important it is for all of us that our society NOT define people by what they DO, but by what they ARE. And I’ll hope that you’ll join me then.
When God FORGIVES, He also FORGETS….
If you have never made a commitment to God, I urge you to do it now. No matter what you’ve done — abortion, stealing, adultery — He is there waiting for you, willing and anxious to forgive you, and to become a part of your life. He’s there for you, to help you with your burden, and to give you peace — HIS peace, and joy unspeakable. It’s not something you have to pay for. You don’t have to do a thing but accept it. His forgiveness is a gift — a free gift. All you have to do is reach out and take it, and allow Him to heal you.
You see, Jesus paid the penalty for your sin. God forgives you — not on the basis of anything YOU have done, but on the basis of the sacrifice of His Son on the cross for YOU. Right now — not tomorrow, because we don’t know what tomorrow might bring — right now, please pray with me, and accept Jesus into your heart, and into your life. Allow Him to touch you, forgive you, and heal you. Right now, please pray with me:
Lord Jesus, I have sinned. I have done many things in my life which I am not proud of. But I am told that you paid the price for my sin … that God will forgive me on the basis of Your sacrifice and atonement for my sins. Lord God my Father, I repent now of all the things which I have done. Please cleanse me, make me a new creature, make me whole. I ask that You wash me whiter than snow, in the name of Jesus. Please come into my life, and be the Master of my life; I commit it all to You. I believe in You, and I believe in Your Son, and I believe in faith that You have come into my life right now, and made me a child of your Kingdom. Thank you, Lord, for cleansing me. Thank you, Lord, for loving me. Thank you, Lord, for being there when I needed You, for coming into my life, and coming into my heart. I open the doors of my heart and my life to You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Well, whether you know it or not, if you prayed that prayer with me, the Bible says there is a party going on up in Heaven RIGHT NOW, in your name! You have now become a part of the Family of God!
Welcome to the family!!
Now, the first thing you need to do is TO TELL SOMEONE! Then, go to church to fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ’s name, and learn about your new Father and family. Next, go out and buy a Bible — there are many good translations out there — and read about God’s plan for mankind. If you don’t know of a church in your area, try going to the closest Christian bookstore in your community, and ask them to help you get started. You have no idea of the joy, peace, and fellowship which is yours to come as a child of God. God bless you!