Partial birth abortions rare and medically necessary or elective and not uncommon?

Different web sites and info sources (pro and con restricting PBA) I’ve visited all seem to have a different take and different set of stats on whether this is super rare procedure and used only in medically necessary cases, or a not so rare procedure utilized by desperate women, and categorized by abortion providers on a regular basis as “medically necessary” for almost any reason.

Any hard numbers on the “medical necessity” aspect of PBA?

Here of some of the sources I’ve visited

Likely Ban on Abortion Technique Leaves Doctors Uneasy - NY Times

Partial-Birth Abortions: A Closer Look


They would only be performed when the pregnancy is too far advanced to abort by safer methods such as vacuum aspiration or D&C. If outlawed or restricted, even more invasive procedures would have to be used.

AHunter3, do you have a citation supporting that?

When this procedure is actually medically indicated, it really has nothing to do with the pregnancy being “too far advanced”, nor is it a “safer” method.

Indeed, the only medical indication for this procedure is for the condition of extreme hydrocephaly, and even that is up for some debate. According to the AMA ( ):

And according to the AMA it is actually not clear that D&X is safer even in cases of extreme hydrocephalus (Epner et al. JAMA.1998; 280: 724-729.):

See the thread for a number of supporting citations and discussion.


I suppose I could dig up a cite, but why for the love of pete would a woman (or a doctor) elect for a D&E if it were safe to do a vacuum or D&C procedure? More dangerous, more time consuming, more expensive, less standard (& therefore less likely to be covered by insurance carriers)…?

Organ harvesting. This has to be done while blood flow is still present, which precludes vacuum aspiration or dilation and curettage.

Whoa, it seems the neferious profits behind the procedure now rear their ugly head.

In other words: I’m gonna need a cite for that claim.

Gladly. How about the testimony of a former abortionist? One which is corroborated by additional testimony?

A cite in the medical field is not usually some propaganda pamphlets without any corroborating evidence, but rather a reference to a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Given the low percentage of partial birth abortions and the limited use of the organs that could be gained in such a fashion, I seriously doubt these claims.

This claim is of an entirely different nature, though. AHunter3 asked what possible motive an abortionist would have for performing a D&X procedure. It seems to me that the testimony of a former abortionist is more than adequate for shedding light on such matters, especially since this is not the sort of subject matter which peer-reviewed journals are likely to cover.

But you have to admit JThunder, both cites are from sources with an agenda. But I’ll agree, you answered the question “what possible motive”. Another possible motive is the government is supplying the aliens with food.

Lets see…

One link comes from the Long Island Coalition for Life. Hardly sounds like an unbiased source.

The other comes from WorldNetDaily which, today, is also carrying such banner headlines as “‘Gays’ attack senator for ‘mainstream’ view” and “Time magazine targets Christian missionaries”.

Its a bastion of biased conservative articles which often play rather fast and loose with facts at hand.

So you’re attacking the source, rather than the arguments or the evidence. Sadly, that’s all too common when it comes to dismissing pro-life arguments.

“It comes from a pro-life source! We must reject it!” Yep, I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve seen such statements on the SDMB.

BTW, if you’re going to dismiss the Long Island Coalition for Life’s statements on the grounds that they “hardly sound like an unbiased source,” then I hope you’re prepared to dismiss the claims of abortionists who attest that D&X is rare and medically necessary. After all, they are clearly biased – even more so, since they base their livelihood on people supporting the abortion industry.

JT, if we were relying on just any old source on the net, a duck’s quack still wouldn’t be echoing.

As I said, if you’re prepared to dismiss a source on the grounds that it has “an agenda,” then one should likewise dismiss all the pro-choice statements uttered in defense of partial-birth abortion.

That motive is hardly analogous. There is absolutely no evidence that the government is attempting to feed aliens; in fact, we have ample reason to believe otherwise. In contrast, we have direct testimony that partial-birth abortion IS being used for harvesting fetal organs. In fact, such testimony is consistent with the AMA’s claim that partial-birth abortion is not medically necessary.

So apart from snarkiness, the two claims simply are not comparable.

So the direct testimony of a former abortionist is “just any old source on the net”? Even though this completely affirms the AMA’s claims regarding the needlessness of PBA? Sounds to me like you’re doggedly determined to deny the evidence.

So…umm…you’re arguing that D&E’s are being done under circumstances where simpler procedures would suffice for purposes of acquiring fetal organs?

::checks leg for signs of pullage::

Ummm…I have no political difficulty giving my support to any bill that requires medical providers to document the necessity of resorting to intact D&E instead of using vacuum aspiration or D&C or the RU pill, etc. Women throughout America will be safer, insurance premiums will plummet, waiting times in waiting rooms will decrease, etc…in direct proportion to the number of D&E’s that are replaced with the simpler and less invasive operations as a result of this bill. Feminists everywhere will be glad to see a stop put to this exploitative practice.

Or something like that.

::checks leg again::

You been reading Coma again?

Such as?

Look, you need blood flow in order for the organs to be harvested. That’s why you can’t just snatch donor organs from any old corpse. It also means that D&E lends itself particularly well to organ harvesting. How would you propose doing so otherwise?

Are you claiming that those with an agenda don’t lower themselves to the level of complete works of fiction? Are they beyond stating false cites to further their agenda? I just spent a good chunk of time attempting to find more information on Dr. Harrah, the “former abortionist” quoted heavily in the article. Oddly, I could find nothing more on him than the same cut and pasted glurge on website after website. Repeat a fiction enough, and it becomes true?

Do you have any substantive credible evidence whatsoever that fetal organs are harvested without the informed consent of the maternal donor, ever, anywhere, either as a byproduct of abortion or under any other circumstances whatsoever, and used for any purpose whatsoever, on any scale?