Part I of VII-
“The skin of a baby goes for $100, baby ears are $75, a spinal column is $150, eyes are $75 (one is 40% less); a company in Florida specializes only in baby heads.” This was the testimony of Mark Crutcher during a recent interview on WTZY radio (880AM) in Asheville N.C. Crutcher is head of Life Dynamics, a company in Denton, Texas founded in 1992. He has spent the past several years investigating a wholesale parts warehouse network for fetal body parts that are dissected and then shipped all over the United States.
“Tell us about Kelly,” asks Ken Bagwell, the host of the show. “Well, Kelly is the person who came to us originally. She was a technician working for one of the wholesalers in a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic harvesting the baby body parts. She was starting to have some real moral problems; she was starting to have nightmares and to get depressed by what she was seeing. One of the things she was starting to see were babies who were taken out alive and who were beginning to have parts taken out of them while they were still living. One day a doctor walked into the lab and set a metal bucket at the foot of the dissection table. ‘I got you some really good specimens – twins. Twin little boys” Kelly looked down and saw a pair of perfectly formed 26-28 week-old babies moving, gurgling, and struggling to breathe. ‘Something is not right about this,’ she exclaimed. ‘They are still alive. I can’t do this. That stuff isn’t in my contract.’ She left the room. A little while later the doctor called her back into the room and said, ‘O.K., now get what you need.’
She went back in and saw that the bucket had been filled with water and that the twins had been drowned. That was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back for her. She knew, by the way, that babies at that age if given proper treatment survive in excess of half the time. So she contacted another organization that referred her to us. That’s what started us down this horrendous trail.” In September, 1993, Brenda Pratt Shafer, a registered nurse with thirteen years or experience, was assigned by her nursing agency to an abortion clinic. Since Nurse Shafer considered herself “very pro-choice,” she didn’t think this assignment would be a problem. She was wrong. This is what Nurse Shafer saw:
” I stood at the doctor’s side and watched him perform a partial-birth abortion on a woman who was six months pregnant. The baby’s heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen. The doctor delivered the baby’s body and arms, everything but his little head. The baby’s body was moving. His little fingers were clasping together. He was kicking his feet. The doctor took a pair of scissors and inserted them into the back of the baby’s head, and the baby’s arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall. Then the doctor opened the scissors up. Then he stuck the high-powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby was completely limp. I never went back to the clinic. But I am still haunted by the face of that little boy. It was the most perfect, angelic face I have ever seen.” Kelly was working at that time for a Maryland company called the Anatomic Gift Foundation. She is in the May issue of “Life Talk” video magazine – the first of a series of videos released by Life Dynamics, Inc. Life Dynamics admits to having other people working undercover in abortion clinics. It cannot reveal all its sources due to the dangerous nature of the work they are doing.
“We have a lot of proof that these things are factual, and we have made available a lot of hard information. We have a 54 page booklet that outlines how the wholesalers circumvent the laws, includes numerous orders for chopped up baby bodies, and also provides price lists. The way this particular system works is as follows: these wholesalers train people as “technicians” to chop up baby bodies, and then they go to an abortion mill and say ‘look, we want to put our technician in here to harvest parts from these babies. We know it is illegal to buy and sell these parts. But what we will do is to pay you a ‘site’ fee for letting us put our techs in here. Then when he or she harvests these parts – we will send faxes each morning of the parts we want, such as 20 pairs of eyes, or 10 spinal columns, or 16 livers – they will be shipped out each day and you will have ‘donated’ those parts. Your fee will come to you as a ‘site’ fee.
‘Once we have the parts, we then’ donate’ them to the university -such as the University of North Carolina – or to a government agency or pharmaceutical company and we then charge them a ‘retrieval fee’ or a ‘shipping fee.’ As long as I make my ‘shipping’ or ‘retrieval’ fee higher than my ‘site’ fee, I am in good shape. It doesn’t violate the ‘letter’ of the law. “Now, what you need to remember is that when an order is faxed to the technician, the baby whose body is to be chopped up to fill an order is still alive. The faxes arrive early in the morning. Often the mom is sitting out in the waiting room, and the technician can even look out through the window and see the pregnant moms waiting just before their baby is to be killed to fill the orders. In addition, when a baby is chopped up, that baby might help fill several different orders from different places. As a result, the baby who was alive and kicking in the morning might end up chopped up into several different pieces on several different research tables all over the country by the end of the afternoon.
“Now if you piece out all the parts and fill eight or ten different orders, the dollar income for a 20 to 22 week old baby could run $1,500 to $2,000 for the abortion plus $3,000 to $4,000 for the parts for a total of $5,000 or $6,000.
It’s big money.
“In my opinion, this is a completely predictable result of legal abortion. Let me put it to you this way. If there is nothing wrong with abortion and if abortion is OK morally, then what is wrong with any of this? If an unborn child is not a human being nor deserving of protection, then what is wrong with this?
I think it is hypocritical for some of the people who I have spoken to to say ‘look, I’m pro-choice; I’m not a radical, but this horrifies me. I’m very uncomfortable with this.’ That person is not facing the issue squarely. Fundamentally, if there is nothing wrong with abortion, then there is nothing wrong with this. Once you devalue life to where it has no value, which is what you really say when you say you are pro-choice, then this is the logical result. Probably 99% of all abortions occur simply because the baby is ‘not wanted’ or is ‘not needed,'” Crutcher stated.
“Patricia Ireland, on a recent TV interview, cleverly responded to a question regarding whether or not a culprit who takes the life of a pregnant woman should be charged with taking two lives in the following manner. She stated that that would depend on whether or not that child was ‘wanted.’ Should life be determined by ‘wantedness’? To suggest that someone’s life has value or not should be based upon whether or not someone else wants them is outrageous. And yet it happens all the time; four or five thousand abortions occur every day.”
In the radio interview, Crutcher says to just “look at the data in the packets of information we have.”
“A sample from a scientist studying the ‘Biochemical Characterization of human type X Collagen,’ requests ‘Whole intact leg, include entire hip joint, 22-24 weeks gest.’ The technician is told to ‘dissect by cutting through symphasis pubis and to include whole Illium (hip joint).’ They also tell you that it is to be removed from the baby within 10 minutes of its death. Now, a physician I spoke with told me there is no way to do a conventional abortion, which means you cause a fetal demise inside the uterus of the woman, and then get the baby out and then get it chopped up in 10 minutes. This means the baby had to be brought out still alive in order to do this procedure and have it on dry ice in 10 minutes following death. This confirms again what Kelly had been telling us.” From the “Availability of human fetal tissue – NIH guide” Volume 23, Number 10, March 11, 1994
“Human embryonic and fetal tissues are available from the Central Laboratory for Human Embryology at the University of Washington. The laboratory, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health, can supply tissue from normal of abnormal embryos and fetuses of desired gestational ages between 40 days and term. Specimens are obtained within minutes of passage and tissues are aseptically identified, staged and immediately processed according to the requirements of individual investigators. Presently, processing methods include immediate fixation, snap fixation, snap freezing in liquid nitrogen, and placement in balanced salt solutions or media designated and/or supplied by investigators. Specimens are shipped by overnight express, arriving the day following procurement. The laboratory can also supply serial sections of human embryos that have been preserved in methyl Carnoy’s fixative, embedded in paraffin and sectioned at 5 microns. “The clinic that Kelly worked at also performed ‘partial birth’ abortions,” Crutcher continued. ” This procedure is basically a ‘breached’ birth. The doctor reaches in and grabs hold of the baby’s leg with tongs, turns him or her around, and pulls the entire baby, except for the head, feet-first and face down out of the mother. Then he punctures the base of the skull with scissors, inserts a cannula to suck out the brain, and slides the head out. It is a three day long procedure which requires that the woman be inserted with laminaria, seaweed cervix dilators, ahead of time.”
“Kelly said that routinely the women would go into labor before their final surgery. ‘They were coming out alive,’ she said. There would be three or four live births in a normal two-week time span. ‘The doctor would either break the neck or take a pair of tongs and basically beat the fetus until it was dead.'”
According to McGovern’s report the evidence for the demand can be corroborated in other places besides Life Dynamics. “The National Institutes for Health operates a Laboratory for Embryology at the University of Washington in Seattle that runs a 24-hour collection service at abortion clinics. An advertisement in the March, 1994 NIH Guide still appears on the Internet, offering to ‘supply tissue from normal or abnormal embryos and fetuses of desired gestational ages between 40 days and term. Specimens are obtained within minutes of passage . . . and immediately processed according to the requirements of individual investigators . . . Specimens are shipped by overnight express.'”
Mark Crutcher affirmed in the WYZY interview that he is now fully convinced that the big money involved in research using intact late-term baby organs is the hidden truth behind the partial-birth abortion controversy. “One of the things that always puzzled me was why there was such a big fight by pro-aborts to keep partial birth abortion? Why fight for this? It’s a dangerous procedure. A ban on it wouldn’t mean babies wouldn’t be killed; it would just mean that they wouldn’t be killed with that method. They could still be killed with D&E’s, or saline or urea or other late term abortion procedures. It was always a mystery until we got into this “fetal tissue’ thing. What you find is that partial birth abortion came on the scene about the same moment that there became a market for baby body parts.
“If you look at all the abortion procedures, there is really only one procedure that leaves you with a significant amount of tissue at the end that you can sell, and that is partial birth abortion. This is plain and simple about maximizing profit. First, you sell the mother an abortion. Then you turn around and sell the dead baby that you pull out of her. But you need to take it out whole in order to really have something good to sell.
“It, partial birth abortion, makes no sense from a medical standpoint. I challenge any OBGYN to come in and tell me otherwise – that you would purposely create a breached delivery, which is what a partial birth abortion is when they turn the baby around and have his or her feet come out first. There is no reason to ever do that except to have intact whole baby parts to sell. On January 22,1993, President Clinton issued a directive to the Secretary of Health and Human Services ending a five-year moratorium on Federal funding of therapeutic transplantation research that uses human fetal tissue derived from induced abortions. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala notified the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the President’s action, and then formally revoked the moratorium on February 1, 1993. “It has nothing whatsoever to do with the woman’s right to choose or with protecting the sanctity of the right to have an abortion. It has everything to do with protecting the sanctity of the abortionist’s wallet. ‘Fetal tissue marketing’ is the father of the partial birth abortion. Now, I know that some organizations claim that partial birth abortions are done on severely deformed babies or those that have abnormalities. That is a bald-faced lie. First, if you look at the order book, the vast majority of the orders specify ‘no abnormality.’ Secondly, let’s look at what is beginning to happen elsewhere.
“If you have been following the situation at Christ Hospital in Chicago, Ill or at the hospital in Calgary in Canada and the ones in Ohio, you now have hospitals doing what they call ‘genetic terminations.’ This is where they are doing an abortion by simply inducing the woman who then gives birth, and the hospital gives orders so that the baby cannot receive any treatment. It is given what they nicely call ‘comfort care.’ They wrap it up in a blanket and put it in a hallway closet or someplace else like that until it dies.
“You have a woman called Jill Stanick who is a nurse in the labor unit and delivery section of Christ Hospital in Chicago who is stating that this is going on. Christ Hospital is not denying it. As a matter of fact they and other Chicago hospitals are saying they are doing it. In Columbus, Ohio a nurse admitted she held a baby girl for 6 hours until it died.
“This is the next logical progression. Partial birth abortion gives you exponentially more tissue to sell than a D&E or a saline does. These ‘live abortions,’ so called ‘genetic terminations,’ give you a complete intact baby who just suffocated or died from ‘natural’ causes or whatever, and now you have a whole, complete baby that can be chopped up and sold.
“A ‘genetic termination’ was originally made only if three doctors stated that a baby could not survive outside the mother’s womb; but once you start down that trail, the next step is that this baby ‘probably’ won’t survive. After that we see another step that happened recently in Canada whereby a woman had an abortion that evidently failed, and the woman found out she was 20 weeks pregnant, so they went back in and did a ‘genetic termination’ on a perfectly healthy baby.
“In addition to this we have a woman who came forward and told us that pharmaceutical companies are working with OBGYNs and paying them – when they have a girl who is eight weeks pregnant and wants to abort – to tell her to come back at 20 or more weeks along and that they will pay for her abortion so that she gets it for free. In addition, they will give her x dollars for her expenses because they want this later term tissue.
“Now it’s not far from there to ‘baby farms.’ Let’s say you have a woman who says ‘I need some extra cash,’ and there are people willing to pay her $2,000 for a ‘fetus,’ why not get pregnant and make a little money? However, once again, I would like to make the point that if there is nothing wrong with abortion, what really is wrong with all of this?
“But can we really look at killing and chopping up innocent babies one minute and then turn around in the next breath and say ‘What time do the Cowboys play,’ without having it turn us into a warped bunch of human beings? What is going on needs to be looked at for what it is. We can’t run around with our heads in the sand. Call me whatever you want, but I honestly believe that God has to be running out of patience with us.” A free package of information as well as a video can be obtained from Life Dynamics by calling 1-800-401-6494 / 1-800-401-6494 . Their web site address is http://ww.ldi.org Marc Crutcher can be reached at 1-940-380-8800 / 1-940-380-8800 . The entire Roe vs Wade decision can be found at http://www.tourolaw.edu/patch/Roe/index.html
U.S. Senate joins the “fetal” debate-
Sen. Bob Smith of Vermont has asked the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a resolution, to hear from four witnesses, at least three of whom did fetal tissue extraction at a clinic affiliated with Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri.
Two of the persons were technicians and one is a pathologist who worked for companies that had agreements to do tissue work at the clinic.
It is legal to use fetal tissue for research as long as it is donated, not sold, by the women. Reasonable charges are allowed for companies that extract and transfer the tissue to researchers. Smith wants to find out whether fees are excessive and if regulations on removal are being followed.
Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood, said the clinic had been compensated solely for providing the facilities for the tissue work. The clinic, he said, had no part in any sale of tissue or organs.
“We strongly support federal statutes and guidelines,” Brownlie said. “It is and should remain illegal to sell tissue.” Smith’s resolution does not assert that any of the witnesses did anything illegal or unethical, but it seeks their testimony by subpoena, if necessary.
Up until a year ago, Planned Parenthood rented space in its facility for fetal tissue research.
Abortion opponents said the practice could be used as an excuse to prolong pregnancies, because fetuses that are more developed produce tissue that is more valuable. It also can be profitable, thus keeping more clinics and doctors in the abortion business, they say.
Brownlie said women who received abortions at Planned Parenthood signed consent forms for the tissue donations and never were pressured into extending pregnancies. Federal law requires consent and prohibits medical researchers from having any role in the timing or method of abortion.
Abortion supporters say that fetal tissue represents a tiny fraction of all tissue research but was being used to stir alarm in the anti-abortion sector. One source said that didn’t mean, however, that the Senate committee should stay away from the issue.
Calling for loopholes in the law to be closed, Smith told the Senate, “Abortion clinics and wholesalers are making a killing, literally, off the sale of human baby parts.”
Smith’s resolution to elicit testimony was on the committee calendar Feb. 10 but held for action until the next meeting.
One of the persons who could be asked to testify is Ross Capps, an Overland Park area resident.
Capps said he used to be a technician for the Georgia-based Anatomic Gift Foundation, a nonprofit company that had an agreement with Planned Parenthood to extract tissue and provide it to researchers.
Capps said he didn’t have anything to do with the pricing of the tissues. He said he was uncomfortable with his work and was willing to testify about what he witnessed.
“My stance is, abortion is legal, and if they can gain some beneficial research from the donation of a fetal organ, that’s fine, but I don’t want to get involved with it anymore,” he said.
Testimony also is being sought from Dean Alberty, listed in the resolution as living in Lee’s Summit, Mo. Alberty could not be reached for comment, but Capps said he trained Alberty at Anatomic Gift Foundation as a technician.
Jim Bardsley, vice president of Anatomic Gift Foundation, acknowledged last week that Capps and Alberty had been employees. Bardsley said the company followed all laws.
Bardsley said, however, that as of Jan. 1 Anatomic Gift got out of the fetal tissue business because of “negative campaigning and innuendo” by anti-abortion groups.
“We can live without it (fetal tissue work), but we couldn’t live with it,” Bardsley said. The company, founded in 1994, still retrieves adult tissue and organs, he said. The other persons on the list of desired witnesses are Miles Jones and Rosie Lee Diaz. Jones is a pathologist who did some fetal tissue extraction at the clinic for about 10 weeks in late 1998, Brownlie said.
The resolution seeks to have Alberty, Capps and Diaz submit testimony and “any and all documents relating to the sale of fetal tissue.” It seeks the same of Jones but also wants documents related to his medical research business.
At the state level, two Missouri lawmakers have offered bills that would require disclosure of any fees involved in the extraction and transport of tissue.
Brownlie said that he didn’t object to more disclosure but that the U.S. Senate resolution and related investigation were grounded in abortion politics.
“It’s a controversy being entirely fostered by anti-abortion groups that don’t really care about the issue, except that it’s a good political one for them,” Brownlie said.
The executive director of the National Abortion Federation, whose members include about half of the country’s clinics where abortions are performed, alledged that one of the lead private investigative organizations on this subject and it’s president Mark Crutcher were not credible.
“Life Dynamics has a long history of disseminating misinformation and using underhanded tactics,” Vicki Saporta said. “There are laws in place that regulate (tissue research), and they should be adhered to.”
Crutcher said he wasn’t surprised by the reaction of pro-abortion activists.
“When a message comes out they don’t like, they shoot the messenger,” Crutcher said. Let them know your opinion.
* Sen Bob Smith (VT) – 1-202-224-2841 / 1-202-224-2841 * Sen. Jesse Helms (R-Hickory, NC) – 1-828-322-5170/ 1-828-322-5170 * Sen. John Edwards (D-Raleigh, NC) – 1-919-856-4245/ 1-919-856-4245 * Senate Judiciary Committee – 1-202-224-5225 / 1-202-224-5225 * Website: http://www.senate.gov/~judiciary * Chairman: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) – 1-202-224-5251 / 1-202-224-5251
Other members of Judiciary Committee; Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Strom Thurmond (R-SC), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Joseph Biden Jr. (D-DE), Arlen Spector (R-PA), Herbert Kohl (D-WI), Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Russ Feingold (D-WI), John Ashcroft (R-MO), Robert Torricelli (D-NJ), Spencer Abraham (R-MI), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Funding fetal tissue research-
In 1992, Senator John McCain agonized over the choice of maintaining his unblemished antiabortion voting record or doing a favor for a friend. He followed friendship, and the consequence is that McCain’s votes to allow research on fetal-tissue and fetal-tissue transplants have come under fire in his presidential campaign.
South Carolina Citizens for Life aired radio ads before the primary urging voters to oppose McCain because, the ads said, the Arizona Republican had “flip-flopped” on a promise to maintain the ban on federal funds for research “that uses the body parts of aborted babies.”
There’s no disputing that McCain was inconsistent on the fetal-tissue issue, and that the candidate who rails against special interests gave favor to a lobbyist who championed fetal-tissue therapies. The lobbyist was Anne Udall.
“I can still remember John sitting in his office, not only listening to me on fetal tissue but also talking about what my dad meant to him,” Anne Udall said. “It was very powerful. And he said, ‘If it is the right thing to do, I will do it.’ ”
Her brother, Representative Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, says the bond between his father, a liberal Democrat, and McCain, a Republican, transcended party lines and geography. “I think it was very personal for McCain, a former prisoner of war, to see my father just wasted by this terrible disease [Parkinson’s] and, over eight years in a VA hospital, becoming half the man he was.”
McCain said “the spectacle” of Udall’s illness had caused his change of heart. “I’m not supporting abortion to provide” fetal tissue, McCain said in a television interview. “But the fact is, I’ve been convinced that it is a promising way to find a cure for a terrible, terrible disease.”
In a January 1992 letter to the director of Arizona Right to Life, McCain said the group could count on his being “steadfast” against abortion. “I have no intention of supporting the use of fetal tissue” from abortions, McCain wrote.
Three months later, McCain voted in favor of a Senate bill authorizing funds for the National Institutes of Health that included a provision to lift the federal-research moratorium that presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush had imposed on fetal-tissue transplants.
“I have lost sleep struggling with this,” McCain wrote to a constituent in May 1992. “My abhorrence for the practice of abortion is unquestionable. Yet my abhorrence” for Parkinson’s and juvenile diabetes “and the suffering they cause is just as strong.”
Joan Samuelson, who has Parkinson’s disease, trooped from office to office on Capitol Hill with Anne Udall in early 1992 and persuaded some Republicans, including senators Bob Dole of Kansas and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, to defy the antiabortion lobby and cast a vote in favor of fetal-tissue research.
“I see my dad in McCain – not in their ideologies, which are very different – but in the way McCain seems willing to stand up for what he believes and take on tough issues, like campaign-finance reform,” said Anne Udall, who is a school administrator in Charlotte, N.C.
McCain was the chief sponsor of a bill, enacted in 1997 and bearing Udall’s name, that provides $100 million a year for fetal tissue research. He also opposed an amendment that would have banned research on fetal-tissue transplants.
In laboratories, fetal-tissue transplantation has not proved as practical or promising as once promoted, and many researchers now call the political debate moot. “No one feels it provides any long-term solutions,” said Dr. J. William Langston, president of the Parkinson Institute in Sunnyvale, Calif. “The science is taking us in a very different direction.”
One of those directions is research on transplanting human embryonic cells, or stem cells. Because harvesting stem cells usually requires destruction of embryos left over from in vitro fertilization procedures, antiabortion groups oppose it vigorously. Earlier this month, McCain joined 19 other senators in asking the National Institutes of Health to withdraw its new proposals to fund federal embryonic-cell research.
Cyndi Mosteller of Charleston, S.C., a McCain adviser on family issues, said the senator’s positions are consistent: He would support nonembryo stem-cell research, just as he supports fetal-tissue research, which she feels does not “destroy a human being.” Mosteller said the antiabortion group’s ads against McCain are “disingenuous” and aimed less at his voting record than at his push to overhaul the campaign-finance laws. Document: “Letter of Intent” Human fetal tissue characterization for transplantation guide
August 6, 1993
Fetus Transplantation of Organs, Biological Resources National, Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: October 1,1993
PURPOSE: This RFA has been developed to encourage research on the standards and methods for identifying and characterizing optimal human fetal tissue for use in transplantation therapy. Joint funding by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
(NIDDK), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) reflects the extent of interest in evaluating human fetal tissues and their biological potentials. Attention should be given to proper collection, processing, culturing and preserving these tissues to assure highest quality control. This research should consider addressing methods for acquisition, establishing morphologic status, determining developmental age and viability, assessing sterility and genetic normality, preserving by cryopreservation, and establishing cell lines.
FUNDS AVAILABLE: It is anticipated that up to six grants will be awarded under this program, contingent upon receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications and the availability of funds. To fund these awards, $1,000,000 has been set aside for the direct costs in the first year.
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES The use of human fetal tissue transplants has been advocated for several years as a means of treating a number of devastating diseases. Fetal tissue transplants may allow replacement of tissues and cell products that have been damaged, destroyed, or that never developed properly due to disease or a genetic disorder.
Methods should be considered to optimize and standardize handling and processing of fetal tissues as well as their preservation and storage.
Court testimony on fetal brain harvesting-
“I know that the fetus is alive during the process most of the time because I can see fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound.” ~ Dr. Leroy Carhart Recently it was disclosed that the University of Nebraska Medical Center was conducting experiments using brain tissue from aborted fetuses.
What follows is the graphic court testimony from July ’97 where University of Nebraska contract abortionist Dr. Leroy Carhart explains, under oath, how he conducts the procedures.
Attorney: Are there times when you don’t remove the fetus intact?
Carhart: Yes, sir.
Attorney: Can you tell me about that, when that occurs?
Carhart: That occurs when the tissue fragments, or frequently when you rupture the membranes, an arm will spontaneously prolapse through the oz. I think most . . . statistically the most common presentation, we talk about the forehead or the skull being first. We talked about the feet being first, but I think in probably the great majority of terminations, it’s what they world call a transverse lie, so really you’re looking at a side profile of a curved fetus. When the patient…the uterus is already starting to contract and they are starting to miscarry, when you rupture the waters, usually something prolapses through the uterine, through the cervical os, not always, but very often an extremity will.
Attorney: What do you do then?
Carhart: My normal course would be to dismember that extremity and then go back and try to take the fetus out either foot or skull first, whatever end I can get to first.
Attorney: How do you go about dismembering that extremity?
Carhart: Just traction and rotation, grasping the portion that you can get a hold of which would be usually somewhere up the shaft of the exposed portion of the fetus, pulling down on it through the os, using the internal os as your counter-traction and rotating to dismember the shoulder or the hip or whatever it would be. Sometimes you will get one leg and you can’t get the other leg out.
Attorney: In that situation, are you, when you pull on the arm and remove it, is the fetus still alive?
Attorney: Do you consider an arm, for example, to be a substantial portion of the fetus?
Carhart: In the way I read it, I think if I lost my arm, that would be a substantial loss to me. I think I would have to interpret it that way.
Attorney: And then what happens next after you remove the arm? You then try to remove the rest of the fetus?
Carhart: Then I would go back and attempt to either bring the feet down or bring the skull down, or even sometimes you bring the other arm down and remove that also and then get the feet down.
Attorney: At what point is the fetus . . . does the fetus die during that process?
Carhart: I don’t really know. I know that the fetus is alive during the process most of the time because I can see fetal heartbeat on the ultrasound.
The Court: Counsel, for what it’s worth, it still is unclear to me with regard to the intact D&E when fetal demise occurs.
Attorney: Okay, I will try to clarify that. In the procedure of an intact D&E where you would start foot first, with the situation where the fetus is presented feet first, tell me how you are able to get the feet out first.
Carhart: Under ultrasound, you can see the extremities. You know what is what. You know what the foot is, you know, what the arm is, you know, what the skull is. By grabbing the feet and pulling down on it or by grabbing a knee and pulling down on it, usually you can get one leg out, get the other leg out and bring the fetus out. I don’t know where this…all the controversy about rotating the fetus comes from. I don’t attempt to do that. I just attempt to bring out whatever is the proximal portion of the fetus.
Attorney: At the time that you bring out the feet in this example, is the fetus still alive?
Attorney: Then what’s the next step you do?
Carhart: I didn’t mention it. I should. I usually attempt to grasp the cord first and divide the cord, if I can do that.
Attorney: What is the cord?
Carhart: The cord is the structure that transports the blood, both arterial and venous, from the fetus to the back to the fetus, and it gives the fetus its only source of oxygen, so that if you can divide the cord, the fetus will eventually die, but whether this takes five minutes or fifteen minutes and when that occurs, I don’t think anyone really knows.
Attorney: Are there situations where you don’t divide the cord?
Carhart: There are situations when I can’t.
Attorney: What are those?
Carhart: I just can’t get to the cord. It’s either high above the fetus and structures where you can’t reach up that far. The instruments are only 11 inches long.
Attorney: Let’s take the situation where you haven’t divided the cord because you couldn’t, and you have begun to remove a living fetus feet first. What happens next after you have gotten the feet removed?
Carhart: We remove the feet and continue with traction on the feet until the abdomen and the thorax came through the cavity. At that point, I would try . . . you have to bring the shoulders down, but you can get enough of them outside, you can do this with your finger outside of the uterus, and then at that point the fetal . . . the base of the fetal skull is usually in the cervical canal.
Attorney: What do you do next?
Carhart: And you can reach that, and that’s where you would rupture the fetal skull to some extent and aspirate the contents out.
Attorney: At what point in that process does fetal demise occur between initial remove . . . removal of the feet or legs and the crushing of the skull, or I’m sorry, the decompressing of the skull?
Carhart: Well, you know, again, this is where I’m not sure what fetal demise is. I mean, I honestly have to share your concern, your Honor. You can remove the cranial contents and the fetus will still have a heartbeat for several seconds or several minutes, so is the fetus alive? I would have to say probably, although I don’t think it has any brain function, so it’s brain dead at that point.
Attorney: So the brain death might occur when you begin suctioning out of the cranium?
Carhart: I think brain death would occur because the suctioning to remove contents is only two or three seconds, so somewhere in that period of time, obviously not when you penetrate the skull, because people get shot in the head and the don’t die immediately from that, if they are going to die at all, so that probably is not sufficient to kill the fetus, but I think removing the brain contents eventually will.
* * * * *
Later under cross examination, Carhart stated: “My intent in every abortion I have ever done is to kill the fetus and terminate the pregnancy.”
Planned Parenthood statement on fetal tissue research
Following is a statement by Gloria Feldt, president, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“Planned Parenthood deplores the on-going attempts by extreme anti-choice politicians to curtail scientific research and medical advances for the sake of hyperbole and to demonize women who seek to control their own fertility. We support individuals’ rights to consent to organ, cadaver, or fetal tissue donations for the purpose of medical research in the pursuit of saving lives and treating and curing diseases.
H. Res. 350, a Sense of the Congress resolution introduced by Rep. Tancredo, is redundant and unnecessary, leading us to conclude that the objections of anti-choice extremists are based on their desire to impose their personal ideological beliefs on all Americans and not in a lack of regulation in U.S. law. Federal law already states that it is illegal to sell fetal tissue, providing fines, imprisonment, or both for violations.
This resolution is yet another attempt to unnecessarily intertwine the abortion debate with the legitimate work of the scientific community in treating life-threatening and life-debilitating diseases.
Planned Parenthood will continue to support those women who, with their complete understanding and written consent, donate fetal tissue after an abortion procedure in support of the work of medical researchers who are seeking cures for serious diseases. We support the two federal laws that enable citizens to donate vital tissues and organs for life-saving medical research. Our medical futures, and that of generations to come, depend on such unselfish acts by courageous individuals.
Contact: Sandra Jordan, 202-973-6395/ 202-973-6395 or Adrienne Verrilli, 202-973-6397/ 202-973-6397 , both of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Med schools recruiting future abortionists-
Caroline Mitchell, a second-year medical student at Harvard Medical School, isn’t quite sure if she wants to practice in a city or back home in rural Vermont, or if she will even go into an obstetrics-gynecology residency.
But she does know that she wants her practice to include abortions.
Mitchell is one of a group of medical students who are committed to doing something about reduced abortions. Their concern is that there has been a downward trend in abortions, which they feel is due to a decline in availability of abortions at hospitals and clinics. Also, practicing doctors who have performed abortions have often stopped for a range of reasons, from fear for their safety to simple retirement to a change in heart on the issue.
The students, including Mitchell, have banded together to call for increased instruction in medical school and residency programs through a national organization, the 4,000 student-strong Medical Students for Choice.
This group’s advocacy helped spur the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to adopt a policy in 1995 that requires accredited residency programs to provide “access to experience with induced abortion,” while allowing for residents and entire programs to be exempt from this training for “religious or moral reasons.”
Reduction in abortions has been steady in the 1990s. Between 1992 and 1996, 338 hospitals and clinics quit providing abortion services, according to a 1998 study by Alan Guttmacher Institute. In 1997 (the most recent data), the Centers for Disease Control said nearly 1.2 million women had abortions, the lowest number since 1973.
In Boston, the Crittenton Hastings House, which was the first licensed abortion provider in Massachusetts in 1973, quit providing abortions earlier this year.
The clinic closed because of “declining utilization of the service, and there are other quality providers to meet the needs,” spokesman Chip Gavin said.
During the 1980s, Crittenton Hastings provided about 7,000 abortions each year, Gavin said. That dwindled down to 1,600 a year before it stopped last month.
Opponents of abortion like Maryclare Flynn, executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, said training for the procedure should not be in medical education.
“Medical students are taking on quite a noble profession. It is only natural for students studying to save life not to spend time learning something that deliberately stops the human heart,” said Flynn.
But Debra Stulberg, who is Mitchell’s classmate and wants to be a family practioner who provides abortions, said that medical students are so busy that if they are not exposed to it in medical school, they will not seek out the information they need. “You wouldn’t tell students that if they want to learn how to remove an appendix, they should seek it out on their own time,” said Stulberg.
Stulberg and her Harvard classmates are working to have an abortion lecture that is now optional become required.
At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, one of the hospitals that Harvard students rotate through, observations of abortions are part of the third-year required rotation, but those with “religious or moral reasons” can opt out, hospital spokesman Bill Schaller said. Also, ob-gyn residents do a 10-week rotation during which they spend one day a week training in abortion.
Universities using aborted fetuses-
“Even if abortion is deeply controversial, that is not automatically a sufficient reason to rule out public funds for fetal remains experimentation, provided there is proper consent.” ~ Robert Audi The University of North Carolina is just one in a growing list of public universities exploring new, controversial boundaries within the medical field, which could cause some taxpayers to question how their tax money is being used.
Here in North Carolina, at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, the possibility of controversy surrounding aborted fetus-tissue research has limited the information made available to the public. There is reportedly a program to develop an artificial liver that is using, in part, fetal-tissue.
However, researchers declined to be interviewed because they were concerned about possible controversy.
But not all schools have been able to maintain anonymity. At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the brain cells of aborted fetuses being used in the study of Alzheimer’s disease by researchers was reported in a local newspaper.
The studies were federally funded to use fetal tissue. In 1993, President Clinton ended the national ban on research using fetal tissue. The studies were supported by grants of more than $1 million per year from the National Institutes of Health.
“The research uses questionable medical ethics,” said Richard Duncan, an NU law professor.
“Nebraska is traditionally anti-abortion, so the University of Nebraska’s use of taxpayers’ money to fund this research is inconsiderate,” Duncan said.
“Even though the use of the fetus’ tissue could benefit others medically, it is unwise for any medical school to conduct this research, especially when it is federally funded,” Duncan continued.
Robert Audi, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor of philosophy, said federal funds for research on fetuses shouldn’t be ruled out just because abortion is involved.
“I would say even if abortion is deeply controversial, that is not automatically a sufficient reason to rule out public funds for fetal remains experimentation, provided there is proper consent,” Audi said.
Robert R. Blank, chairman of Metro Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, said it was “abhorrent and repulsive” that the Medical Center would use tax dollars for experiments using aborted babies.
Medical Center Vice Chancellor Dr. William O. Berndt told the World-Herald the research has been underway for several years.
Berndt said he knows fetal-tissue research is controversial, but it could improve the lives of many people. History has shown important scientific work has always been controversial, Berndt said.
“We are trying to understand the fundamental biology of human brain cells,” Berndt said in the World-Herald story.
The research could help determine what goes wrong in the brain in patients with disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. It may lead to new treatments.
Berndt declined to reveal the identity of the researchers at the Medical Center because of concerns about adverse public reaction.
Before the fetuses are used for research, women must agree to participate and sign a release form.
Audi said the Med Center’s research raised ethical questions including whether people can give consent for experimental use of any human body that is not their own.
Audi said that reasoning depends on whether a fetus is considered a human body. He also questioned the father’s consent rights.
“I would say that it is reasonable to think that a woman may give appropriate consent if the body is that of a fetus she has carried and is genetically hers.”
The Medical Center does not perform elective abortions themselves, Berndt said.
However, in the wake of a strong public backlash, university and Medical Center officials announced that whenever possible fetal cells would be obtained from alternative sources, such as spontaneous abortions like miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies.
They also announced the formation of an outside advisory committee and changes in the review of such research.
From now on, reviews will be done by the full institutional review board that looks at research involving humans. The board includes community representatives as well as doctors, faculty members and ethicists.
Three NU Medical Center administrators who make up the executive committee of the review board had done the reviews in the past.
The National Institutes of Health awarded 288 grants during 1998 and 1999 for research involving human fetal tissue, said Anne Thomas, director of communications for the institutes.
Thomas said she did not know the total number of institutions involved. Some received more than one grant.
Dr. Belinda Seto, a deputy director at the National Institutes of Health, said the list was based on a wide variety of research that uses fetal cells from various sources. The sources include umbilical-cord blood, placentas, elective abortions and spontaneous abortions.
Researchers are required to obtain approval through federal and local review procedures, one official said.
At Yale University, studies involving human fetal tissue “get more than a full review,” said Dr. Robert Levine, a professor of medicine and editor of the institutional review board journal.
“We usually table a discussion, have a subcommittee study the proposed research and report back,” he said. “We are reluctant to go too fast and overlook anything.”
The most interesting fetal tissue research at Yale involves transplanting fetal brain tissue into patients with Parkinson’s disease, Levine said. The research, involving tissue that comes from aborted fetuses, was started several years ago and is supported by private funding.
“There was controversy within the university as to whether we should being do this,” he said. “But there was very little controversy outside the university.”
At Loyola University in Chicago, researchers have “grown” blood cells from umbilical cords in the laboratory. They were used for bone-marrow transplants in adults at high risk from leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for whom no suitable marrow donor could be found.
The university has put out press releases about the work, which has gone through federal and institutional reviews.
In 1988, at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, researchers performed a fetal cell implant on a Parkinson’s patient. That work continues.
Elective abortions provide the embryonic cells that are implanted in hopes of replacing the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brains of Parkinson’s patients, said Sarah Ellis, a university spokeswoman.
“It has not particularly been a controversial sort of research,” she said.
She said she believes the university also relied on the work of a federal commission that looked at fetal tissue issues in the late 1980s. However, both President Reagan and Bush had banned federal fetal-tissue research.
And although Northwestern University was on the National Institutes of Health grant list, spokeswoman Elizabeth Crown said, “To the best of our knowledge, there is no human fetal tissue research going on at Northwestern.”
The University of Iowa is among the institutions that are forthright about their carrying out research that uses tissue from elective and spontaneous abortions.
“We are very open about our research,” said Dr. David Skorton, vice president for research. “There is no attempt to put anything over on anybody.”
He said he doesn’t know, however, how aware the public is of the research at the University of Iowa.
And finally, at the University of Minnesota, there have been “very few” studies in the past 12 years that have involved human fetal tissue, said Teri Charest, a university spokeswoman. Yet, some of the tissue used does come from abortions, she said.
The university also has 11 projects using umbilical cord blood, she said.
Charest said that she is not aware of any public reaction to the human fetal cell research but admits that she does not know how much awareness there is of it in the general public.
Sources used and contributions to this special report made by:
* Ken Bagwell, Heads Up America, 880AM WTZY * The National Institutes of Health * Planned Parenthood Federation of America * Marc Crutcher, Life Dynamics Incorporated * Mary Leonard, The Boston Globe * The Alberta Report * The Supreme Court * Kevin Murphy, The Kansas City Star * The Daily Nebraskan * The New York Times News Service * Jessica Fargen and Jill Zeman * The Federal Register * The Covenant News * University of Nebraska * The Omaha World-Herald * WorldNetDaily.com * The Governmental Printing Office * Karen Hsu, The Boston Globe * National Archives and Records Administration * Numerous additional research media were utilized.
Thank you to everyone who helped with this investigation.