From one of the partial-birth-abortion trials going on this week:
In the Manhattan courtroom, Casey also questioned Johnson about whether physicians warn women that a fetus is dismembered during an abortion.
“So you tell her the arms and legs are pulled off? I mean, that’s what I want to know. Do you tell her?” Casey asked.
“We tell her the baby, the fetus, is dismembered as part of the procedure, yes,” answered Johnson, a University of Michigan professor and research scientist at the school’s Center for Human Growth and Development.
Casey asked Johnson if doctors tell a woman that the abortion procedure they might use includes “sucking the brain out of the skull.”
“I don’t think we would use those terms,” Johnson said. “I think we would probably use a term like ‘decompression of the skull’ or ‘reducing the contents of the skull.”’
The judge responded, “Make it nice and palatable so that they wouldn’t understand what it’s all about?”
Johnson, though, said doctors merely want to be sensitive.
“We try to do it in a way that’s not offensive or gruesome or overly graphic for patients,” Johnson said.