The Corner


Sometimes Infants Are Born Alive after Abortion Procedures

Sign at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Boston, Mass. (Dominick Reuter)

Our own Mairead McArdle reported earlier today on news out of a hearing in California, where undercover investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt are being prosecuted for filming abortion-industry executives discussing their contracts to sell fetal body parts to researchers.

During the hearing earlier this week, ob-gyn and long-time abortionist Dr. Forrest Smith testified that in order to obtain the body parts provided to researchers, abortionists would almost certainly have to alter the abortion procedure in a way that involves more risks for mothers and more easily leads to live births.

“There’s no question in my mind that at least some of these fetuses were live births,” Smith said.

Smith’s testimony validated some of the information uncovered by Daleiden’s footage, most notably that Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers would almost surely have to break the law and alter standard abortion procedures in order to obtain more valuable fetal organs.

But it also undercut an argument that abortion-rights advocates made earlier this year in their pushback against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, a federal bill that would require doctors to provide the same standard of care to infants who survive an attempted abortion procedure as they would to any other newborn of the same gestational age.

Supporters of legal abortion insisted that the born-alive bill was anti-abortion fear-mongering used to restrict women’s health-care options and claimed that infants are never born alive after abortion, let alone left to die from lack of medical care. If they were so sure about this, one would think it wouldn’t be difficult to vote to outlaw such a gruesome practice. (They didn’t. Forty-four Democratic senators voted against the bill in late February, and Democratic leadership in the House has blocked more than 80 efforts by GOP representatives to bring the bill to the floor for debate.)

But Smith’s testimony suggests that, at the very least, the alteration of abortion procedures undertaken by providers who wish to profit from fetal tissue would result in live births. And if, as Smith believes, those births happened in clinics that had contracts to provide fetal organs to researchers, it isn’t difficult to imagine what happened to those newborn infants next.

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