Leroy Carhart uses the dilation and evacuation (D & E) method of performing late term abortions. Dilation and evacuation is typically a 3 to 4 day process depending on the age of the child in the mother’s womb. A ‘Fact Sheet’ may be provided to the pregnant mother.
When is an Abortion, 'Late Term'?
An abortion is identified as late term when the baby is over 14 weeks old from conception. This is the beginning of the 2nd trimester. A baby is considered 'full term' from 37 to 40 weeks. Late term abortion is legal in the state of Maryland up through all 40 weeks. See what this really means.
Monday mornings between 7:30am-10:00am pregnant mothers come to the Germantown Reproductive Health Services clinic to begin the process. This is especially tragic to witness as these moms, in the later stages of their pregnancies, walk with the usual 'waddle like' gate typically displayed by pregnant women. Once inside the office they are routinely offered a sonogram. The purpose of the sonogram is primarily to determine the age of the child to render the appropriate fee to the mom for the abortion procedure. It is NOT to allow the mother to see her child or hear her baby’s beating heart.
The process begins with a lethal intracardiac injection. In an intracardiac abortion, a long 5 to 6 six inch spinal needle is guided into the child’s heart often with the aid of ultrasound, and potassium chloride and/or digoxin is injected causing the child to have an immediate heart attack.1
After the baby is killed, the dilation and evacuation (D & E) procedure is performed. The D & E procedure is used because the child's tendons, muscles, and bones are more developed. However, at this stage of the pregnancy the mother’s cervix is closed more tightly, and therefore must be dilated enough (a forced widening of the cervix) to remove the larger fetus. Cervical dilation is achieved by using laminaria, thin tampon-like sticks made of seaweed that expand the cervix gradually over a period of days. This dilation process is not only unpleasant but often painful for the mother. Additionally, the mother must remain in this state for at least two days and go to sleep at night knowing she is carrying her dead baby.
Once the cervix is sufficiently dilated, the laminaria are removed. The baby is delivered either whole or forcibly dismembered and removed (medical illustration). In the later case, cervix clamps or a speculum is squeezed into the mother and forceps are inserted through the now larger opening and into the uterus to dismember and remove the baby in pieces. In Leroy Carhart's own words:2
"[The extremities are removed by] 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 [bone], 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.”
“[After an arm is removed] 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.”
“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 just attempt to bring out whatever is the proximal portion of the fetus.”
Ultimately, the baby’s skull is crushed and removed. A suction aspiration is then introduced to remove any remaining fetal parts, remnants of the placenta, etc.. For surety, a curette may be is used to scrape away any remaining parts of the child or placenta along the uterine lining.3
Throughout the extraction procedure, a 'Product of Conception' (POC) technician re-assembles the pieces of the child on a side table to ensure that all body parts are accounted for in a horrific scene similar to this (Warning Graphic Photo).
This is what is happening, here in Germantown, Maryland.
2http://www.mttu.com/Articles/The%20Abortionist%20Speaks.htm (link no longer active)