Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Partial Birth Abortion Judge Quizzes Abortionists about Fetal Pain: "Three courts scattered around the country began hearing testimony last week in cases that are testing the constitutionality of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban. Court transcripts show how one Judge's intense interest in fetal pain has raised hopes among pro-lifers that the ban may be upheld. According to transcripts of opening statements, New York District Court Judge Richard Conway Casey repeatedly questioned abortionists about infant pain during the procedure known as partial birth abortion.

"Casey pointedly asked abortion advocate Dr. Timothy Johnson 'does the fetus feel pain?' Before allowing Johnson to answer Casey said, 'There are studies, I'm told, that says they do.' Johnson replied that he had not heard of such studies. Casey asked if the infant's pain 'ever crosses your mind when you are doing a dismemberment?' Johnson said no and Casey expressed surprise that fetal pain 'never crossed your mind,' commenting that 'although you have never done (a partial birth abortion), do you know whether or not the incision of the scissors on the base of the skull of the baby, whether that hurts? Did you ever ask one of those who perform them whether it hurts the fetus?'

"Casey also wanted to know if the infant was still alive during the procedure and if 'the fingers of the baby (were) opening and closing. Were the feet moving?' Johnson said that there could be such movement. Casey followed up with a question on the instrument used to remove the baby's head. Johnson described it as tongs such as those used in 'picking up salad,' but Casey interrupted and said, 'Except here you are crushing the head of a baby.'

"Casey was also concerned with how much information the doctors told the mother about the procedure. He asked, 'So you tell her the arms and legs are pulled off. I mean, that's what I want to know, do you tell her [that] you are going to remove parts of her baby?' Casey returned to the topic later in the examination, 'Do you describe in detail what the intact D&E or the partial birth abortion involves including sucking the brain out of the skull?' Johnson replied that 'I don't think we would use those terms. We try to do it in a way that's not offensive or gruesome or overly graphic for patients.' Casey asked in response 'Can they fully comprehend unless you do?' Casey accused abortionists of making abortion 'nice and palatable so that they wouldn't understand what it's all about.'"

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