“If abortion pictures are so effective,” some people point out, “why don’t abortionists change their minds?” This is an interesting and compelling point. Abortion workers are often tasked with piecing aborted babies back together like a bloody jigsaw puzzle to make sure that no body parts get left behind in the uterus to cause infection after the procedure is completed. Day after day, they face and facilitate a relentless and unspeakable carnage. So why, knowing what they know and seeing what they see, do they remain in the abortion industry?

In many cases, the consciences of abortion workers have been hardened to the fate of those they dispatch to the next life. The videos released by the undercover investigators of the Center for Medical Progress in 2015 showed abortionists casually discussing where it was best to “crush” the baby without damaging saleable organs, and later footage highlighted conversations about cracking skulls, twisting off limbs, and catching stray eyeballs. These conversations took place over salads and sips of wine. Killing becomes routine, human reactions become blunted by repetition, and the banality of evil sets in. 

This is not simply the analysis of a biased pro-life activist—many abortion workers openly admit this. “I have been doing abortion for years and have no physical or emotional reaction,” one said. “I worry this means that I don’t have any respect for human life.” In fact, the abortion worker went on, “I have become hardened.” Another clinical nurse, Shelley Meegan, admitted to one journalist that, “The longer I work in this area, the easier it becomes to cope with the issues. I’ve taken part in some terminations, but I try to detach so I don’t feel so bad.” The question must be asked: If abortion rights are a social good, why would abortion workers have to feel so terrible in the first place?

The truth of the matter is that abortion workers often do have a very difficult time facing the reality of what they do each day. The fantasy of happy facilities where men and women dedicated to reproductive rights serve relieved and grateful women that the abortion lobby likes to project has no basis in reality, and the illusion falls apart the moment we take a look at what industry workers themselves have to say about their work. There is a reason that in nearly every abortion facility, women are forbidden to see the remains of their children after the abortion procedure is completed. Abortion workers, on the other hand, don’t have a choice–and what they see often profoundly impacts them. 

In 2007, for example, LifeSiteNews reported on an undercover journalist’s investigation inside a Spanish abortion clinic. The exposé was chilling, and the speed with which the abortionist flings a cloth over the baby she has just killed indicates her deep level of discomfort with the morality of what has just taken place:

For what is probably the first time in history, a television network in Spain has shown an abortion on national television. The video, shot during a hidden-camera exposé on Spain’s abortion industry, shows a nurse injecting deadly poison into the fetus through the vagina of a pregnant woman, who then expels her dead child, about five months old. The doctor immediately covers the body.

“The baby is born dead. His cradle: a trash can,” says the commentator in voice-over on the tape.  An abortion of the baby of a second woman is also shown. After showing the second abortion, the commentator remarks. “As soon as the baby is born, the doctor must cover it up.  No one looks at it.  No one examines it.”

Later, the undercover reporter examines one of the dead children. “Hands, feet, a face. The cadaver of a human being,” the commentator notes. The doctor, a woman, remarks that the baby is 21 weeks old, but says she “never” looks at the bodies of the fetuses. 

“Never?” asks the undercover reporter, who is posing as a doctor looking for work at the clinic. “Never,” the woman repeats “Never, never, never again!”  When asked why, the doctor says, “Because I don’t like it.”  “Of course, you are a mother, I assume, right?” the reporter asks.  No answer is given.

It is likely that no answer was given because the reality of female abortionists getting pregnant while still violently evicting pre-born children the age of their own offspring is something few are willing to articulate. Abortionist Lisa Harris described the experience in a 2008 issue of Reproductive Health Matters:

When I was a little over 18 weeks pregnant with my now pre-school child, I did a second trimester abortion for a patient who was also a little over 18 weeks pregnant.

As I reviewed her chart I realized that I was more interested than usual in seeing the fetal parts when I was done, since they would so closely resemble those of my own fetus. I went about doing the procedure as usual, removed the laminaria I had placed earlier and confirmed I had adequate dilation.

I used electrical suction to remove the amniotic fluid, picked up my forceps and began to remove the fetus in parts, as I always did. I felt lucky that this one was already in the breech position – it would make grasping small parts (legs and arms) a little easier.

With my first pass of the forceps, I grasped an extremity and began to pull it down. I could see a small foot hanging from the teeth of my forceps. With a quick tug, I separated the leg.

Precisely at that moment, I felt a kick – a fluttery “thump, thump” in my own uterus. It was one of the first times I felt fetal movement.

There was a leg and foot in my forceps, and a “thump, thump” in my abdomen. Instantly, tears were streaming from my eyes – without me – meaning my conscious brain – even being aware of what was going on.

I felt as if my response had come entirely from my body, bypassing my usual cognitive processing completely. A message seemed to travel from my hand and my uterus to my tear ducts.

It was an overwhelming feeling – a brutally visceral response – heartfelt and unmediated by my training or my feminist pro-choice politics. It was one of the more raw moments in my life.

Doing second trimester abortions did not get easier after my pregnancy; in fact, dealing with little infant parts of my born baby only made dealing with dismembered fetal parts sadder.

Lisa Harris knew that the leg she had just “tugged” from the body of the baby she was aborting looked nearly identical to the little leg that had kicked her just beneath her heart, and for a moment, she couldn’t deny what she was doing. Her “feminist pro-choice politics,” the numbing medical abortion training—all of it fell away in the face of the awful but unavoidable truth. And yet, the moment passed, the tears dried, and she continued to perform abortions. Her own motherhood made it more difficult, but she ignored the moments of truth she was confronted with and decided to place her ideology first. 

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