Partial birth abortion
Partial birth abortion [Intact Dilation and Extraction Surgery/IDX]
Partial birth abortion is committed on babies after 21 weeks gestation, in a three - day process. On the first day the mother's cervix is prepped, anesthetized and dilated to 9 - 11 mm. Between five and seven dilapan hydroscopic dilators are placed in the cervix to increase the dilation. On the second day the dilators are removed, the cervix is sterilized and anesthetized, and between twenty-five to thirty dilapan hydroscopic dilators are placed in her cervix. On the third day, the dilapans are removed and the cervix is sterilized and anesthetized. 10 IU Pitocin [a mammalian hormone that works as a neurotransmitter, and induces labour] is injected intramuscularly into the mother. The cervix is gripped by a tenaculum [a grasping device that holds the cervix in place for the abortion], an ultrasound is used to check the orientation of the foetus, and a large forcep is pushed through the cervix and vagina canals into the uterus.
The abortionist uses the forceps to deliver the entire baby, but leaves its head inside the cervix. The baby's body is spine-side up, and the abortionist uses his hands to hold the baby's body and feel, with a pair of curved, blunt, Metzenbaum scissors the place where the spine meets the baby's head.
The abortionist then forces the scissors into the back of the baby's skull, and once they are inside the skull, he spreads the scissors to enlarge the opening. Then, the abortionist withdraws the scissors and uses a suction catheter [surgical vacuum] to suck out the contents of the baby's skull. Finally, with the catheter still in place, the baby's head is removed from the cervix and the vacuum is used to remove the placenta, and suction the inside of the uterine cavity.
Statistics for NZ
In 2003, 2.03% of induced abortions were done between weeks 16 to 19, and 0.56% were done over 20 weeks.
Reasons for Partial birth abortions in NZ
Partial birth abortions are performed in the 2nd or 3rd Trimester. Babies in the first Trimester can be aborted by other methods; the D&X procedure is committed because the mother's cervix must be dilated enough to allow her baby's head to be expelled. The most common justifications for the abortions committed in these Trimesters are:
- The baby is dead.
- The baby is alive, but continued pregnancy would place the woman's life in severe danger.
- The baby is alive, but continued pregnancy could damage the woman's health and/or disable her.
- The baby is so malformed that it can never gain consciousness and will die shortly after birth. Many which fall into this category have developed a very severe form of hydrocephalus.
- The baby has Down Syndrome