As activists prepared for a pro-choice march April 25, which organizers called the March for Women’s Lives, federal courtrooms coast-to-coast heard graphic testimony, with little media coverage, about exactly what happens during partial-birth abortions, said Cathy Cleaver Ruse.
The director of Planning and Information for the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. bishops’ conference said “seasoned abortion doctors, have taken the stand to describe in astonishingly frank terms how they crush the skulls and dismember the bodies of infants in the fifth and sixth months of pregnancy.”
Pediatric pain specialists have testified to the “excruciating pain” experienced by unborn children during partial-birth abortions, and other medical experts have testified that the procedure is “never necessary.”
Lawsuits were filed against the federal ban on partial-birth abortions when it was enacted last November, and trials began March 29 in federal courts in Nebraska, New York, and California. The Nebraska and California trials recently ended, though no rulings have been issued. The New York trial is still underway.
Ruse called Roe v. Wade, the case that legalized abortion in the U.S., “a social experiment on the lives of women and children.
“After 31 years, we know almost nothing about abortion’s impact on women’s health, on marriages, or on surviving siblings — we don’t even know with certainty how many children have died,” she said. “Legalized abortion has been an unstudied, unchecked experiment.”
Statistics show that maternal health risks, fetal health complications, and rape account for only seven percent of abortions annually. Studies indicate two main reasons women have abortions are a lack of practical resources and emotional support.
“Abortion is a reflection that we have failed to meet the needs of women,” said Ruse. “Women deserve better than abortion.”
Full transcripts of the trials are available at www.usccb.org/prolife.