National pro-life leaders responded to the NPR segment.
“My prayer is often that the truth about abortion is ‘brought into the light’ but nothing prepared me for what this audio recording of an abortion would sound like,” March for Life President Jeanne Mancini tweeted. “What’s happening here is the taking of an innocent human life. Heartbreaking. No words.”
Live Action President Lila Rose emphasized, “This is what Hell sounds like.”
As president of Students for Life of America, Kristan Hawkins added on Twitter: “I hope the disgusted NPR listeners will never forget this sound and #voteprolifefirst on Tuesday.
SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser also brought up the midterm elections in response to NPR’s segment.
“Exposure to the harsh reality of abortion is important for voters as they consider their choices next Tuesday,” she said in a statement.
“This heartbreaking audio exposes the brutal truth about abortion — the destruction of unborn children and exploitation of their mothers for profit,” she added. “We can just imagine the last moments of the unborn child, who has a beating heart by six weeks, is forming unique fingerprints by 10 weeks, and can feel excruciating pain at least by 15 weeks. And we may never know the fate of the unnamed mother, but we know abortion can result in life-threatening complications and long-term emotional and mental health impacts.”
In an October story published by Michigan Radio, Wells went into more detail about the abortion.
“It’s typical for patients to be awake during first-trimester abortions, especially when the patient doesn’t have underlying medical issues,” she reported. “It not only reduces the risk of complications and the costs to the patient (general anesthesia for an abortion in a hospital setting can cost thousands of dollars); it also means patients can go home the same day.”
She continued to describe what happens.
“Northland Family Planning gives every patient numbing medication applied to the cervix, and strong pain and anxiety medications (fentanyl and midazolam) administered intravenously,” she wrote. “Some patients also get a cervix softener a few hours before the procedure to make dilation easier, depending on how far along their pregnancy is.”
(Story continues below)
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After a woman is fully relaxed, the OB-GYN “would use a speculum to view inside the patient’s vagina, then clean the vagina and cervix with gauze and antiseptic” and dilate the cervix, she added.
Wells described the vacuum aspirator, which was used on the unidentified Michigan woman, as a “machine [that] uses gentle suction to remove the pregnancy tissue from the patient’s uterus through a thin tube.”
She reported that the woman, after her abortion, said, “I hope I didn’t do too bad.” Wells added: “Brandee leaned close to her, their faces only inches apart. ‘Don’t you ever tell yourself what you can’t do again,’ she said, smiling.”
NPR and Michigan Radio did not immediately respond to requests for comment by time of publication.
Former Washington, D. C., correspondent Katie Yoder covered pro-life issues, the U.S. Catholic bishops, public policy, and Congress for Catholic News Agency. She previously worked for Townhall.com, National Review, and the Media Research Center.