Thursday, July 29, 2004

From Ecclesia Anglicana:

Selling your soul
For political success. This blog isn't recommending Messrs Kerry or Edwards for canonization but that's irrelevant to the election.

From Dave Brown. Sorry it's so long but I didn't get a link:

Ways abortions are done
The following contains quotes from a current medical journal article on
abortion techniques. Some of the descriptions are chilling to read. It is
not for the squeamish.

The July 1, 2004 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology (Volume 104, number 1)
contains the article "Methods for Induced Abortion," as part of the
"Clinical Gynecologic Series: An Expert's View" (pp. 174-185). The article
was prepared by Phillip G. Stubblefied, MD, Sacheen Carr-Ellis, MD, and Lynn
Borgatta, MD, MPH of the Boston University School of Medicine, Boston
Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Some quotes from the article:

"The Alan Guttmacher Institute reported 1,313,000 legal abortions for the
year 2000, an abortion rate of 21.3 per 1,000 women aged 15-44 and an
abortion ratio of 24.5 per 100 live births. This paper will review methods
for abortion used in the United States, describing common techniques in
detail." (p. 174)

"Methods for Abortion in the First Trimester
Vacuum Curettage
Vacuum curettage (also called suction curettage or uterine aspiration) is
the most common method of abortion in the United States. By recent
convention, procedures performed before 13 menstrual weeks are called
suction or vacuum curettage, whereas similar procedures carried out after 13
weeks are described as dilation and evacuation (D&E)." (p. 175)

"The necessary dilation of the cervix can be accomplished by mechanical
cervical dilation with tapered cervical dilators of the Pratt or Denniston
design, by hygroscopic dilators such as laminaria, or by
prostaglandins...Vacuum curettage, performed with a 6-mm flexible cannula
and modified 60-mL syringe, has been used worldwide since the 1970s.
Initially, manual vacuum aspiration was used only at 6-7 menstrual weeks.
However, manual vacuum aspiration is effective in pregnancies as early as 3
menstrual weeks. Preoperative ultrasonography, careful inspection of the
aborted tissue, and follow-up with serial a-hCG titers ensure complete
abortion and allow early diagnosis of eptopic pregnancy. Manual vacuum
aspiration is as safe and effective as electric vacuum through 10 weeks of
pregnancy." (pp. 175-176)

"Medical Abortion in the First Trimester
Three highly effective regimens for early medical abortion are available in
the United States: 1)mifepristone (RU-486) with misoprostol, 2) methotrexate
with misoprostol, and 3) misoprostol alone." (p. 177)

"Approximately 85% of women starting medical abortion with
mifepristone/misoprostol administration, but for a few, expulsion of the
pregnancy will take several weeks. Vaginal ultrasonography is customarily
performed to ensure that the uterine cavity is empty. Presence of an intact
gestation with cardiac echoes 2 weeks after start of medication is
considered a failed abortion. If a gestational sack is present but no fetal
cardiac activity is present, the patient may elect to simply wait for
expulsion, take more misoprostol, or have surgical evacuation. If medical
abortion fails, surgical termination is advisable because there is possible
risk for fetal malformation from misoprostol and from methotrexate." (p.

"Second Trimester Abortion
...In the 1970s when abortion became legal throughout the United States,
abortion after 12 weeks was generally accomplished in hospital by labor
induced with intra-amniotic hypertonic saline. Practice changed rapidly
after a series of articles from the CDC demonstrated that second-trimester
D&E procedures provided in out-patient settings were safer than the labor
induction methods as then practiced. In 2000, D&E was used for 99% of
abortions at 13-15 weeks, 94.6% at 16-20 weeks, and 85% at 21 weeks or

"Dilation and Evacuation"

[Different techniques for dilating the cervix to the necessary size are

"Instrument technique for uterine evacuation varies with gestational age and
with the preference of the surgeon. At 13-15 weeks, evacuation is readily
performed with vacuum cannula of 12-14 mm diameter, with ovum forceps used
as an adjunct, or the surgeon may prefer to use forceps as the primary
instrument and use the vacuum only the end of the procedure. The 16-mm
cannula system (MedGyn, Lombard, IL) allows evacuation with the vacuum
curette alone through 16 weeks, but at 17 weeks and beyond, even this
large-diameter aspiration system is not adequate by itself. Forceps
evacuation becomes the primary method and vacuum, the secondary." (p. 179)

"A further evolution of technique is the intact D&E procedure. This involves
2 or more days of laminaria treatment to obtain wide dilation of the cervix.
Then an assisted breech delivery of the trunk of the fetus is accomplished
under ultrasound guidance, and the calvarium [the upper domed portion of the
skull] is decompressed and delivered with the fetus otherwise intact.
Federal legislation passed in 2003 to ban so-called "partial birth
abortions," although nominally appearing to be aimed at "late term"
abortions by intact dilation and extraction, is worded so broadly and
vaguely that it appears also to make intact D&E illegal at any gestational
age and may threaten standard D&E as well...." (p. 179)

"Hern has developed a combination D&E technique useful for later procedures.
After multistage laminaria treatment over 2 or more days, 1.5--2.0 mg of
digoxin are injected into the fetus under ultrasound guidance, the membranes
are ruptured, and intravenous oxytocin is started (167 mU/min). An assisted
delivery is performed after a few hours." (p. 180)

"Labor Induction Methods" (p. 180)

"Use of Feticidal Agents. Transient fetal survival is a problem with all
prostaglandin methods. To prevent this and to shorten the interval to
abortion, feticidal agents are commonly used. These include 60 mL of a 23%
saline solution, intra-amniotic urea, ultrasound-guided fetal intra-cardiac
injection of potassium chloride, and 1.0-1.5 mg of digoxin given either as
an ultrasound-directed intrafetal injection or just into the amniotic
sac....It is likely that the use of feticidal agents reduces the induction
to abortion interval and improve efficacy, but this has not been subjected
to a controlled trial." (p. 181)

"Selective Fetal Reduction
In cases of multifetal pregnancies, selective reduction by means of
ultrasound-guided intra-cardiac injection of potassium chloride is used to
avoid the risks of extreme prematurity for the surviving pregnancies. In a
series of 3,513 women treated in a multinational study, fetal loss was
higher at first and fell as the operators gained experience." (p. 182) [End.]

Lord, in Thy mercy: hear our prayer.

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