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Baby's 'angelic' face haunts former abortion nurse
BP News ^ | 11/6/03 | Michael Foust

Posted on 11/07/2003 6:26:59 AM PST by truthandlife

Brenda Pratt Shafer witnessed a partial-birth abortion. It was an experience she would rather forget, but cannot.

A registered nurse, Shafer in 1993 worked for three days in an abortion clinic in Dayton, Ohio, under abortion doctor Martin Haskell, who popularized the procedure.

Shafer's testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee in 1996 helped strengthen the push to ban partial-birth abortion and has been recounted often by senators and representatives in congressional floor debates. President Bush signed the ban into law Nov. 5.

"[B]ecause of the strong pro-choice views that I held at that time, I thought this assignment [in Haskell's clinic] would be no problem for me," she told the subcommittee in her 1996 testimony, according to a transcript. "But I was wrong."

On her third day in the clinic Shafer said she witnessed three partial-birth abortions -- the first on a young mother with a Down syndrome baby, the latter two on healthy mothers with healthy babies.

She described in detail the procedure on the Down syndrome baby, which she said was six months (26 and a half weeks) along. The procedure startled both her and the mother.

"Dr. Haskell brought the ultrasound in and hooked it up so that he could see the baby," Shafer testified. "On the ultrasound screen, I could see the heart beating. As Dr. Haskell watched the baby on the ultrasound screen, the baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen.

"Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby's legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby's body and the arms -- everything but the head. The doctor kept the baby's head just inside the uterus.

"The baby's little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors through the back of his head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall."

The abortion was nearly complete.

"The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening and sucked the baby's brains out," Shafer said. "Now the baby was completely limp. I was really completely unprepared for what I was seeing. I almost threw up as I watched the doctor do these things.

"... Dr. Haskell delivered the baby's head. He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw that baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he'd used. I saw the baby move in the pan. I asked another nurse and she said it was just 'reflexes.'"

Shafer said she had been a nurse more than 10 years and had witnessed many graphic procedures, but described this as the most shocking.

"I have been a nurse for a long time and I have seen a lot of death -- people maimed in auto accidents, gunshot wounds, you name it. I have seen surgical procedures of every sort. But in all my professional years, I had never witnessed anything like this.

"The woman wanted to see her baby, so they cleaned up the baby and put it in a blanket and handed the baby to her. She cried the whole time, and she kept saying, 'I'm so sorry, please forgive me!' I was crying too. I couldn't take it. That baby boy had the most perfect angelic face I have ever seen."

Shafer concluded her testimony by noting the baby was "only inches, seconds away from being entirely born, when he was killed."

"What I saw done to that little boy, and to those other babies, should not be allowed in this country." --30-- Following is a partial transcript of Brenda Pratt Shafer's testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives' Subcommittee on the Constitution from March 21, 1996. A complete transcript is available at: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/215.htm.

"Mr. Chairman and honorable members of the Judiciary Committee, I am Brenda Pratt Shafer. I am here before you, at the request of the Committee, to relate to you my experience as an eyewitness to what is now known as the partial-birth abortion procedure.

"I am a registered nurse, licensed in the State of Ohio, with 14 years of experience. In 1993, I was employed by Kimberly Quality Care, a nursing agency in Dayton, Ohio. In September, 1993, Kimberly Quality Care asked me to accept assignment at the Women's Medical Center, which is operated by Dr. Martin Haskell. I readily accepted the assignment because I was at that time very pro-choice. I had even told my teenager daughters that if one of them ever got pregnant at a young age, I would make them get an abortion. They disagreed with me on this. And one of them even wrote an essay for a high school class that mentioned how we differed on the issue.

"So, because of the strong pro-choice views that I held at that time, I thought this assignment would be no problem for me.

"But I was wrong. I stood at a doctor's side as he performed the partial-birth abortion procedure -- and what I saw is branded forever on my mind.

"I worked as an assistant nurse at Dr. Haskell's clinic for three days -- September 28, 29 and 30, 1993.

"On the first day, we assisted in some first-trimester abortions, which is all I'd expected to be involved in. (I remember that one of the patients was a 15-year-old girl who was having her third abortion.)

"On the second day, I saw Dr. Haskell do a second-trimester procedure that is called a D & E (dilation and evacuation). He used ultrasound to examine the fetus. Then he used forceps to pull apart the baby inside the uterus, bringing it out piece by piece and piece, throwing the pieces in a pan.

"Also on the first two days, we inserted laminaria to dilate the cervixes of women who were being prepared for the partial-birth abortions -- those who were past the 20 weeks point, or 4 1/2 months. (Dr. Haskell called this procedure 'D & X', for dilation and extraction.) There were six or seven of these women.

"On the third day, Dr. Haskell asked me to observe as he performed several of the procedures that are the subject of this hearing. Although I was in that clinic on assignment of the agency, Dr. Haskell was interested in hiring me fulltime, and I was being given orientation in the entire range of procedures provided at that facility.

"I was present for three of these partial-birth procedures. It is the first one that I will describe to you in detail.

"The mother was six months pregnant (26 1/2weeks). A doctor told her that the baby had Down syndrome and she decided to have an abortion. She came in the first two days to have the laminaria inserted and changed, and she cried the whole time. On the third day she came in to receive the partial-birth procedure.

"Dr. Haskell brought the ultrasound in and hooked it up so that he could see the baby. On the ultrasound screen, I could see the heart beating. As Dr. Haskell watched the baby on the ultrasound screen, the baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen.

"Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby's legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby's body and the arms -- everything but the head. The doctor kept the baby's head just inside the uterus.

"The baby's little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors through the back of his head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall.

"The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening and sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby was completely limp.

"I was really completely unprepared for what I was seeing. I almost threw up as I watched the doctor do these things.

"Mr. Chairman, I read in the paper that President Clinton says that he is going to veto this bill. If President Clinton had been standing where I was standing at that moment, he would not veto this bill.

"Dr. Haskell delivered the baby's head. He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw that baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he'd used. I saw the baby move in the pan. I asked another nurse and she said it was just 'reflexes.'

"I have been a nurse for a long time and I have seen a lot of death-- people maimed in auto accidents, gunshot wounds, you name it. I have seen surgical procedures of every sort. But in all my professional years, I had never witnessed anything like this.

"The woman wanted to see her baby, so they cleaned up the baby and put it in a blanket and handed the baby to her. She cried the whole time, and she kept saying, 'I'm so sorry, please forgive me!' I was crying too. I couldn't take it. That baby boy had the most perfect angelic face I have ever seen.

"I was present in the room during two more such procedures that day, but I was really in shock. I tried to pretend that I was somewhere else, to not think about what was happening. I just couldn't wait to get out of there. After I left that day, I never went back. These last two procedures, by the way, involved healthy mothers with healthy babies.

"I was very much affected by what I had seen. For a long time, sometimes still, I had nightmares about what I saw in that clinic that day.

"That's why, last July, I wrote a letter to Congressman Tony Hall of Dayton, in support of the bill, telling what I had seen. And that led to me being asked to tell others what I 'd seen, just as I am doing here today."


TOPICS: Extended News
KEYWORDS: abortion; abortionists; abortionlist; depravity; evil; horror; murder; pbaban2003; prolife; sin
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1 posted on 11/07/2003 6:27:00 AM PST by truthandlife
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To: truthandlife
That's haunting. That's also the reason why all you folks who say Dubya isn't doing a good job should remebmer that it took 30 years before a Pres had the guts to stand up for life. That's why he should be re-elected and re-elected by a thumping majority.
2 posted on 11/07/2003 6:30:31 AM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: truthandlife
She can't forget it because she was an assistant to murder.
3 posted on 11/07/2003 6:31:17 AM PST by sarasota
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To: truthandlife
I can't even finish reading this.
4 posted on 11/07/2003 6:34:33 AM PST by stevio
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To: truthandlife
Absolutely disgusting.

Evil at the root level.

I cannot fathom those who would defend much less do such a thing.
5 posted on 11/07/2003 6:34:56 AM PST by DB ()
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To: truthandlife
Demonic monsters hiding behind Phd's and white uniforms.
6 posted on 11/07/2003 6:35:32 AM PST by biblewonk (I must answer all bible questions.)
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To: sarasota
Powder..Patch..Ball FIRE!

She can't forget it because she was an assistant to murder

Sounds to me like she id doing everything she can to redeem her sin. We should support her and her efforts for life.

7 posted on 11/07/2003 6:36:15 AM PST by BallandPowder
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To: truthandlife
thanks for the great post.
8 posted on 11/07/2003 6:39:11 AM PST by Hillary's Folly (mothers who abort babies should be in prison.)
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To: Cronos
I couldn't read past the first 2 paragraphs before I started to tear up. What a terrible thing to do to a child!
9 posted on 11/07/2003 6:39:17 AM PST by Sunshine Sister
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To: truthandlife
You'll never see a story like this on CNN, the NY Times or any of the left leaning networks. No, all they want you to hear about is how Iraqi's are incensed that their criminals are being taken away with bags on their heads!!
10 posted on 11/07/2003 6:41:36 AM PST by God luvs America
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To: BallandPowder
Sometimes it is only after the sin, that we realize the depth of our actions. Sometimes it is the voice of God that tells us "I forgive you", that first allows us to speak up.

May God bless her, and this mother. I believe the mother was sorry, too. That is the first step to redemption. They are forgiven, if they ask.
11 posted on 11/07/2003 6:43:53 AM PST by Pan_Yans Wife (You may forget the one with whom you have laughed, but never the one with whom you have wept.)
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To: sarasota
She can't forget it because she was an assistant to murder

All pro-choicers are. If women were MADE to WATCH a film of an actual abortion before having one, maybe the sluts would keep their legs crossed.

Now, murdering a baby because it has downs syndrome is lowets of the low.

All abortionists and those who support abortion, are assistants to murder.

I am sure that there are/have been exceptions. Such as when the mothers life really IS in danger (not her health, her LIFE), but that should be a heart-wrenching, gut clenching deceision, not made lightly and I would have great sympathy for mothers who must endure it...but murdering scum-bags?

I know where they are going..and they deserve it!
12 posted on 11/07/2003 6:43:56 AM PST by Roughneck (9 out of 10 Terrorists prefer Democrats, the rest prefer Saddam Hussein)
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To: stevio
I can't even finish reading this.

Same here.

Partial-birth abortion turned me totally against abortion. I was a fence-sitter on abortion in that I used to think that it was OK in certain circumstances, not OK in others. Not anymore.

13 posted on 11/07/2003 6:44:17 AM PST by randog (Everything works great 'til the current flows.)
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To: truthandlife
As the tears stream down the face of the LORD, I wonder if satan himself is amazed at the depths that mankind lowered it's self.

I wonder if satan himself turns his face away as the murder for money doctor (?) take his blood money for services rendered.

I wonder if satan himself is laughing as he watches the clueless, mindless robots, screaming about their rights to abortions.

I wonder if satan smile at the prospect of all those who follow his lead, as he opens their path to his rewards for them.

I wonder if he smiles knowing that their reward, for endless time, will be to see over and over again these inocent babies being murdered in the most horrific way possible. To hear over and over again their screams of agony as their brains are sucked out.

I wonder if satan will delight in their just reward.

14 posted on 11/07/2003 6:46:02 AM PST by chiefqc
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To: chiefqc
Sadly this is nothing new for mankind.
15 posted on 11/07/2003 6:48:37 AM PST by DB ()
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To: Sunshine Sister
I can't imagine the person who would do it. I have the utmost respect for doctors who swear the hippocratic oath: 'Do no harm'. But, then, what do you call the person who did this?
16 posted on 11/07/2003 6:49:41 AM PST by Cronos (W2004)
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To: truthandlife; xzins; Dataman; Southflanknorthpawsis
I'll admit it. I couldn't read past the fingers opening and closing.

I know a few words in a few languages, but I haven't the language to describe my horror (A) at this "procedure," much less (B) that anyone in this "civilized" society can bear the knowledge that it is tolerated in our affluent, fat nation.

That a soul could ponder it, and not recoil in appalled horror -- words fail me.

Dan
17 posted on 11/07/2003 6:49:53 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: biblewonk
Demonic monsters hiding behind Phd's and white uniforms and black robes and three piece suits.

The American Holocaust (40 Million and counting ... we've surpassed the Nazis and are closing in on the Communists) was made possible by five evil men with law degrees.

18 posted on 11/07/2003 6:50:53 AM PST by ArrogantBustard
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To: truthandlife
Shocking! Abortion should never be acceptable at any time or performed by any method!
19 posted on 11/07/2003 6:51:18 AM PST by dagoofyfoot
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To: truthandlife
Unreal.

Lord save us.

20 posted on 11/07/2003 6:53:31 AM PST by Sam's Army
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