For Immediate Release: February 8, 2016 The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists exists to educate medical practitioners and policymakers about the effects of abortion on women, and to defend the lives of both the pregnant mother and her unborn child. AAPLOG is a professional society of 3000 physician members and associates, mostly obstetricians and gynecologists, who are intimately involved in reproductive health decision-making with their patients. AAPLOG members uphold the Hippocratic Principles of doing no harm to patients. AAPLOG Members professionally advocate for both of their patients, both the pregnant women and her unborn child. Banning dismemberment abortions does not ban abortion in general. Women will still be able to access earlier abortions throughout the United States. In fact, banning dismemberment abortions will actually improve the health of women throughout the nation. Dismemberment abortions are performed in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Second and third trimester abortions are particularly dangerous for three reasons: 1) they can lead directly to a woman’s death, 2) they can cause a woman to become permanently unable to carry a subsequent child to term, and 3) ln a particularly gruesome way, they kill living human beings who are capable of feeling pain, and after 20 weeks fertilization age are capable of living outside of the mother’s womb. 1) Second and third trimester dismemberment abortions carry a greatly increased risk of death for the woman than bringing a baby to birth. The Center for Disease Control published results of an analysis of deaths directly from the abortion itself, and published these results in 2004.1 Figure 1 of the CDC study (Bartlett) shows the rates of women dying from abortion as the gestational age of the pregnancy increases. It is clear from the CDC data that deaths for women undergoing abortion increase after 13 weeks gestation. Dismemberment abortions are the type of abortion performed after 13 weeks gestation. At 20 weeks of gestation, which is mid second trimester, the woman’s risk of dying from a dismemberment abortion becomes greater than the woman’s risk of dying from live birth-(term pregnancy is 37-42 weeks). And the risk of death from dismemberment abortions increases as the size of the fetus and the gestational age increases.   graph Dismemberment abortions are particularly dangerous types of abortions for women, because the crushing of fetal bones results in sharp fragments which can easily perforate the woman’s womb during the procedure. These sharp bone fragments can also pierce blood vessels, resulting in massive hemorrhage, and can also pierce the nearby bowels and bladder, resulting in overwhelming infection and death. lt is these particularly dangerous types of abortion which would be banned. 2. Dismemberment abortions carry a greatly increased risk of damaging the woman’s womb so that she will be unable to carry future pregnancies to term (causing preterm birth). This damage to a woman’s womb happens because the fetus is so large in the second trimester that the womb must be widely forced open in order to remove the hard pieces of bone, and the large skull. This forcing open of the woman’s womb tears supportive tissue around the womb which gives the open of the womb the reinforcement needed to hold larger babies inside until they are at term. Over L45 medical studies published over four decades, including 5 recent meta-analyses, have demonstrated conclusively that an elective abortion increases a woman’s risk of being unable to carry a subsequent pregnancy to term. The damage is much worse for second and third trimester abortions than for first trimester abortions. Banning dismemberment abortions means banning a procedure known to cause permanent cervical damage to a woman’s womb, damage that continues to manifest itself throughout the woman’s subsequent reproductive life. 3. Dismemberment abortions rip a living human being limb from limb, a human being capable of feeling pain, and after 20 weeks capable of living outside of the mother’s womb. The grotesqueness of dismemberment abortion is apparent to anyone who analyzes the procedure. The United States Supreme Court Justices necessarily examined the details of dismemberment abortions in their consideration of the Partial Birth Abortion ban. The gruesome nature of these dismemberment abortions was described by the Supreme Court Justices, as they contrasted dismemberment abortions (D&E) with partial birth abortions (intact D&E) : In describing the dismemberment abortion (D&E) the justices stated: “[F]riction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the ‘fetus….”2 Contrasting the partial birth or “intact D&E” abortion, the Court said, “In an intact D&E procedure the doctor extracts the fetus in a way conducive to pulling out its entire body, instead of ripping it apart. B “No one would dispute,” it wrote, “that, for many, D & E is a procedure itself laden with the power to devalue human life.” The author of the Gonzales opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy, used an even more graphic description of the dismemberment abortion in his dissent in Stenberg v. Carhart, stating: “The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb.” Indeed, the Ginsberg dissent in Gonzales and Stenberg stated: Non-intact D&E could equally be characterized os “brutal,” . .. , involving as it does “tear[ing] [o fetus] apart” and “ripp[ing] off” its limbs, . . . ” The fact that the fetus can react to pain in the second trimester has been well established, and is obvious to anyone who has ever visited a neonatal intensive care unit, and watched the 22 week infants react to their surroundings. The thin skin of the premature neonate makes these children exquisitely sensitive to touch and pain. There is no magic that happens when the unborn child relocates to the neonatal intensive care unit. The child has the same pain sensing capability in the intensive care unit that he or she had minutes prior inside the womb. The unborn child in the second trimester exhibits all the same physiological reactions to pain that born human beings exhibit such as increase in pulse and withdrawal from painful stimuli. These unborn children are our patients who die in a particularly inhumane way during dismemberment abortions. It is important to remember that elective dismemberment abortions are not necessary to save any woman’s life. Banning elective dismemberment abortions does not risk any woman’s life. Rather, a ban on dismemberment abortions will improve the lives and health of women by eliminating the deaths and permanent damage to women which comes from this procedure. Donna J. Harrison Executive Director American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists  

1. Linda A. Bartlett, MD, MHSc, Cynthia J. Berg, MD, MPH, Holly B. Shulman, MS, Suzanne B. Zane, DVM, Clarice A. Green, MD, MPH, Sara Whitehead, MD, MPH, and Hani K. Atrash, MD, MPH. Risk Factors for Legal lnduced Abortion-Related Mortality in the United States. Obstet. Gynecol 103( 4) APRIL 2004 p 729-737. 2. Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 135 (2007). 3. id. at 137; see also 152. 4. id. at 158. 5. Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000) (Kennedy, J., dissenting) 6. Gonzales, 550 U.S. at 182 (Ginsburg, J., dissenting)