National Abortion Federation
John Ashcroft, Attorney General of the U.S.A.
April 5, 2004
22 THE COURT: Doctor, do you make full disclosure to all
23 your patients before you embark on a particular procedure?
24 THE WITNESS: I educate them in the process of an
25 informed consent as to the risks of pregnancy termination and
1 the relative difference of risks of the different procedures.
2 THE COURT: Well when you tell them about pain and
3 such that you were talking about before do you also tell them
4 about that you do the D&E, it involves dismemberment, do you
5 tell them that you tear the limbs off the fetus.
6 THE WITNESS: I don’t use that term, say say it.
7 THE COURT: Do you use simple English words so they
8 know what you are doing.
9 THE WITNESS: Yes.
10 THE COURT: And what they’re authorizing?
11 THE WITNESS: Yes.
12 THE COURT: Well how do you tell them that you are
13 going to take the limb off? Inch I tell them that in the
15 THE COURT: Do you use disarticulation.
16 THE WITNESS: No.
17 THE COURT: What word do you use?
18 THE WITNESS: I tell them that in the process of the
19 termination we will attempt to get the fetus out as intact as
20 possible but that is not a guarantee and I sometimes a fetus
21 comes out in parts.
22 THE COURT: Do you discuss with them whether or not
23 there is any fetal pain?
24 THE WITNESS: I think that’s a concern.
25 My approach has been to say that the cord usually
1 comes down and severing of the cord means that the fetus asang
2 question nature.
3 THE COURT: Do you they that I normal woman patient
4 understands that words.
5 THE WITNESS: Well bleed to TK-PBLG is the analogy on
6 more lay terms.
7 THE COURT: Well do you use asang we nature or do you
8 say bleed to death?
9 THE WITNESS: I use the term that the fetus loses all
10 of its blood when the cord is severed.
11 THE COURT: Do you tell them whether or not the fetus
12 experiences pain?
13 THE WITNESS: Since I don’t know that I do say that
14 most of the time the fetus may not experience anything because
15 once the cord has been severed there is no blood supply to the
16 central nervous system and therefore the fetus for all
17 intrinsic purposes dies. Whether or not that is analogous to
18 the end of the presence or absence of a fetal heartbeat I don’t
19 know but there is no fetus that has central nervous system
20 activity once they have lost all oxygenation.
21 THE COURT: Do you use all of those words, oxygenation
22 and things like that or do you tell them in simple words?
23 THE WITNESS: I tell them in simple understandable
24 words. Depending upon the particular patient that I am dealing
1 THE COURT: Oh depending on the patient the words
3 THE WITNESS: Yes.
4 THE COURT: And when you do an intact D&E do you tell
5 them that you are going to insert scissors in the base of the
7 THE WITNESS: No.
8 THE COURT: You don’t tell them that.
9 THE WITNESS: No, because I don’t always do that,
10 number one.
11 THE COURT: You do that sometimes?
12 THE WITNESS: Yes.
13 THE COURT: When you do do you tell them?
14 THE WITNESS: Not ahead of time because I can’t
15 predict who I’m going to do that with and what I can’t do that
17 THE COURT: Do you tell them you may be doing that
18 STPHEUFRPBLGTS no.
19 THE COURT: Do you tell them whether or not it hurts?
20 THE WITNESS: Who am I what I am —
21 THE COURT: The patient.
22 THE WITNESS: The patient?
23 THE COURT: The woman, the mother.
24 THE WITNESS: It doesn’t hurt her, no.
25 THE COURT: Do you tell whether or not it will hurt
1 the fetus.
2 THE WITNESS: The intent of an PW-RGS that the fetus
3 will die during the process of uterine evacuation.
4 THE COURT: Ma’am, I didn’t ask you that. Very simply
5 I asked you whether or not do you tell the mother that one of
6 the ways she may do this is that you will deliver the baby
7 partially and then insert a pair of scissors in the base of the
8 fetus’ skull?
9 THE WITNESS: I have not done that.
10 THE COURT: Do you ever tell them that after that is
11 done you are going to suction or suck the brain out of the
13 THE WITNESS: I don’t use suction.
14 THE COURT: Then how do you remove the brain from the
16 THE WITNESS: I use my finner to disrupt the central
17 nervous system thereby the skull collapses and I can easily
18 deliver the remainder of the fetus through the cervix.
19 THE COURT: Do you tell them that you are going to
20 collapse the skull?
21 THE WITNESS: No.
22 THE COURT: The mother?
23 THE WITNESS: No.
24 THE COURT: Do you tell them whether or not that hurts
25 the fetus?
1 THE WITNESS: I have never talked to a fetus about
2 whether or not they experience pain.
3 THE COURT: I didn’t say that, Doctor. Do you tell
4 the mother whether or not it hurts the fetus?
5 THE WITNESS: In a discussion of pain for the fetus it
6 usually comes up in the context of how the fetus will die. I
7 make an analogy between what we as human beings fear the
8 most-HAEUF a long protracted painful death.
9 THE COURT: Doctor I didn’t you.
10 THE WITNESS: Excuse me that’s what I tell my
12 THE COURT: But I’m asking you the question.
13 THE WITNESS: I’m sorry.
14 THE COURT: And I’m asking you whether or not you tell
15 them that.
16 THE WITNESS: I feel that fetus dies quickly and it’s
17 over quickly and I think from a standpoint of a human being our
18 desire is that we have a quick death rather than a long
19 protracted death.
20 THE COURT: That’s very interesting, Doctor but it’s
21 not what I asked you.
22 I asked you whether or not you tell them the fetus
23 feels pain.
24 THE WITNESS: I don’t believe the fetus does feel pain
25 at the gestational ages that we do but I have no evidence to
1 say one way or the other so I can’t answer that question.
2 THE COURT: Have you ever read any studies about fetal
4 THE WITNESS: Fetal pain is best explored in the
5 premature context of delivering premature babies beyond 24 or
6 up to 28, at 28, 30 weeks.? Those studies it’s much, much
7 further in gestation than where I am dealing with the fetus.
8 THE COURT: Are you aware of any studies done on fetal
9 pain in a shorter gestational period?
10 THE WITNESS: No.
11 THE COURT: Next question.