Similar to the Caesarean Section, this method is generally used if chemical methods such as salt poisoning or prostaglandins fail. Incisions are made in the abdomen and uterus and the baby, placenta, and amniotic sac are removed. Babies are sometimes born alive during this procedure, raising questions as to how and when these infants are killed and by whom.
This method offers the highest risk to the health of the mother, because the potential for rupture during subsequent pregnancies is appreciable. In the first two years of legal abortion in New York State, the death rate from hysterotomy was 271.2 deaths per 100,000 cases.
"The doctors would remove the fetus while performing hysterotomies and then lay it on the table., where it would squirm until it died. ..They all had perfect forms and shapes. I couldn't take it. No nurse could."Joyce Craig, director of a Brooklyn clinic of Planned Parenthood, who assisted in abortion for two months, then quit.
"You would just look in the buckets and see arms and legs. I have horrible dreams about that now. It was something you would see in a scary movie."Former clinic worker Kirsten Breedlove
"I look inside the bucket in front of me. There is a small naked person in there, floating in a bloody liquid- plainly the tragic victim of a drowning accident. But then perhaps this was no accident, because the body is purple with bruises and the face has the agonised tautness of one forced to die too soon.
I have seen this face before, on a Russian soldier lying on a frozen snow-covered hill, stiff with death, and cold.""Pro-choice" author Magda Denes "Performing Abortions" M.D. Commentary, 26 October 1976
"I remember an experience as a resident on a hysterotomy. I remember seeing the baby move underneath the sack of membranes, as the caesarean incision was made, before the doctor broke the water. The thought came to me, "My God, that's a person" Then he broke the water. And when he broke the water, it was like I had a pain in my heart, just like when I saw that first suction abortion.
And then he delivered the baby,. and I couldn't touch it.. I wasn't much of an assistant. I just stood there, and the reality of what was going on finally began to seep into my calloused brain and heart. They took that little baby that was making little sounds and moving and kicking, and set it on that table in a cold, stainless steel bowl. Every time I would look over while we were repairing the incision in uterus and finishing the Caesarean...
...I would see that little person moving in that bowl. And it kicked and moved less and less, of course, as time went on. I can remember going over and looking at the baby when we were done with the surgery and the baby was still alive. You could see the chest was moving and the heart was beating, and the baby would try to take a little breath, and it really hurt inside, and it began to educate me as to what abortion really was.
Quoted: Meet the Abortion Providers