Challenging the Partial Birth Abortion Ban
Some Excerpts from the Trial


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Dr Timothy Johnson, an abortionist challenging the law against partial birth abortion, described the procedure in court. At one point the judge asked him a question about the medical instruments used.

Witness: It would be like the end of tongs that are combined that you use to pick up salad. So they would be articulated in the center and you could move one end, and there would be a branch at the center. The instruments are thick enough and heavy enough that you can actually grasp and crush with those instruments as if you were picking up salad or picking up anything with --

Judge: Except here you are crushing the head of a baby.

Witness: Correct.

From the testimony of Dr. Gerson Weiss:

Lawyer: In the example you just gave, I think you said that there were several things you might do that would be an act that would kill the fetus. What might those things be?

Witness: One thing would be to simply pull the fetus out. Having done that, it is likely that the fetal head would remain inside, and in pulling it would have separated the head from the body, and that would have resulted in the fetal death and later delivery. Another possibility is that you would grasp the head under those circumstances and either crush it or hold it and then puncture it to deliver the head. In either case, you have done an overt act after delivering the fetus to the trunk.


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Written 25 April 2004. Posted 4 June 2004.

Copyright 2004 by Greene County Right to Life
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