This is the result of a pregnancy terminated by saline amniocentesis, or salt poisoning abortion, at 19 weeks into the pregnancy. In this abortion method, salt water is injected into the womb. The fetus breathes and swallows it and is poisoned by it. Death usually results after about an hour. The cause of death is typically acute hypernatremia accompanied by vasodilatation, edema, congestion, hemorrhage, and shock. The woman goes into premature labor about a day later and delivers a dead baby.
Salt is abbrasive and corrosive, and so the fetus can also be burned by it, leaving the skin red and raw looking. Abortionists sometimes jokingly call these fetuses "candy apple babies".
This technique is rarely used today because it can be dangerous to the mother. It is illegal in Japan for this reason.
Photo courtesy Dr Jack Willke and Hayes Publishing Company
Posted 30 Sep 2000.
Copyright 2000 by Pregnant Pause