Our strongest beliefs are often formed from the most troubling of times. For this med student, he had always been a strong supporter of the woman’s right to choose what she wanted to do with her pregnancy. That was, until he witnessed an abortion as part of his training and was so tormented by the experience that he had to share it.
The anonymous student begins his testimony by assuring his readers that he was, in fact, a firm believer in pro-choice prior to his training:
To begin, I must say that until yesterday, Friday, July 2, 2004, I was strongly pro-choice. I am a pre-medical student, and being very scientific, I understood that the mass of cells that forms the fetal body is not often capable of survival before 24 weeks in the womb. I am also somewhat liberal, and I believed that every woman should have the right to choose what she did with her body and one that could potentially be growing inside of her.
How was he supposed to know the gory details of an abortion when it was so contrary to the story he’d been told by the media. He believed that an unborn baby was just a “mass of cells” and not an actual living being. He felt that the woman should be able to be “in control of her body” and not have her decisions made based off of some tiny thing inside her.
He was so confident in his pro-choice beliefs he didn’t expect that everything would change once he witnessed a live abortion:
This summer, I was accepted into a pre-medical program in NYC in which we are allowed to shadow doctors and see all sorts of medical procedures. When given the opportunity to see an abortion, I did not hesitate to accept the offer. It was something new, edgy, and exciting that I had never seen.
He then describes exactly what he witnessed in the operating room:
When I entered the operating room, it felt like any other I had ever been in. On the table in front of me, I saw a woman, legs up as if delivering a child although she was asleep. Next to her was a tray of instruments for the abortion and a vacuum machine for suctioning the fetal tissues from the uterus. The doctors put on their gowns and masks and the procedure began. The cervix was held open with a crude metal instrument and a large transparent tube was stuck inside of the woman. Within a matter of seconds, the machine’s motor was engaged and blood, tissue, and tiny organs were pulled out of their environment into a filter. A minute later, the vacuum choked to a halt. The tube was removed, and stuck to the end was a small body and a head attached haphazardly to it, what was formed of the neck snapped. The ribs had formed with a thin skin covering them, the eyes had formed, and the inner organs had begun to function. The tiny heart of the fetus, obviously a little boy, had just stopped — forever. The vacuum filter was opened, and the tiny arms and legs that had been torn off of the fetus were accounted for. The fingers and toes had the beginnings of their nails on them. The doctors, proud of their work, reassembled the body to show me. Tears welled up in my eyes as they removed the baby boy from the table and shoved his body into a container for disposal.
Since this abortion was done by suction, the baby must have been less than 13 to 14 weeks, but still far enough along that his humanity was evident.
Any abortion that happens in the second trimester is done with dilation and evacuation which is where forceps are used to tear apart the baby.
The student was haunted by what he saw:
I have not been able to think of anything since yesterday at 10:30 besides what that baby boy might have been. I don’t think that people realize what an abortion actually is until they see it happen. I have been tortured by these images – so real and so vivid – for two days now…and I was just a spectator.
Never again will I be pro-choice, and never again will I support the murder of any human being, no matter their stage in life.
Most aborted babies are forgotten but this baby, which people who believe in pro-choice wouldn’t even consider alive, has impacted and changed this med students life forever. Thousands of babies are murdered every day, just like this one. Society allows them to be rejected by their mothers and taken prematurely from this world. This abortion, this little life has made a difference. We shouldn’t have to watch a murder before thinking that it’s wrong. Please share this story. While people can argue opinions, it’s very difficult to argue a doctor who’s witnessed a murder that changed his beliefs. Together, we can save the lives that don’t yet have a voice.
**A version of this story originally appeared on Life Action News.