Nurse Testifies For Aborted Babies
Testimony of Jill L. Stanek, RN, before the United States Congress
Hearing on H.R. 4292, the "Born Alive Infant Protection Act of 2000"
July 20, 2000
I am a Registered Nurse who has worked in the Labor and Delivery
Department at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, for the past five
years. Christ Hospital performs abortions on women in their second or
even third trimesters of pregnancy. Sometimes the babies being aborted
are healthy, and sometimes they are not.
The method of abortion that Christ Hospital uses is called "induced
labor abortion," also now known as "live birth abortion." This type of
abortion can be performed different ways, but the goal always is to
cause a pregnant woman's cervix to open so that she will deliver a
premature baby who dies during the birth process or soon afterward. The
way that induced abortion is most often executed at my hospital is by
the physician inserting a medication called Cytotec into the birth canal
close to the cervix. Cytotec irritates the cervix and stimulates it to
open. When this occurs, the small, pre-term baby drops out of the
uterus, oftentimes alive. It is not uncommon for one of these live
aborted babies to linger for an hour or two or even longer. One of them
once lived for almost eight hours.
In the event that a baby is aborted alive, he or she receives no medical
assessments or care but is only given what my hospital calls "comfort
care." "Comfort care" is defined as keeping the baby warm in a blanket
until he or she dies, although even this minimal compassion is not
always provided. It is not required that these babies be held during
their short lives.
One night, a nursing co-worker was taking an aborted Down's Syndrome
baby who was born alive to our Soiled Utility Room because his parents
did not want to hold him, and she did not have time to hold him. I could
not bear the thought of this suffering child dying alone in a Soiled
Utility Room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he
lived. He was 21 to 22 weeks old, weighed about 1/2 pound, and was about
10 inches long. He was too weak to move very much, expending any energy
he had trying to breathe. Toward the end he was so quiet that I couldn't
tell if he was still alive unless I held him up to the light to see if
his heart was still beating through his chest wall. After he was
pronounced dead, we folded his little arms across his chest, wrapped him
in a tiny shroud, and carried him to the hospital morgue where all of
our dead patients are taken.
Other co-workers have told me many upsetting stories about live aborted
babies whom they have cared for. I was told about an aborted baby who
was supposed to have Spina bifida but was delivered with an intact
spine. Another nurse is haunted by the memory of an aborted baby who
came out weighing much more than expectedčalmost two pounds. She is
haunted because she doesn't know if she made a mistake by not getting
that baby medical help. A Support Associate told me about a live aborted
baby who was left to die on the counter of the Soiled Utility Room
wrapped in a disposable towel. This baby was accidentally thrown into
the garbage, and when they later were going through the trash to find
the baby, the baby fell out of the towel and on to the floor.
I was recently told about a situation by a nurse who said, "I can't stop
thinking about it." She had a patient who was 23+ weeks pregnant, and it
did not look as if her baby would be able to continue to live inside of
her. The baby was healthy and had up to a 39% chance of survival,
according to national statistics. But the patient chose to abort. The
baby was born alive.
If the mother had wanted everything done for her baby, there would have
been a neonatologist, pediatric resident, neonatal nurse, and
respiratory therapist present for the delivery, and the baby would have
been taken to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for specialized care.
Instead, the only personnel present for this delivery were an
obstetrical resident and my co-worker. After delivery the baby, who
showed early signs of thriving, was merely wrapped in a blanket and kept
in the Labor and Delivery Department until she died 2-1/2 hours later.
Something is very wrong with a legal system that says doctors are
mandated to pronounce babies dead but are not mandated to assess babies
for life and chances of survival. In other words, our laws currently say
that babies have no rights to medical oversight until they are dead. We
look the other way and pretend that these babies aren't human while
they're alive but human only after they are dead. We issue these babies
both birth and death certificates, but it is really only the death
certificate that matters. No other children in America are medically
abandoned like this.
Abortion is a cancer that is literally killing America. It is killing
our children while it is killing our consciences. It began when we took
God out of our decision-making and proclaimed that the little beings
growing inside of women were "products of conception" and not little
girls and little boys.
Who should be surprised that we keep pushing the envelope so that now we
are aborting these "products of conception" alive? I even work at a
hospital named "Christ" that does this very thing! It is beyond me to
comprehend that we're doing what we're doing now, and so I can't even
imagine what horrible ways we will think of next to torture our
children. Please help put an end to this by proclaiming infants as
American human being Homo sapiens with the same legal and medical rights
that you and I big people have.