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Why This? Why Now?
Part Four: New Opportunities

Two new changes came into play for abortionists willing to do late abortions. The first was the popularization of Jim McMahon's "intrauterine cranial decompression" abortions by Martin Haskell. The second was the budding market for fetus parts.

McMahon's method arose to answer a number of issues. First, in later abortions, the bony fetus parts could injure the mother and cause such horriffic complications as disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC). DIC would happen when the mother's body noticed fetal tissue in the bloodstream and tried to dissolve it by releasing blood thinners. Because the woman's blood would no longer clot, she was very likely to bleed to death from even minor lacerations. Although killing the baby the day before reduced the amount of force needed to dismember the baby, the abortionist was still removing fairly hard and sharp bony parts. Removing the fetus entact would reduce this problem considerably. The other problem was the risk of infection when the fetus was killed the day before the procedure. Yes, it softened the tissues, but it was essentially a rotting process, which aside from being esthetically nasty was an invitation to infection. Removing the baby entact eliminated the need to kill it prior to the procedure.

Entact extraction also solved the problem of what to do with parents who wanted to see the aborted baby (for whatever reason). This was a touchy subject when the baby had to be reassembled like a macabre jigsaw puzzle. National Abortion Federation members, discussing the issue, indicated that they reassembled the baby then covered it with a towel. They would then lift the towel just over the head, or the legs, to show the parents parts rather than a dismemebered mess. Entact extraction simplified this matter -- all the practitioner had to do was stuff the head with gauze or cotton to round it out, and he had a very presentable fetus to show to the parents. This process of viewing the fetus was most common in eugenics abortions, in which a fetus was being targeted for death because it was believed to be handicapped or sickly.

The second change that altered the landscape of late abortion was the growing market for fetal tissues for experiments and medical uses. Such experiments and medical uses required fresh tissue. The popular method of killing the baby the day before the abortion would deliver rotted tissue -- not useful for experiments. Likewise, dismembering a live baby tended to crush and mangle tissues. And, of course, saline abortions would provide a virtually pickled corpse, again, not useful for medical experiments. Entact extraction, on the other hand, provides a fresh (sometimes even live) specimin.

Since the only parents who usually wanted to see and hold the baby were those who had aborted sickly or otherwise imperfect children, the typical elective late abortion fetuses were immediately available for processing. Selling the fetuses also solved an additional problem -- how to dispose of the bodies. Burning them, having them hauled off for incineration, and grinding them up and flushing them down the toilet or garbage disposal all had their drawbacks and expenses. Some facilities took to dumping or stockpiling fetuses, which could lead to embarrassment if the fetuses were discovered.

These two parallel developments -- entact extraction and a market for fetuses -- would prove to be an almost irrestible temptation for many abortionists.

NEXT: NAF and NRL Collide

The Why This? Why Now? Series:

Part 1 - Inventors on the Bench
Part 2 - New Invention Put Into Practice
Part 3 - Addressing The Problem
Part 4 - New Opportunities
Part 5 - NAF and NRC Collide
Part 6 - Now What?

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