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Video: Abortion doc says he won’t help survivor

WASHINGTON (BP) — A pro-life group has released an undercover video showing a late-term abortion doctor agreeing not to help a baby live if he or she survived the abortion — perhaps demonstrating that the horrors found in Kermit Gosnell’s clinic are not as rare as Americans would like to think.

Gosnell is the Philadelphia abortion doctor on trial for delivering babies at least six months gestation and allegedly killing them by cutting their spines.

In the video released by Live Action — a pro-life group that goes undercover with actors and actresses — a woman who is 24 weeks pregnant tells a Washington, D.C., abortion doctor she wants an abortion. The doctor seen on the video is named Cesare Santangelo. The woman, though, is using a hidden camera and working for Live Action, and is only acting as if she wants an abortion.

Live Action says the video is the second in a series of videos examining America’s late-term abortion industry. The videos will show that Gosnell is not alone in letting full-term babies die and also will explain — through the words of abortion clinic workers — how legal late-term abortions are performed, Live Action says.

A 2002 federal law, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, requires that medical attention be given a baby who survives an abortion.

“Has [a baby] ever survived?” the woman asked Santangelo.

“Usually, at this point in your pregnancy,” he answered, “it’s too early to survive, usually. It will expire shortly after birth — it’s all in how vigorously you do things to help a fetus survive at this point.”

Later she asked, “Does it ever, like, move or anything when it comes out?”

“That’s why I try and sever the umbilical cord first, and we wait for that to stop pulsing, and this way the fetus is expired first, so it doesn’t (move),” the doctor said, explaining the technique done inside a woman to help deliver a dead baby.

“Has it ever survived?” she asked.

“Not here,” he answered. “No. No.”

“If it did (survive), like, what would happen? Would I have to take it home or be responsible for …” the woman asked.

At first, Santangelo answered that he’s legally required to help the infant: “Technically, you know, legally, we would be obligated to help it survive. But, you know, it probably wouldn’t. It’s all in how vigorously you do things to help a fetus survive at this point.”

If “everything possible” is done to help the baby survive, there’s “maybe a 20-30 percent chance” it would live, he said.

“If you don’t do anything, then, you know, the chances are much, much less,” Santangelo said.

The woman then told him: “I’m just so scared of having to be stuck with the responsibility. But would you make sure that it doesn’t survive?”

“We would not help it,” the doctor said. “We wouldn’t intubate it, let’s say.”

To “intubate” is to insert a tube to help the baby breath.

“So you would make sure it didn’t survive?” the woman asked.

“Yeah,” Santangelo says, “we wouldn’t do any[thing] extra.”

Santangelo compared the situation to a “terminal person in the hospital that had cancer.”

“We wouldn’t do any extra procedures to help that person survive,” he said. “Like ‘do not resuscitate orders.’ You know? We would do the same thing here. … Whereas, if you were in a hospital in Virginia, let’s say, and you went into labor, and you went to the hospital, and then they saw you deliver, they would do everything possible to help that fetus survive.”

“But you wouldn’t?” the woman asked.

“We wouldn’t here,” he answered.

Said Live Action president Lila Rose, “It is clear from our investigation that the horrors revealed during the Kermit Gosnell trial are not exclusive to that clinic. Our videos expose the truly gruesome, illegal, and inhuman practices going on inside many of America’s abortion clinics. Our investigation reveals that these inhumane practices are just another day at the office for abortionists and their staff. By making the killing of our weakest children their profession, these doctors, nurses, counselors, and staff make a mockery of medicine and the Hippocratic oath to ‘do no harm.’ These children deserve our protection, not the ignorance that allows these atrocities to continue.”

Denny Burk, associate professor of biblical studies at Boyce College in Louisville, Ky., wrote on his blog that the Live Action videos “show that late-term abortionists everywhere have to deal with infants who survive abortions.”
Michael Foust is associate editor of Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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  • Michael Foust