I'd like to talk about D & E abortions


Good morning everyone!!

So first off, I’m very PRO-LIFE…for the record-

but in one of my books I came across a personal story, Martha Mendoza ‘Between a Woman and Her Doctor’, and shes talking about D & E abortions and her experience with one.

So basically, shes pregnant, and the fetus dies at 19 weeks. She has two options, 1. take a medication to induce labor, and passing the baby (which is a pretty horrifying thought) or 2. have an intact d&e abortion (which she claims is the ‘safest’ option) in which they go in and…well…take out the dead baby.

Because of some restrictions on abortions after a certain point, her essay illustrates how impossible it was for her to find a doctor who would remove the baby, thus she had to have this ‘dead baby floating around in side of her’. she started bleeding, because her baby was naturally starting to expel the baby (option 1 without the inducement) and no one would take it out. she was in constant fear that the baby would just slide out while she was making breakfast for her other 4 children…etc…

I do sympathize with her…one, she lost a baby…thats heartbreaking in and of itself…two, she didnt want an abortion to KILL a baby, the baby already died- the umbilical cord had wrapped around its neck…and three…its like, ok, once something like that happens, i think, let it be done, let her bury it, let her grieve…but the poor thing had to carry this dead infant around for weeks…think about it…if it wasnt in her stomach…if it was in her arms…oh gosh…its like never ending grief!! i do sympathize…

So…my question is this…as catholics, what is our stance on THESE types of abortions? We are pro LIFE, but this child is dead…so…why the issue over removing it? and if it is the safer option, and the infant is dead, wouldnt the next person we should be concerned for is the mother?

Just little questions/thoughts in my mind…wondering what the official catholic perspective is on it…thnx!


IF the baby is indeed already dead, it’s not an abortion. Simple as that.

Many women need to have D&C procedures following an early miscarriage if their body has not naturally expelled the baby. But it is not an abortion, though the procedure is the same, because the baby has already died, and for the health of the mother must be removed if her body has not already done so. Same in this case.

Personally, if I were in this woman’s situation I would prefer to take meds to induce labor (if my body had not yet done so on it’s own) and pass the baby naturally. That would be a lot less invasive on a woman’s body than dilation and extraction. I’d probably not choose to have the D&E unless I absolutely had to, b/c of the risks involved (damage to the cervix, cervical incompetence in later pregnancies, etc). That’s something a woman and her doctor would need to determine.


Good morning to you too, from a fellow pro-life CAF member! :slight_smile:

I’m sure someone else can cite an official explanation, but as far as I know, this is OK. If the baby was already dead, removing the baby is OK. The evil of abortion is that it is the killing of a human life – in the case you’ve mentioned, the baby wasn’t killed, it died of natural causes.

Now, I don’t know: but does a D&E in this type of situation require dismembering? If so, then it probably wouldn’t be OK, since it would be disrespectful to the deceased. If it means removing the dead baby intact, then I would guess it’s OK.

What a sad thing for a mother (and father) – to lose a child. :frowning: I had a miscarriage very early on (4 or 5 weeks) so I can only imagine how much more difficult it was to lose a baby at 19 weeks.


There’s something wrotten in Denmark.

This so-called “personal story” is a propaganda piece for legalized abortion published in Ms. Magazine in 2004.

D&C and D&E on miscarried babies happen all the time. This is not illegal. It is not an abortion. It is not immoral. And, it’s commonly done.


Oh wow I didnt know that…its in my English 1A book, ‘The McGrawHill Reader’ for my city college…

I believe it though, she specifically mentions that her doctor is catholic and refuses to do the procedure…that she goes to another hospital and they refuse to do the procedure…

and the whole time I wondered why…I read the prelude on the author…shes from San Jose CA…so…I’m thinking of all the hospitals around here…theres only one out of what? 4?? it did seem kinda odd that she couldnt find ANYONE who wouldnt take her out of her misery…and it seemed like that was the theme, like, since abortion has such restrictions and religious stigma that people in her situation suffer…

i do wonder about her statistics though…

ok so like she says…

‘…bush signed a partial birth abortion ban probhibiting doctors to comitt an overt act designed to kill a partially delivered fetus’…‘one of the unintended consequences of this new law is that it put people in my position, with a fetus that is already dead, in technical limbo’

‘D&E is safer than labor and delivery, women who had D&E’s were far less likely to have bleeding requiring transfusion, infection requiring intravenous antibiotics, organ injuries requiring additional surgery or cervical laceration requiring repair and hospital readmission. a review of 300 second trimester abortions…found 29 percent of women who went thru labor and delivery had complications, compared with 4 percent who had D&E’s’

‘D&E makes less use of ‘grasping instruments’ used to scrape out the fetus’


Partial birth abortions are performed on living babies, not babies that have already died in the womb.

I agree with 1ke, something is off about this woman’s story.


Already caught that…

that is ‘off’ huh??? I’m re-reading it, because I’m going to do a sort of literary analysis on it…and I just caught that…

its illegal to perform ‘partial birth abortions’ <----meaning kill a baby past a certain point right??

but her babys dead…thats not illegal…whats her problem here? why do you think her catholic doctor would have denied her this procedure?

then again she could be just out right lying…


Last week I went to my 16 week prenatal visit and the dr. found that there was no heartbeat. The baby had died at 13.5 weeks. I had no warning…no pain, no spotting. My body continued to grow and I looked four months pregnant.
The baby died. My body was not understanding this. The baby had to come out. I walked around for six days knowing my baby was dead inside of a place that is supposed to be the safest place to harbor life…the womb. It was torture and the anguish of the knowledge that the sweet soul had left me weeks ago was almost more than I could bear.
I suppose I could have walked around longer until my body caught on…but I can’t say that it would have. Instead, the dr. softened my cervix… still my body did not catch on. The next morning I was to take a prostaglandin and head to the hospital for a D&E. The prostaglandin was the thing that put me into labor. I ended up delivering in the operating room and no D&E was necessary. I was given pain medication and knew that it couldn’t harm the baby…the baby didn’t feel anything…he had been in Heaven for weeks. For me, the fact that I labored was healing. It meant my body finally knew what was going on. Mentally, it was a good thing. Physically, it was awful.
At 13.5 weeks, the baby was too big for a D&C but too small for regular L&D (which when the dr. thought I was 16 weeks was the option presented to me). Because of the baby’s size, total extraction (and not mutilation) was doable had I needed that. I do not see why a D&E should be considered immoral when the baby is dead. My health was at stake and so was my future fertility. I have a deformed uterus and I am over 35 which puts me at a slightly higher risk of hemorrhaging. The dr.'s were aware of my religious preference and were respectful of my wishes. The baby’s remains were not just thrown away but buried and the doctor made sure that everything was taken care of the way I wanted.
One thing I want to say to the OP…this was NOT an abortion so please do not call it that.
When you said this:

{So…my question is this…as catholics, what is our stance on THESE types of abortions? We are pro LIFE, but this child is dead…so…why the issue over removing it? }

Medically speaking a miscarriage is called a “spontaneous abortion” so if that’s why you chose to use it the way you did then I would also ask that you replace it with the word “miscarriage” when speaking to prolife people. I offered my suffering of this loss of my child in reparation for the atrocity of abortion. I do not think in any way shape or form that what I had done was an abortion.



There is no problem. That’s the point. This propaganda piece was written for Ms. Magazine to frighten women into opposing the ban on partial birth abortion. It was written to create fear, to incite action by pro-abortion women who read Ms. Magazine. It is not based in FACT.

I don’t think she had a Catholic doctor who denied her this procedure

Ding, ding, ding… we have a winner.


Oh wow…my heart goes out to you…thats got to be the hardest thing to have to go thru…

I didnt mean to offend anybody-firstly…in the reading, its stated as ‘D&E abortion’ so thats what I called it…never heard of it before…I myself dont consider these cases ‘abortion’ in the sense that it doesnt KILL a baby…but I looked up D&E…

"If you’re thinking about getting an abortion you probably have a lot of questions. Here are the questions most frequently asked by women who are considering abortion:

…they go into first semester types of abortions…then…

During the second three months of pregnancy, or second trimester, the Dilatation and Evacuation or (D & E) method is used. The cervix is stretched open using pencil lead sized sticks of highly absorbent material inserted into the cervical opening. Over 24 hours they absorb body moisture and swell, opening the cervix. A long pliers-like instrument is inserted into the uterus. Because the baby is too large to fit through the cervix, the abortionist uses the instrument to grab hold of the baby’s leg or arm and twists until it is torn from the body. That part is then pulled through the cervix. This is repeated limb by limb until the baby has been totally torn apart. The spine must also be snapped, and the skull crushed to remove these pieces. The nurse’s job is to lay all the body parts out to make sure they got the entire baby out of the uterus."

So then D & E’s CAN be used for abortions?? not just for miscarried babies?

I almost hate posting this right after the last commentor, **no way **am I implicating that this was her intention or anything like that, much respect to her and her lost child…

I think maybe this author is using her ‘miscarriage’ experience, but portraying it as like, a abortion kind of experience, you know what i mean???

like, she had a miscarriage, and is playing into our compassion (who wouldnt be compassionate for a mother whose lost a child) but generalizing it under abortion … can anyone better verbalize what im trying to get at !! lol…


ha aha aha ah ha!! lmbo!! dont be mean!! lol…its 6:30 in the morning …gimme a break…lol…


I think, since this is an English class, you could focus on how words can be used to elicit emotion, to manipulate perception, and for propaganda purposes-- how interchangeably using abortion and miscarraige mischaracterizes the situation.

Is there some assignment you are supposed to be doing here? Literary analysis?

The fact that this trash is in your college Enlgish textbook makes me want to barf.


Me too…especially since it is so misleading… took me a min, and i had to really read between the lines, but i was able to pick up the subtle inconsistencies…the another student, im sure, could easily read over it and agree with the author…

i thought for something to be in our schools it had to be ‘scholarly’…you know?? like when we do research papers…we have to use sound, ‘scholarly’ materials…

how come when they teach us this c**p they dont use scholarly materials…lol…


ha aha aha ah ha!! lmbo!! dont be mean!! lol…its 6:30 in the morning …gimme a break…lol…

Sheesh, I thought everybody loved a winner! Maybe she just doesn’t like the bells so early… :wink:


Charlotte, this is your first lesson in looking critically at the public education system. Especially in the People’s Republic of California, you are facing a liberal agenda being pushed by the schools through propaganda, slanted presentation, and even outright lies.

These people are so convinced that conservatives are evil that they think it’s perfectly morally acceptable to “cleanse” you of such ideas or beliefs by any means.

Just in the high school history books used in the United States, there are hundreds of documented errors. Either the teachers and administrators don’t care because it fits their agenda, or they are so ignorant that they don’t know the things in the book are wrong! They keep right on using them! The writers and their publishers should be ashamed of themselves.


There is nothing at all “scholarly” about many educational textbooks and resources. :frowning:

As for this particular story you are dealing with, well, of COURSE all the Catholics and conservatives who refuse to perform abortions are just a bunch of mean-spirited, intolerant, uncaring monsters who won’t relieve this poor woman of the burden of carrying her dead child! I mean, that’s just how Christian conservatives, and especially those anti-choice Catholics, are, right? It’s obvious they just want to punish the woman…


thats insane…just gives me even more reason to be really involved with my daughters schooling…she starts kindergarten this fall…on one hand im soo excited…on the other im dreading the day she comes home and says her teacher read her a story about two ‘daddy penguins’ :eek:

it totally needs to be more affordable/easier to home school your child…or put them into catholic school…i SO WISH i could afford to put her in a catholic school…but theres NO WAY any single parent could afford that man…its not fair…i want my kid to have a good education too…

but…you know…gotta work with the hand your delt…i wonder if i tell her teacher, that if she intends at any point to teach homosexual stuff to the kids i want advance notice and my kid WILL NOT be there that day, could i get in trouble for that?? i have that right, right??


and if they dont tell me, and they do teach it to her, would i have a case?? not that im out looking to cause a fight, but i want to know what my rights are in regards to her education…


Of course you have that right. You’re the parent. Don’t expect them to make it easy for you. They’ll view you as just the kind of intolerant, benighted parent they are trying to liberate the children from.

Check into financial aid in the Catholic schools in your diocese. But also check to see how orthodox the schools are. There are some very liberal “Catholic” schools out there that destroy people’s faith more than support or grow it.

The leftists who want to destroy every tradition and have no respect for educational integrity have infiltrated everywhere, I am afraid. Be vigilant, no matter where your child goes to school.

There are some good public schools out there, though if there are any in California, I have never heard of them. In AZ we have charter schools, which are publicly funded but run more like private schools. We have been very happy with the schools we are using, but I still check up on the textbooks and reading assignments occasionally! The book my daughter used for sixth grade US History last year was AWESOME! Any book that includes a fair presentation of Reagan’s reasons for walking out on Reykjavic is a book that’s OK with me! And I do mean fair. It wasn’t how Rush Limbaugh would state it, it was neutral.


there’s always reason to be involved, and it’s great there’s more! I think every parent should talk with their kids about what they’ve seen and learned at school. It can reinforce the good stuff or help correct the misguided stuff they’ve picked up. Kids are so impressionable. Like a young tree, you can bend them any which way with the wind or other influence, but if you want them to grow up healthy and straight, you have to be careful and correct the errors before they become ingrained.

Good luck getting out of the classes. It can be done, but sometimes the schools fight back. hard. even ‘Catholic’ schools.

Wow, we’ve really gotten away from the original topic!


That just makes me ill!! To think they write these lies and then put it out there for people to read!!!

I had a child who died at fourteen weeks. I carried him, knowing he was dead, for two more weeks. Carrying him wasn’t at all the hard part. The hard part is that my son had died. My Catholic Doctor offered to induce me, but I wanted to go naturally. Earlier the same year our daughter was stillborn at 31 weeks. I know from experience that what was written in you book is a TOTAL FLAT OUT LIE. Be prepared for more. That company is notorious for them.

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