It's A Baby
The following is a transcript of the February 3, 1990 airing of the John
Ankerberg Show on the subject of abortion. Since this transcript was
taken from audio tape, some of the names may be mispelled. For that, I
JOHN: You are looking through a fetus-scope, a fiberoptic
instrument which has been inserted into the uterus of a woman
who is four and a half months pregnant. Notice the
development of the hands, the mouth, the eyes; what do you
think you are looking at? What would you call this living
thing? Science tells us its the product of human parents. It
is alive. It has its own brain from which brain waves can be
detected, recorded and read. Its organ system, its internal
organs, lungs, spinal cord and nervous system are all in
place. The entire body is sensitive to touch. The digestive
system is complete. The heart beats regularly, and is pumping
up to 25 quarts of blood a day. It has its own blood type
which may be completely different from its mother. It can
suck its thumb. It moves, it feels pain. It is 18 weeks old.
If you would ask any child what this is, they would tell you
it's a baby.
How many weeks after conception do you think it's still legal
for a mother to terminate the life of this child in her womb?
Well, to answer this question, listen to Dr. Beverly McMillan
[sp], who opened the first abortion clinic in the state of
Mississippi. She was soon doing fifty to sixty abortions per
week and was the director of that clinic for two and a half
BEVERLY: Most people are woefully ignorant about what is even
legal in the United States about abortion. They don't know
it's legal for the entire nine months. People think it's
legal in the first three months only.
MALE BEING SPOT-INTERVIEWED ON CAMERA: Well, in my understanding
the latest time that a woman can have an abortion during
pregnancy is three months.
WOMAN: The age limit to stop abortion would be four months
for a fetus.
ANOTHER WOMAN: Legal? Six months.
ANOTHER MAN: I guess...I don't know, about three or four months,
or something like that.
ANOTHER WOMAN: I think that it's legal to perform abortions up to
between four and five months.
JOHN: Here is Miss Joy Hite [sp], formerly a medical assistant in
an abortion clinic in New Jersey. She participated in
innumerable abortions in that facility.
JOY: Until I came face-to-face with abortions, I really didn't
know what it was about. When I say that, I mean I REALLY
didn't know what I was getting into...and I think that, with
abortion, a lot of us don't know what it's about, and we don't
know what's going on.
JOHN: Today, it's legal for a woman to obtain an abortion
anytime during her pregnancy, all the way to birth. You may
be wondering: How many women actually obtain abortions late in
their pregnancy? and, How many children are aborted that are
as well-developed as the 18-week-old child that we've been
looking at? Well, to answer these questions we will turn to
Bernard Nathanson, a medical doctor who was a leader in the
abortion movement in New York City, and who ran the world's
largest abortion clinic.
DR. NATHANSON: My name is Dr. Bernard Nathanson. I was co-founder
of the National Abortion Rights Action League, and for a
period of two years, I was the director of the largest abortion
clinic in the world. I bear ultimate responsibility for over
75,000 abortions. But over the past ten years, I've changed my
mind on the acceptability of abortion, owing to the immense
technological advancements which have been made in the field of
obstetrics and fetology. Advances such as: ultrasound imaging,
fetal heart monitoring, fetoscopy, which have allowed us now to
perceive without question, the unmistakeable humanity of the
unborn child. We will concern ourselves here with abortion in
the second and third trimester.
Now, pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. The first
trimester being the first three months of the pregnancy, the
second [being] the second three months, and the third trimester
from the seventh month to the end of the ninth month.
Collectively, abortions done in the second and third trimesters
are known as "late abortions."
The Roe v. Wade 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision which
legalized abortion indicated that in the first six months,
abortion could be done for no reason whatever, and stipulated
that, in the third trimester, (seventh month to the ninth
month), abortion could be done in the interest of the mother's
health. Whatever that means.
Let's look at some data. In the United States annually, there
are 1.5 million [abortions] done, eight percent of which are
late abortions -- abortions in the second and third trimester
COMMENTATOR: In Canada, there are 65,000 abortions annually, of
which 11 percent (or 7,000) are late abortions. In the U.K.,
there are 170,000 abortions a year -- 30,000 of which are late
abortions. In the United States, there are 120,000 late
abortions annually. Four hundred every day.
JOHN: Does this shock you? Do you find it hard to believe that
it's legal to terminate the lives of children that could exist
and live on their own outside of the womb? If it is, you're
in good company. It's shocking to a lot of people.
WOMAN ON STREET BEING INTERVIEWED: I'd be pretty shocked that
they would take it that far late in the pregnancy.
ANOTHER WOMAN: No ... not nine months, it's too long. It's a
person by then, definitely.
MAN: Well, it's appalling! I mean, it's absurd! The ninth
month? I mean, children are born at eight months. I think
there are a lot of kids born at eight months, and they've had
kids born sooner than that and still be alive and live.
ANOTHER MAN: Seven or eight months? I, uh, I, uh, I don't know.
Seems like, incredible ... a baby can be born at seven or
eight months! I don't know ... it doesn't make sense to me.
JOHN: Let me ask you: Is there any stage during a woman's
pregnancy that you wouldn't be in favor of her aborting and
terminating the life of a developing child? I mean, everyone
says 24-hours after a child is born, one shouldn't kill a
child. But if that's true, how about 24-hours BEFORE a child
is born? Has anything changed about the child? NO! So would
you be opposed to abortion then?
The majority of Americans would say, "Yes!"
Go one step further. If a child *is* viable, that is, it can
live and survive outside of its mother's womb with the help of
modern technology all the way back to 20 weeks, wouldn't you
say at least at THAT point it should be protected and not
Again, I think almost everyone would say, "yes," because
there's no real reason to say "no." In fact, those of you who
are "prochoice" usually argue that a human life in the womb
must have certain characteristics before you assign to it the
"rights" of full personhood. Usually, you argue, those
characteristics must be viability -- that is, the child must
have the ability to live and survive outside the womb;
brainwaves; heartbeat; movement; and, feeling of pain. Since
science tells us that all these characteristics are there by
20 weeks, then the child fulfills your definition of personhood.
The point I'd like to make here: that is, if the unborn child
fulfills all the definitions of both sides at 20 WEEKS, then
SHOULDN'T we be protecting these innocent children from at least
that time on?
If you agree that we should, you need to know that we're NOT.
What is happening to these well-developed children? In a few
moments, you will witness the ultimate act of violence. This
child will be destroyed before your very eyes.
Now, I would like to warn you: the scenes you are about to
see are graphic. Some of you may find it *too* graphic.
There's blood, and death.
Recently we've seen films and television programs that have
portrayed and shown us the horror of the Nazi death camps in
Europe. We will NEVER forget the grisly images of the broken
victims of Auschwitz, and Buchenwald [sp]; we've seen the
terrible suffering of those who died at Hiroshima. Our hearts
have gone out to the starving children in Ethiopia --- gut-
wrenching pictures of starving babies have been flashed across
But the babies in this film are not starving. But [along]
with those other terrible images, they serve the right of the
people to know. To know the victim.
Since 1973, abortion has claimed more than 25 million mute and
innocent victims. This next segment speaks for them. The
silence has to stop. I want to say "thank you" to Bernard
Nathanson, for permission to use the following sequence from
his film, "Eclipse of Reason."
FILM SPEAKER, DR. NATHANSON: D & E, Dialatation and Evacuation,
is the procedure used to accomplish late abortion --- an
abortion in the second and third trimester of the pregnancy.
In this procedure, a laminarium [sp] -- this device --- is
placed in the cervix, the neck of the womb, the night before.
This is simply a piece of seaweed which swells up during the
night, and in swelling up, opens up the neck of the womb, so
that the next morning -- when the woman is brought to the
operating room and put under general anesthesia -- the neck of
the womb (the cervix), is already partially dialated. And the
cervix is further dialated with instruments of this sort: this
instrument is placed up into the cervix... the neck of the
womb is further dialated, and even instruments like this are
used to accomplish dialation sufficient to allow breaking of
the bag of water.
And then the introduction of this "grasping" instrument -- an
instrument which can locate the child in the uterus, and crush
and destroy it.
The patient is being prepared for the procedure.
The fetuscope, the fiber-optic instrument through which we
will observe this abortion, as it begins in a swirl of blood
... the forearm [of the baby] ... note the blood vessels
running under the delicate skin ... the hand, and the fingers
... this thick blue coiled structure is the umbilical cord ...
this is the child's life-line to the mother... this WAS a
little boy... the ear is readily identifiable ... it has been
shown that in the later months of pregnancy, the child will
react to sound ... the nose ... here is the mouth ... this
little fellow can be seen swallowing water ... the eyebrows
... the eyelids are still closed ...
These are the tools of the abortionist's trade. In a few
moments, this little boy's life will be summarily extinguished
with these instruments.
The cervix has been sufficiently dialated, and the bag of
water is broken. The umbilical cord has been severed, the
life-line cut and collapsed.
Now it is being wrenched free of the child's body. And now
the abortionist is reaching into the uterus with the grasping
instrument to dismember the child.
Piece by piece, the extremities are pulled away ... then
portions of the back ... the spine ... and the torso ... a
portion of the chest and abdominal wall has been torn from the
body. The ribs are easily identified. Can anyone doubt this
child has experienced an unimaginable agony? Pieces of the
torso are being removed, and the parts are stacked on the
table to the side of the abortionist for the purpose of
reassembling the child to assure that the abortion has been
In this pathetic pile of human rubble, we can discern a leg
with the foot still attached.
The head is located ... and, having been located, is grasped in
the jaws of the clamp. The clamp crushes the head, and the head
is then removed in pieces ...
The crushed head has now been removed, and the white matter of
the brain has spilled out. After the procedure has been
completed, this instrument --- a curet [sp] --- is introduced
into the uterus ... this curet is used to scrape out all the
fragments ... and the shards ... and the afterbirth ... and the
child which remain.
And then the procedure is at an end.
JOHN: Now listen to the testimony of Dr. J. Calenson [sp], who
performed the abortion in the film, "THE SILENT SCREAM."
INTERVIEWER: How many abortions would you think you performed in
DR. CALENSON: I'd say I've probably performed ten thousand, or
more. I can remember days when I would do thirty ... thirty-
INTERVIEWER: Would you do second trimester late abortions,
D & E's, even for medical reasons?
DR. CALENSON: No, absolutely not. That is probably THE most
horrifying procedure I can think about. I... there's just
absolutely no way I would ever do that.
JOHN: Here is Doctor Joseph Randall, former director of an
abortion clinic in Atlanta. His clinic was doing 50 to 60
abortions a day...
DR. RANDALL: It made me realize for the first time and that...
that I was doing ... not the right thing, that I was killing
babies and not serving women. Everything kind of ... I just
got fed up, and it was hurting so much ... I was feeling bad
inside and I ... was nearly at times suicidal ... I would be
more willing to give my own life than to perform an abortion.
JOHN: Dr. Arnold Helpern [sp] was a director of a Planned
Parenthood abortion clinic:
DR. HELPERN: The other thing that gave me license to do
abortions was the fact that I never personally considered a
fetus a real baby until 20 weeks of gestation when one could
hear the fetal heart tones...and the woman feels movement.
Now, somewhere along the line, I ... I was apprised --- or,
THOUGHT I was apprised --- that a fetus was not a human being
until it arrived to the point to where a woman could feel that
As we've gone from 1982 to 1986, and into the late 1980s, we
realize that the fetus really IS a child, and that it really IS
moving, and that the heartbeat is REALLY beating, by the use of
ultra sound and modern, uh, modern techniques of detecting the
MS. JOY HITE [sp]: There is no difference between a first
trimester abortion and a second trimester abortion, or a third
trimester abortion or infanticide ... it's all the same human
being, in different stages of development. I finally got to
the point where I could not look at those little bodies
There's no doubt in my mind that I could EVER perform an
abortion EVER again. We have gone into a noble profession for
HEALING, and we lose sight of what we were called to do when we
get into the killing business.
NATHANSON: Medical technology is rapidly and drastically altering
our concept of viability - the capacity to be born prematurely
and survive. Today, babies born at six months have a sixty-
five percent chance of surviving and eighty percent of these
babies will be perfectly healthy. Neo-natologists are keeping
smaller and smaller babies alive.
Here is Renee King. She is now one and a half years old, happy
and healthy. She was born at five months.
JOHN: Richard Exley tells a story of a young woman who tearfully
confessed to him that eight years earlier she had aborted her
baby. The child had been conceived out of wedlock, and the
father had wanted nothing more to do with the young woman or
the unborn child. In shame and desperation, she scheduled an
abortion. She told Richard that on the way to the abortion
clinic, she prayed that someone would stop her. She said, "If
only ONE PERSON had asked me not to do it, my baby would still
be alive today."
Right now, if you are pregnant and you're thinking of having an
abortion, would you consider what you are about to do? Think
about that innocent child inside of you that is depending on
you. If you kill that child, you'll be killing something of
yourself. When it dies, something inside of you will die. And
life will never be the same.
To others of you, do you think it's wrong that our country
permits the killing of children in the womb who are 20 weeks of
age or older? If so, why do we permit it? If you believe
these human children are not full persons, when would you say
that occurs? What's the basis for your answer? There should
be no doubt in anyone's mind that human life in the womb after
20 weeks is FULL human life, and should be constitutionally
protected. This should be common ground between those who are
pro-choice and those who are pro-life.
In our next program, I'd like to go one step further in
examining this question. During this progam, we have used pro-
choice's definition of personhood. Namely, that personhood
depends upon what the child can do. Is it viable? Does it
have brain waves? Is there a heartbeat? Is there movement?
Is there feeling? On the other hand, pro-life groups argue
that personhood should be defined by what the child IS -- a
In our next program, I want to talk with you about how
important it is for all of us that our society NOT define
people by what they DO, but by what they ARE. And I'll hope
that you'll join me then.
When God FORGIVES, He also FORGETS....
If you have never made a commitment to God, I urge you to do it now.
No matter what you've done --- abortion, stealing, adultery --- He is
there waiting for you, willing and anxious to forgive you, and to become
a part of your life. He's there for you, to help you with your burden,
and to give you peace --- HIS peace, and joy unspeakable. It's not
something you have to pay for. You don't have to do a thing but accept
it. His forgiveness is a gift -- a free gift. All you have to do is
reach out and take it, and allow Him to heal you.
You see, Jesus paid the penalty for your sin. God forgives you --
not on the basis of anything YOU have done, but on the basis of the
sacrifice of His Son on the cross for YOU. Right now --- not tomorrow,
because we don't know what tomorrow might bring --- right now, please
pray with me, and accept Jesus into your heart, and into your life.
Allow Him to touch you, forgive you, and heal you. Right now, please
pray with me:
Lord Jesus, I have sinned. I have done many things in my life which
I am not proud of. But I am told that you paid the price for my sin ...
that God will forgive me on the basis of Your sacrifice and atonement for
my sins. Lord God my Father, I repent now of all the things which I have
done. Please cleanse me, make me a new creature, make me whole. I ask
that You wash me whiter than snow, in the name of Jesus. Please come
into my life, and be the Master of my life; I commit it all to You. I
believe in You, and I believe in Your Son, and I believe in faith that
You have come into my life right now, and made me a child of your
Kingdom. Thank you, Lord, for cleansing me. Thank you, Lord, for loving
me. Thank you, Lord, for being there when I needed You, for coming into
my life, and coming into my heart. I open the doors of my heart and my
life to You. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
Well, whether you know it or not, if you prayed that prayer with me,
the Bible says there is a party going on up in Heaven RIGHT NOW, in your
name! You have now become a part of the Family of God!
Welcome to the family!!
Now, the first thing you need to do is TO TELL SOMEONE! Then, go to
church to fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ's name, and
learn about your new Father and family. Next, go out and buy a Bible --
there are many good translations out there --- and read about God's plan
for mankind. If you don't know of a church in your area, try going to
the closest Christian bookstore in your community, and ask them to help
you get started. You have no idea of the joy, peace, and fellowship
which is yours to come as a child of God. God bless you!
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