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.


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

of pregnancy.

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

the world.

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

your career?

DR. CALENSON: I'd say I've probably performed ten thousand, or

more. I can remember days when I would do thirty ... thirty-

five abortions.

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

baby move.

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

human being.

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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