As part of our continuing look back at the past during this, our 20th year of publication The Interim reprints this article, the first on partial-birth aborton, which originally appeared in the April 1993 issue.

Abortionists in the U.S have introduced a gruesome new way to ply their trade and pro-lifers are hoping that it never makes an appearance in Canada.

The new procedure, called dilation and extraction (D&X), is capable of shocking the most hardened observer. During a D&X, the unborn and unanesthetized baby is delivered feet first. When all but the head, which remains in the birth canal, is delivered, the abortionist punctures the base of the skull, inserts a catheter into the area and sucks out the baby’s brain. After immense pain, the skull collapses and the baby dies.

The procedure is used mainly for late-term abortions and will likely be used as a way of harvesting brain tissue. It was first introduced at a September 1992 meeting of the National Abortion Federation Risk Management Seminar and there are already several abortionist throughout the U.S who practise it.

The procedure has been developed by American abortionists to counter something they perceive as problem – the fact that many babies survive their late-term abortions. The D&X is designed to eliminate this possibility and end any chance of the fully developed baby’s survival.

The January 1993 Life Advocate reported that one medical student who observed the procedure felt obliged to call the police. Police questioned the abortionist but decided not to press charges.

While admitting that all abortions are matters of extreme violence, pro-lifers point out that the D&X is so close to infanticide that they cannot understand how American authorities can allow it. They feel it is likely that many more people, not associated with the pro-life movement, if told about it, would also be extremely uncomfortable with the method. However, they worry that many have become so enured to abortion itself, that not even this procedure will disturb them.

Pro-life lobbyists in Ottawa have informed MPs of the procedure and have asked them to raise the question publicly in the House of Commons. Their hope is that MPs from across the country will be notified of the appalling procedure and be able to block it before its entry. They also hope to illustrate the horrors of the abortion trade.