20 weeks in the womb

By | February 11, 2009

Last Friday (Feb. 6), the Madison Surgery Center Board of directors approved second-trimester abortions at their 1 South Park Street facility. Both healthy and babies with disabilities, aged 19 to 22 weeks old, will be "terminated" by dilation and extraction (D&E), the standard abortion method used after 13 weeks of gestation. The cervix is dilated and the unborn child is removed by dismemberment.

The Madison Surgery Center is a private joint venture of the UW Hospitals and Clinics (UWHC), the UW Medical Foundation, and Meriter Hospital. The board is formed by directors representing each organization.

Based on historical estimates, between 120 and 130 procedures will be performed at the site each year. A few would, according to statistics confirmed by staff, be performed on babies with severe medical conditions. However, 75% of the abortions will be performed on healthy infants, according to Dr. Laurel Rice, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, as reported in the Madison Catholic Herald.

The Wisconsin Catholic Conference, the policy arm of the state’s bishops, strongly opposed this move by the Madison Surgery Center.

So I asked myself: What does a 20-week old fetus look like?

Take a look — in 3D.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NcF3jUMJxk 400×400]

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