Results of a Saline abortion

Salt-posioning to kill the fetus.

[Image of the results of a saline abortion]

Because of the high incidence of maternal deaths, and live births of severely damaged babies, saline is rarely used anymore. Saline abortion is generally done after the 16th week of pregnancy, when there is enough amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. A long needle is inserted through the mother's abdomen directly into the amniotic sac. Some of the amniotic fluid is drawn out and replaced with a strong saline (salt) solution.

The saline is absorbed into the lungs and the digestive tract of the baby. The outer layer of skin is burned off by the high concentration of salt. It is a long poisoning process, and the baby dies slowly.

The woman suffers discomfort during this procedure. She can feel the baby struggle and sometimes go into convulsions. Saline solution also brings on labor, although other drugs are often used to speed labor. She will generally be in labor about 12 hours after the injection. This means that the woman is hospitalized overnight. Women are often left alone to deliver the aborted child. This can be an emotionally devastating experience.

Serious complications can occur with saline abortions. The saline solution causes a drastic change in the woman's blood-clotting ability. This means that it is very hard to stop any bleeding. If hemorrhaging occurs, the woman can die. Blood and amniotic fluid can embolize to the woman's lungs and/or brain, causing death. There is also a very high risk of infection following a saline abortion.

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This page last updated on 4/4/96