Results of a Dialation and Evacuation (D&E) abortion

[Image of the remains of a Dialation and Evacuation (D&E) abortion]

This method is generally used during the first half of the second trimester (13 to 20 weeks). The baby is torn apart by special forceps, and the pieces are removed one by one. Larger babies must have their heads crushed so the pieces can pass through the cervix. This method involves the abortionist and staff manually crushing the baby -- requiring considerable effort at times -- and makes the abortion more 'real' to them, because upon assembling the parts of the poor little carcass, the staff can see for themselves what they have done. Many nurses have 'burned out' on this procedure and refuse to assist.

Usually, the cervix must be dilated for one to three days before such a procedure. The most popular method of cervical dilatation involves the insertion of dried seaweed sticks called laminaria, which absorb fluids and swell, thereby expanding the cervical diameter. Abortionists may also dilate the cervix quickly with a series of stainless steel rods of increasing diameter.

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This page last updated on 2/2/96