MEDIA RELEASE: Voice for Life comments on NZ Herald report: “Woman at 18-weeks declined an abortion”
Sarah Harris reports that “Erica” was refused an abortion by North Shore Hospital because her baby was 18-week’s gestation.
Here are the likely reasons why Erica was turned down.
The vacuum aspiration method of abortion can only be used up to 12 weeks, because beyond that, the baby’s body parts are too large to be suctioned out.
At 18 weeks, Erica’s living baby would have to be dismembered, using an abortion procedure called Dilation and Evacuation (D&E).
The operating surgeon dismembers the baby and the nurses have to clean up. The baby has to be re-assembled to ensure that no body tissue is left behind in the uterus and then prepared for disposal.
Some nursing staff can handle late-term abortions, but others find them very distressing. Internal papers to the Ministry of Health from District Health Boards describe the psychological impact on nurses and the consequent difficulty in retaining staff.
This is a matter of record with the Auckland District Health Board and presumably Waitemata DHB is aware of the problem.
Erica is reported to be having her baby next week.
We hope that Plunket is involved to help her and we know that should she decide to put her baby boy up for Open Adoption, there will be many couples who would welcome him as a joyous gift.
National President of Voice for Life and a senior registered nurse