DUBLIN, July 18, 2013 ( – Fianna Fáil Senator Jim Walsh has ruffled pro-abortion politicians in Ireland by giving a “graphic” and detailed description of abortion procedures during the ongoing Senate debate on the government’s abortion bill. The bill proposes to allow abortion through all nine months of pregnancy if the mother claims that she is suicidal.

Pro-life campaigners have long criticized the use of euphemism and verbal evasion to shield the public from the reality of abortion. Walsh agreed, saying that in talking about abortion, people are “prone to use very sanitized language.” He quoted women, including several celebrities, who had made public their lifelong regret and anguish over their abortions.


“I oppose this legislation, because it is anti-women. It disempowers women,” he said.

Senator Walsh quoted the testimony that former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino gave to the U.S. House of Representatives before that chamber passed a ban on pregnancy at 20 weeks.

Your patient will have been feeling her baby kick for the last two months of more. But now she’s asleep on an operating room table, and you are there to help her with her problem pregnancy. The first task is to remove the laminaria that had earlier been placed in the cervix to dilate sufficiently to allow the procedure you are about to perform.

The first instrument you reach for is a French suction catheter. Picture yourself introducing this catheter through the cervix and instructing the circulating nurse to turn on the suction machine. What you will see is a pale yellow fluid that looks like urine coming through the catheter into a glass bottle on the suction machine. This is amniotic fluid that surrounded the baby to protect her.

With suction complete, look for your sopher clamp. This instrument is for grasping and crushing tissue. When it gets hold of something, it does not let go. A second-trimester D&E abortion is a blind procedure. The baby cannot be seen in any orientation inside the uterus. Picture yourself reaching in with the sopher clamp and grasping anything you can.

Once you’ve grasped something inside, squeeze on the clamp to set the jaws and pull hard. Really hard. You feel something let go, and out pops a fully formed leg about six inches long. Reach in again, set the jaw and pull really hard once again, and out pops an arm about the same length. Reach in again, and again with that clamp and tear out the spine, intestines, heart, and lungs.

The toughest part of a D&E operation is extracting the baby’s head. You can be pretty sure that you’ve got hold of it if the sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You will know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby’s brains. You can then extract the skull’s pieces. Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you.

Congratulations, you’ve just affirmed her right to choose.

Walsh called the procedure he had described “medieval,” and “barbaric” asking whether it is the “best we can offer a woman who has an unwanted pregnancy.”

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Walsh continued, “Colleagues, that is abortion. That is what you and I are being asked by this government to vote for.”

Life, he said, begins at conception. “Interrupt it anywhere along the continuum, and the rest of that life is obliterated,” he said.

Walsh has called for Section 9, which allows direct abortion for suicidal intent, to be removed from the bill. He reiterated the testimony given by the experts that there is no medical evidence that abortion can be considered a treatment for suicidal intentions.

He reminded Senators that all of the medical experts during the hearings said that they had never been “inhibited” from providing any medically necessary treatment to pregnant mothers under the current law that requires doctors treat both mother and child as patients.

The experts, he said, had added that they had also never heard of any colleague being so inhibited.

Niamh Ui Bhriain of the Life Institute said that Walsh was to be commended for “spelling out the reality of abortion,” adding that the attacks on him by Ivana Bacik, Eamon Gilmore, and others were “grossly hypocritical,” since Walsh had merely plainly described the procedure that they were working to legalize.

Senator Walsh, she said, was following in the tradition of anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce and other human rights advocates “who refused to allow abuses to be covered up.”

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik, one of the party’s most vocal abortion campaigners, blasted Walsh for the speech, calling it “scaremongring” and “unfortunate.”


“There was an agreement at the start of the debate that we would be respectful in our language, we would respect the views of others, that we would be professional in our approach to this issue, and we would and debate it in reasonable and rational way and everybody stuck to that until that speech which we heard,” she said.

Senator Marie Louise O'Donnell described Jim Walsh's contribution as “oral porn.”

Deputy Prime Minister and pro-abortion Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore attacked the speech, calling it “inappropriate” and “over the top.”

“I hope we don't hear much more of this type of language,” Gilmore added.

Up to the last election, Labour was the only overtly pro-abortion party in Ireland. Political observers have said that the governing party, Fine Gael, only brought the legislation forward – after making a campaign pledge never to legislate for abortion – in response to their Labour coalition partner's demands.

Niamh Ui Bhriain summarized: “Abortion is a gruesome procedure which ends a human life. Labour support this, Fine Gael have just voted to legalize it without term limits, but they would rather the reality was covered up.”

“Well done to Jim Walsh for refusing to play along with that cover-up,” she said.

Walsh’s comments were followed by Fianna Fáil senator Mark Daly who did not say whether he would support the bill, saying that there is “no easy answer, no answer that is 100 percent correct.” But Daly warned that with abortion, “once you open the door, it’s very hard to close.” Countries that started legalizing the procedure in the 1960s and 70s, such as the U.S. and the UK, had ended up with much more liberal regimes than originally intended.

He pointed out that in England, one pregnancy in five now ends in abortion, with more formal restrictions on the statute books than the Irish bill allows. Every change that had been put in place in England had been used by abortion lobbyists to “move the boundary forward.”

Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy-Eames said that it is “with a heavy heart” that she has decided not to support the bill, knowing that she will be thrown out of the party by Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

“Knowing that I have the best intentions for expectant mothers and their babies, I cannot support this bill as it stands,” she told senators. She has brought forward an amendment to the bill to send it back to the Dáil for further consideration.

Fine Gael Senator Paul Bradford accused the government of bringing forward legislation based on the work of “PR spin” by abortion lobbyists. “We didn’t expect to come to a place in our political life where my party, leading our government would be bringing before us abortion legislation,” he said.


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