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But pro-choice forces also have been forced to defend their cause again and again: They have gone to court in Arkansas to stop legislation that would block most abortions after the 12th week of gestation, and a lawsuit is imminent against a North Dakota law that would block most abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected — as early as six weeks.

In addition, testimony in the ongoing trial of Dr. Gosnell, an inner-city Philadelphia abortion doctor, has revealed grisly details about a filthy abortion shop. Dr. Gosnell is accused of four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of four newborns, and one count of third-degree murder in the death of a pregnant woman.

The Live Action videos, released Sunday and Monday, can be seen on the Live Action’s website at liveaction.org/inhuman.

The videos do not appear to capture wrongdoing by the abortion professionals — both the counselor at the Dr. Emily clinic and Dr. Santangelo in the District refer to legal limits on what they can do.

But when they answer hypothetical questions from the undercover patient, who is either 23 weeks pregnant or 24 weeks pregnant during the videos, they offer candid advice about how they will ensure that the fetus is killed, what to do if the baby is born at home or what will happen if it survives the abortion.

“If you want to know does this happen? Are these Live Action videos accurate? Absolutely,” said Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life and co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, citing the many testimonies she has heard from women who have regretted their abortions and talked about them.

Alfred F. Belcuore, an attorney for Dr. Santangelo, could not be reached immediately Monday, but he told The Washington Post that the video recording and its public release amounted to an “outrageous intrusion” upon the doctor-patient relationship.

A spokeswoman for Dr. Emily Women’s Health Clinic also could not be reached Monday; however, Marjana Banzil, director of the Bronx clinic, told The Post that any employee who would say such a thing was misinformed.

At least two federal laws, both signed by President George W. Bush, affect abortions, especially those performed late in pregnancy: The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002 says infants born alive, including those who survive an abortion, have full legal rights under federal law, and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 criminalizes the killing of a living human fetus that has been partially birthed.

Mr. Obama voted against an Illinois version of the federal “born alive” law when he was a state senator.

In response to these laws, abortionists often inject a toxic solution into fetal hearts to kill them while inside the mother, ensuring that only dead fetuses will be delivered in the abortion clinic or hospital.