- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2015

Pro-life groups are incensed over news that a study involving second-trimester abortions is recruiting women as young as 14.

The study, run by the University of Hawaii, University of Washington and Society of Family Planning, wants to know if routine use of intravenous (IV) oxytocin will affect the bleeding outcomes after abortions performed in the 18th to 24th week of a pregnancy.

Pregnant women aged 14 to 50 who are looking for a “dilation and evacuation” (D&E) abortion are being recruited for the double-blind, placebo-based study.

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America (SFLA), decried the “evil research project.”

Not only are the subjects as young as 14, she said, but a second-trimester abortion is the kind where “the pre-born baby … is given heart-stopping medication” and then “delivered the next day or dismembered by the abortionist.”

Hawaii, Ms. Hawkins noted, does not have state restrictions on abortion. “It’s legal in all nine months of pregnancy, for whatever reason, and state money is made available to pay for them,” she said in a Thursday alert to SFLA members.

Public health officials around the world are interested in finding reliable ways to stop postpartum bleeding, especially in countries where women are likely to give birth far from a health center.

“Many practitioners use uterotonics, including oxytocin, to help minimize blood loss and decrease the risk of hemorrhage, yet literature and physiological evidence to support this practice is scarce,” Dr. Bliss Kaneshiro said in the explanation for the 14-month clinical trial, which started October 2014.

Uterotonics refer to drugs that induce contractions during labor or abortion, and also reduce postpartum bleeding. The hormone, oxytocin, is a favored treatment for this purpose.

In the oxytocin study, the researchers propose to have women seeking second-trimester abortions come to specific locations in Washington state or Hawaii. They will all be put on IV drips, but only some will be given oxytocin.

Data will be collected on blood loss during the abortions, complication rates, procedure length and postoperative pain and satisfaction, Dr. Kaneshiro wrote about the clinical study.

Troy Newman, president of the pro-life group Operation Rescue, said the research was “grisly” because half the women would be denied oxytocin even though the risks of bleeding are greater with second-trimester abortions.

“I have read too many autopsy reports of women who bled to death during abortions to think this is anything but immoral and ghoulish,” he said in an article on LifeNews.com.

Mr. Newman said the study was seeking 166 test subjects but he had not seen any study results yet.

Separately, lawmakers in Congress and in several states have or are considering outlawing abortions after 20-weeks gestation, due to concerns the unborn child can feel pain during an abortion.

Also, the Kansas legislature recently passed a first-in-the-nation bill to virtually outlaw D&E abortions by forbidding the “dismemberment” of living, unborn children.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has said he would sign the bill, which is called the Unborn Child Protection form Dismemberment Abortion Act.

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