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Right to Life of Southern Indiana

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Catholic Hospital Saves Pregnancies of Women Undergoing Abortions



A Chicago medical center has found itself in a controversial position, as the first Roman Catholic hospital in the country to help women halt an abortion midway through the process.


Resurrection Medical Center began the new practice after pro-life activists started bringing in women who, in the second trimester of their pregnancy, had gone to a clinic for an abortion and then changed their minds. The process used by the clinic for a second trimester pregnancy takes 2-3 days to complete, so by stopping the process early on, Resurrection doctors are hoping to preserve the pregnancy. Corrina Gura, a “sidewalk counselor” for the Pro Life Action League, said she brought a woman to the hospital who came to her for help, after she saw Gura praying outside the health clinic.


“She was six-and-a-half months pregnant and during her pregnancy her boyfriend had been pestering her (to get an abortion) …and she had finally given in.” The woman, in her mid-30’s, already had two children, first agreed to an abortion and then changed her mind, Gura said. The baby was due in November, but Gura has had no contact with the woman since the procedure was halted.


A procedure for late-term abortions, which uses a dried seaweed called laminaria, is new and still unknown by many medical personnel. “They put in this so-called laminaria, which is made from seaweed, and they insert it into the cervix…and the concept is that, this seaweed will soften the cervix… and then after a period of time, 12 to 24 hours, sometimes longer, they take the woman back and they look in her cervix again to see if she's ready to have that abortion” said Doctor Shu Boung Chan, the chairman of quality at Resurrection Hospital.


Laminaria, he explains, is like a thin rod made of dried kelp that is inserted like a tampon. The laminaria is supposed to expand and dilate the cervix. Once brought to Resurrection, the laminaria is removed, with the hope the cervix will return to its normal state, saving the fetus.