Dilation and Evacuation

Dilation and evacuation, or D and E, is usually performed between 13 and 24 weeks after the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period.

In this abortion procedure, as with other late-term abortion procedures, the abortion provider must first open up, or dilate, the mother’s cervix.

After the abortion provider has dilated the cervix, he reaches inside the uterus with a pair of medical forceps. He then takes hold of the fetus with his forceps and rips apart the fetal skeleton. He pulls arms, legs, head, and other parts of the fetus outside of the mother one by one.

A nurse stands by to reassemble the body, making sure no part of the baby was left inside the  mother. Because the fetus is genetically distinct from the mother, any part of the fetus left inside the uterus can cause a dangerous infection.

Dilation and evacuation abortions are not without substantial risks. During the procedure, the abortion provider can puncture the mother’s uterus, thinking he is grabbing a part of the fetus. If he pulls the intestines through the perforation, they can then rupture and spill feces into the uterus. This is how many women have lost their lives to legal abortion.