Also known as the “MOLD Technique”
The induction abortion with the use of digoxin injection was pioneered by late-term abortionist George R. Tiller* of Wichita, Kansas, and is now widely used throughout the United States by the few abortionists who are still willing to do the late-term procedures. It has replaced the live partial birth abortion method since the Partial Birth Abortion Ban act was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in April, 2007. Tiller describes this particular abortion method as the MOLD Technique, which is an acronym for the four products employed in the abortion process: Misoprostol, Oxytocin, Laminaria, and Digoxin.
“We think the process is safe. Nothing is perfect.” – George Tiller
The Induction abortion takes 3-4 days to complete. On the first day the woman is given an ultrasound to determine the gestational age of her baby. Then, with the aid of the ultrasound to guide the abortionist, a lethal dose of the heart medication Digoxin is injected into the baby’s heart directly through the woman’s abdomen. Digoxin gives the baby a fatal heart attack. This is an off-label application of the drug, which was developed and approved as a treatment for heart disease
In a video shown to abortion patients, Tiller discusses the fatal injection:
“Although you may find this a little difficult and a little uncomfortable, on the first day that you arrive at the clinic we will make an injection of a medication called digoxin into the fetus to initiate fetal demise.”
Tiller elaborates on his reasons for killing the baby before beginning the surgical abortion procedure.
“The first reason is so that there will be no fetal pain. We — we have learned with hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of patients that women have the question about, ‘Will this be painful for our baby? Will this be painful for my baby?’ And the answer to that is ‘no.’ We make an injection directly into the fetus with a medication called digoxin on the day that you arrive so that the baby will expire painlessly. The first reason is no fetal pain.”
However, those who have experienced massive heart attacks, describe them as extremely painful and frightening. It is well documented that babies in the later stages of pregnancy can feel pain, and at least one study indicates that babies as young as 6-8 weeks gestation may experience pain.
But the most important reason for killing the baby first is to avoid a live birth. This prevents myriad of problems for the abortionists, including running afoul of state and federal laws protecting the baby after a live birth, even if the birth is the result of an abortion
After the Digoxin injection, the woman’s cervix is packed with laminaria, thin tampon-like sticks made of seaweed that expand the cervix gradually over the next day.
The next day, the woman is repacked with larger laminaria sticks and given Misoprostol to prepare the woman for labor.
“At Women’s Health Care Services, our late elective abortion program involves managing the pregnancy by the premature delivery of a stillborn.” – George Tiller
On the final day of the abortion, the woman is given the drug Oxytocin, which induces contractions and the onset of labor. Women then are placed in a room where they endure the labor process. When it is determined that the labor has progressed to the stage where the baby is about to be delivered, each woman is taken into a room with a toilet and told to lean on the nurse and push the baby into the toilet.
The toilet delivery method us used by a number of abortionists besides Tiller, including Florida abortionist James Pendergraft. Other abortionists may allow the woman to deliver on a delivery table. Still others; such as Michigan abortionist Alberto Hodari prefer to remove the dead baby through dismemberment.
Once the dead baby is delivered, the woman is given a procedure called Dilatation and Curettage, or D& C. Here, a sharp edged spoon-shaped instrument is used to remove the remaining tissue, such as the afterbirth, from the uterus.
After the abortion, or the following day, the woman is given what Tiller’s employees call the “Party Pack,” which includes abortion aftercare instructions and a prescription for birth control pills. They are then released to return home.
Other abortionists have responded publicly to the increased use in the Induction abortion with digoxin injection method and its dangers.
Hodari prefers to dismember live babies between 18 and 24 weeks. He told the Detroit News on July 30, 2007, “It was much simpler and much less dangerous than what we are doing now. But this is now the law. It’s awful. It’s unnecessary. It’s dangerous. It’s more complicated. It makes the woman go through another procedure that’s not necessary. It impacts everything we do after 18 weeks.” Hodari began using the injections even though he considers them dangerous.
“We do not believe that our patients should take a risk for which the only clear benefit is a legal one to the physician,” abortionist Philip D. Darney, chief of obstetrics at San Francisco General Hospital told the Boston Globe on August 10, 2007. He has chosen not to use the injections.
Complications from lethal fetal injections are well known. In Orlando, Florida, the misuse of Digoxin resulted in the live birth of Baby Rowan, who died after abortion clinic workers denied him medical care. In Wichita, Kansas, Tiller’s needle slipped, and Baby Sarah was injected in the head with a toxic drug that was a precursor to digoxin. She survived and was later adopted, but suffered a malady of medical problems. She died five years later from complications to the injuries she received as a result of the injection.
“But frankly, debate over digoxin/dead baby abortions versus live baby abortions is absurd. The result is still a dead baby. Both procedures are barbaric and hold serious risks to women,” said Operation Rescue Senior Police Advisor Cheryl Sullenger. “The act of killing a pre-born baby is in itself immoral and until we can come to grips with that as a society, we never be able to value life as we should.”
* Tiller is currently facing 19 criminal charges of illegal late-term abortions in Kansas, two investigations into illegal abortions and violation of the standard of care by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, and a grand jury investigation for illegal abortions over the last five years.