Last week at the Utah Capitol, Dr. Marcela Smid, an OBGYN/ Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist based out of Salt Lake City, testified against a bill requiring a mandatory ultrasound 72 hours prior to an abortion. We are not surprised that she took this stance; the year before, this same doctor told the Utah legislature how she herself performed an abortion on a baby at 19 weeks.
In our recent article on the connection between Utah Planned Parenthood and Intermountain Healthcare, we included some audio clips of doctors who came to testify before the Utah legislature concerning pro-life bills in the 2019 legislative session. For this piece, we will take a closer look at the words of one of these doctors and further analyze her testimony:
On March 7, 2019, Dr. Marcela Smid told legislators a story of an abortion she performed. Above is the audio clip of her comments.
There are several troubling and nonsensical parts of her testimony. Here are some that are particularly strange:
“I had moved to Utah exactly because it is a place of the culture of life.”
The phrase “culture of life” is greatly tied to the pro-life/ anti-abortion movement. It has Catholic origins and has been used by the likes of former President George W. Bush to the modern human rights group “Live Action” to describe creating a culture where abortion is unthinkable and unacceptable. Dr. Smid’s use of this phrase here is co-opting the language to portray herself as someone who protects life when she has, by her own admission, taken life with her own hands by committing abortion.
“Her child had devastating anomalies.”
Though Dr. Smid does not give further description, what is to be concluded other than that a human being’s life was ended because he/ she didn’t have a perfect body? She killed the baby because the baby had health problems.
Perhaps it was likely the baby would die soon after birth. Perhaps medical care would have been expensive. Perhaps parenting this child would have been extremely difficult. A culture of life (which the doctor mentioned moments before) would not condone any of these hardships as justification for abortion but would instead support this family and help provide for the temporal, emotional, and financial needs required to care for a medically fragile child.
“She was a young healthy woman. She had no medical conditions.”
So it wasn’t a situation where the mother’s life or health was compromised in any way. It was not an ectopic pregnancy, there was no risk to her fertility, no mention of any life-threatening conditions, etc. The common pro-choice talking point of “life or health of the mother” does not even apply here.
“Out of compassion and humility for her fetus, her fetus’s life, and her own family, the pain her fetus would feel if born with these conditions that this baby had, and for her own family, she chose to have an abortion.”
This is the opposite of compassion, and the perverted logic in the idea that the fetus was killed out of respect for the fetus’s life is truly astounding.
We’re careful to deflect blame from the mother involved in this situation, as we have no way of knowing what type of pressure she experienced in a vulnerable state or how she currently feels about her abortion. We do, however, hold Dr. Smid accountable for killing a defenseless and innocent human being and for unapologetically using this experience to lobby against laws to protect the unborn.
Dr. Smid mentions the pain the fetus would feel if born. She does not mention the mechanics of the abortion and how it is carried out, which would have been one of two possible ways:
The most common way to do an abortion during the 2nd trimester is a dilation and evacuation procedure (which is almost certainly the technique she used) in which the baby’s legs and arms are literally torn off and the skull is crushed with a sopher clamp (below is a medical animation of a D&E procedure). Common sense tells us this would be an excruciatingly painful experience for the baby.
A second, less common technique used to abort a baby at 19 weeks is to intentionally deliver the child early via induction then provide no medical care to the premature infant. Another Utah OBGYN, Dr. Cara Heuser, recounted during the 2019 legislative session how these abortions are often done for desired, planned pregnancies for babies with abnormalities. Listen to her words below (relevant section starting at 2:03):
What Dr. Heuser doesn’t mention is that a baby intentionally delivered this prematurely will have underdeveloped lungs and be gasping for breath. It is not a slow, peaceful death but is an excruciating experience of respiratory distress.
Dr. Smid implies that an abortion was chosen to spare the pain baby from being born with difficult medical conditions. She conveniently neglects the agonizing pain the baby would feel from either of these 2 types of abortion.
“I performed this abortion, and we did it in a safe manner.”
“Safe” is one of the favorite buzzwords of the pro-choice crowd, but of course there is no such thing as a safe abortion. An abortion has the sole purpose of killing a developing human being. It is violent. It is bloody. It is the antithesis of safe.
“All of the risks the representative talked about: hemorrhage, cervical lacerations, and death are actually higher if this woman had chosen to continue the pregnancy.”
Predictably, Dr. Smid gives no source for her claim. And if the woman had no medical conditions, if the difficult diagnosis was with the child and the pregnancy in no way compromised the mother’s health (as Dr. Smid indicated), how would these risks be higher for her?
Abortion-defenders often repeat the talking point that carrying a pregnancy to term is more dangerous than abortion. This is rooted in a deceptive 2012 study that has been debunked by Dr. Priscilla Coleman, who pointed out (among other things) that the study only accounted for 1st trimester abortions and not those done after 14 weeks. In other words, even if there was some semblance of truth to Dr. Smid’s claim that certain health risks for a woman are higher if she carries a baby to term rather than have an abortion, the claim would not carry any weight, as the baby in her case was 19 weeks.
Throughout her testimony, Dr. Smid’s rhetoric reads like Orwellian doublespeak. As Utah pro-life advocate Merrilee Boyack wrote recently, “the abortion debate is a battle of words.” It is easy for Dr. Smid to hide behind words like “compassion,” “respect,” “culture of life,” and “safe,” but the reality of what she did to this 19 week child is unspeakably gruesome.
Those in our state who speak out against life-affirming legislation (whether at the Utah legislature or through other means) should know that we will continue to highlight their words and justifications for abortion. We feel a duty to call out euphemisms and faulty logic that condones the literal killing of human beings and to warn others of individuals and organizations who facilitate it.
We ask all our followers to pray for Dr. Smid and others like her who have been conditioned to believe that abortion is compassionate. We ask all our followers to openly discuss these issues with their own doctors and find out where their providers stand on abortion. We ask Dr. Smid and all other doctors who perform or advocate for abortion to end their involvement in this practice and instead stand for ALL life, even in the difficult cases.
If you’ve ever been involved in facilitating or performing abortion, go to www.abortionworker.com for help with healing or transitioning out of the industry.