I keep a haphazard log of supporting evidence for my 2007 article “Unborn Activists,” which chronicled examples of fetuses making known their happiness or displeasure over their parents’ actions, and sometimes operating on a reward-and-punishment system based on their parents’ decisions. There were at least two examples of a fetus kicking loose its mother’s tumor after she refused a doctor-recommended abortion. In a more recent, and more subtle, example of fetuses asserting themselves, I caught something in an article about a woman who felt her 18-week-old fetus kicking for the first or second time while she was performing an abortion on someone else’s 18-week-old fetus:

Abortionist Reflects on Dismembering One Baby While Feeling Her Own Flutter in Her Womb By Kathleen Gilbert

ANN ARBOR, Michigan, October 15, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - “There was a leg and foot in my forceps, and a ‘thump, thump’ in my abdomen. Instantly, tears were streaming from my eyes.” So writes abortionist Lisa Harris in a disturbing article relating her experiences as an abortionist, particularly her anguished and “brutally visceral” experience of dismembering an 18 week gestation unborn child, while 18 weeks pregnant herself.

In the article, entitled “Second Trimester Abortion Provision: Breaking the Silence and Changing the Discourse,” Harris, an abortionist and assistant professor at the University of Michigan, explains the ethical position that she says helps her and other abortionists continue practicing despite the moral and psychological hurdles involved in what she describes as an undoubtedly “violent” procedure. The article was originally published in “Reproductive Health Matters” in May 2008.

Harris then describes how she once performed an abortion on a woman whose fetus was at 18 weeks gestation. Ironically, Harris herself was pregnant at the time, and her baby was also at 18 weeks gestation.
Consequently, she explains how she was “more interested than usual in seeing the fetal parts when I was done, since they would so closely resemble those of my own fetus.”

“I went about doing the procedure as usual,” she writes. “I used electrical suction to remove the amniotic fluid, picked up my forceps and began to remove the fetus in parts, as I always did. I felt lucky that this one was already in the breech position - it would make grasping small parts (legs and arms) a little easier.”

With my first pass of the forceps, I grasped an extremity and began to pull it down. I could see a small foot hanging from the teeth of my forceps. With a quick tug, I separated the leg. Precisely at that moment, I felt a kick - a fluttery “thump, thump” in my own uterus. It was one of the first times I felt fetal movement. There was a leg and foot in my forceps, and a “thump, thump” in my abdomen. Instantly, tears were streaming from my eyes - without me - meaning my conscious brain - even being aware of what was going on. I felt as if my response had come entirely from my body, bypassing my usual cognitive processing completely. A message seemed to travel from my hand and my uterus to my tear ducts. It was an overwhelming feeling - a brutally visceral response - heartfelt and unmediated by my training or my feminist pro-choice politics. It was one of the more raw moments in my life. Doing second trimester abortions did not get easier after my pregnancy; in fact, dealing with little infant parts of my born baby only made dealing with dismembered fetal parts sadder.

Harris concludes that the “visually and viscerally different” component of a second-trimester abortion, as opposed to a first-trimester one, leads to questions such as: “What kind of dissociative process inside us allows us to do this routinely? What normal person does this kind of work?”

To answer the questions, Harris notes that the “violence” of abortion must be acknowledged, and relates a “bizarre” experience she once had of observing a premature baby struggling to survive immediately after dismembering an unborn child the same age:

The last patient I saw one day was 23 weeks pregnant. I performed an uncomplicated D&E procedure. Dutifully, I went through the task of reassembling the fetal parts in the metal tray. It is an odd ritual that abortion providers perform - required as a clinical safety measure to ensure that nothing is left behind in the uterus to cause a complication - but it also permits us in an odd way to pay respect to the fetus (feelings of awe are not uncommon when looking at miniature fingers and fingernails, heart, intestines, kidneys, adrenal glands), even as we simultaneously have complete disregard for it. Then I rushed upstairs to take overnight call on labour and delivery. The first patient that came in was prematurely delivering at 23-24 weeks. As her exact gestational age was in question, the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) team resuscitated the premature newborn and brought it to the NICU. Later, along with the distraught parents, I watched the neonate on the ventilator. I thought to myself how bizarre it was that I could have legally dismembered this fetus-now-newborn if it were inside its mother’s uterus - but that the same kind of violence against it now would be illegal, and unspeakable. […]

A more blatant example of fetuses or babies making their displeasure known happened in May: Crying Baby Interrupted Obama as He Justified His Abortion Position at Notre Dame By Edwin Mora

(CNSNews.com) - The distinct sound of a baby crying broke out in the capacious basketball arena where the Notre Dame commencement exercise was being held on Sunday when President Obama — who was giving the commencement address — began talking about abortion.

Fr. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, had followed through on his decision to have Obama speak and to honor him with an honorary degree at the ceremony even though that decision was criticized by more than 70 American Catholic bishops and was called a “source of the greatest scandal” by Archbishop Raymond Burke, head of the highest court of the Roman Catholic Church.

The baby’s cry was clearly heard in television broadcasts of Obama’s speech during that part of the address where the president spoke about abortion….Obama is staunchly in favor of legalized abortion. He has said he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act (which would eliminate virtually all existing legal restrictions on abortion), has ordered that federal tax dollars can be used to fund organizations that perform and promote abortions in foreign nations, and has ordered that federal tax dollars can be used to fund embryonic stem cell research that requires the destruction of human embryos. […]

In another case that I never logged — from 2007 — we have a fetus that simply refused to be aborted: We’re twinseparable! Happy with his brother, the boy who refused to die By LUCY LAING

They say twins share a strong bond - but the one between Gabriel and Ieuan Jones was unbreakable.

When doctors found that Gabriel was weaker than his brother, with an enlarged heart, and believed he was going to die in the womb, his mother Rebecca Jones had to make a heartbreaking decision.

Doctors told her his death could cause his twin brother to die too before they were born, and that it would be better to end Gabriel’s suffering sooner rather than later.

Firstly they tried to sever his umbilical cord to cut off his blood supply, but the cord was too strong.

They then cut Mrs Jones’s placenta in half so that when Gabriel died, it would not affect his twin brother.

But after the operation which was meant to end his life, tiny Gabriel had other ideas.

Although he weighed less than a pound, he put up such a fight for survival that doctors called him Rocky.

Astonishingly, he managed to carry on living in his mother’s womb for another five weeks - until the babies were delivered by caesarean section.

Now he and Ieuan are back at home in Stoke - and are so close they are always holding each other’s hand.

Mrs Jones, 35, a financial adviser whose husband Mark, 36, is a car salesman, said: “It really is a miracle. Doctors carried out an operation to let Gabriel die - yet he hung on.

“It was unbelievable.”

“When I felt him kicking madly the morning after the operation, I suddenly knew that he was going to hang on.

“The doctors couldn’t believe it when they could still hear his heartbeat the next morning.”

Gabriel hung on, and his enlarged heart started to reduce in size. He also gained weight.

Mrs Jones said: “They thought it may be because the placenta had been divided. Inadvertently, it had evened out the distribution of nutrition between them, allowing Gabriel to survive.’

Mrs Jones said: “The boys are so healthy, they have huge appetites too. Ieuan is the noisy one, while Gabriel is always laughing, it’s like he’s just so happy to be here.

“There is such a strong bond between them.

“They are always holding hands and if one cries, the other reaches out to comfort him.”

“Doctors tried to break their bond in the womb, but they just proved it couldn’t be broken.”

This kid’s heart mended itself too:

Mother has healthy baby boy despite abortion warning by doctor

By Paul Stokes (Dec 2008)

Gaynor Purdy was warned her first child could have a fatal chromosome defect and a life threatening heart condition.

But she rejected two suggestions to terminate the pregnancy and she and her husband Lee are celebrating life with their “perfect” ten-month-old son.

Mrs Purdy, 28, a quality control inspector, said: “We refused to give up on him, and decided throughout the pregnancy that as long as he was fighting, we would continue fighting with him.”

The couple from Scunthorpe, Lincs, were delighted when they discovered they had conceived shortly before their first wedding anniversary.

Four months into the pregnancy doctors told them that part of their unborn child’s heart was narrow and underdeveloped and would mean open heart surgery if the baby was born.

They were warned the condition could worsen and around Christmas last year, an immediate termination should be considered.

Further tests conducted a few days later on New Year’s Eve suggested the baby could also have Edwards Syndrome - the presence of an 18th chromosome - with a life expectancy of only up to four months if birth is survived.

Consultants again recommended the couple consider aborting the baby, fearing he would [have] little to no quality of life once he was born.

For the second time, Mrs Purdy and her husband, a 29 year old forklift driver, declined the suggestion.

Kai was born six weeks premature on March 5 at Scunthorpe General Hospital weighing just 2lb 6oz and immediately admitted to intensive care, but was discharged within six weeks.

One side of his heart was slightly bigger than the other which may need an operation to correct in the future, but regular tests have been showing the condition is constantly improving.

The chromosome disorder, which affects growth, is also being closely monitored and he is due to undergo some corrective cosmetic surgery in the New Year.

Mrs Purdy added: “Doctors told us he was a little miracle baby. They said his heart must have been mending itself. […]