Undercover video: DC abortionist says he would not assist a baby born alive

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The pro-life organization Live Action released the second in its series of undercover video exposing late-term abortion facilities Monday.

In the most recent video, a Washington, D.C. abortion doctor explains how he would not help a baby born alive after an abortion attempt.

“Hopefully we’ll get this pregnancy out intact, but it doesn’t always happen that way,” abortion doctor Cesare Santangelo says on the video, to a 24-week pregnant undercover Live Action investigator. “I try and sever the umbilical cord first, and we wait for that to stop pulsing, and this way the fetus is expired first.”

When the undercover Live Action investigator presses Santangelo on what would happen if the baby was born alive, the doctor responds that there are things he can do to make sure that she does not take the child home with her.

“Technically — you know, legally we would be obligated to help it, you know, to survive. But, you know, it probably wouldn’t. It’s all in how vigorously you do things to help a fetus survive at this point,” he said on the undercover video.

“Let’s say you went into labor, the membranes ruptured, and you delivered before we got to the termination part of the procedure here, you know?” he continued. “Then we would do things — we would — we would not help it. We wouldn’t intubate. It would be, you know, uh, a person, a terminal person in the hospital, let’s say, that had cancer, you know? You wouldn’t do any extra procedures to help that person survive. Like ‘do not resuscitate’ orders. We would do the same things here.”


Live Action president Lila Rose claimed that the videos her group is distributing prove that Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, on trial for murder, is not an anomaly.

“It is clear from our investigation that the horrors revealed during the Kermit Gosnell trial are not exclusive to that clinic,” she said in a statement. “Our videos expose the truly gruesome, illegal, and inhuman practices going on inside many of America’s abortion clinics. Our investigation reveals that these inhuman practices are just another day at the office for abortionists and their staff.”

“By making the killing of our weakest children their profession, these doctors, nurses, counselors, and staff make a mockery of medicine and the Hippocratic oath to ‘do no harm.’ These children deserve our protection, not the ignorance that allows these atrocities to continue,” Rose concluded.

Speaking with The Washington Post, Santangelo explained that he was trying to reassure the undercover Live Action investigator, adding that he would call 9-1-1.

“What I said is, basically I wouldn’t do anything extraordinary,” he told The Post. “We would call EMS. We would call 9-1-1. But I wouldn’t do intubation or anything. … You let nature take its course.”

He told The Post that he has never had a fetus born alive, as he says in the video, and told the paper that he was “tripped up” by the hypothetical questions as he was trying to make the undercover investigator feel better about the procedure.

“Once the baby is born, it’s out of everybody’s hands, and the baby has rights, too,” he said to The Post. “I understand that, and I support that.”

According to The Post, Santangelo has not seen the videos because, “I don’t like to feed into these people. I really consider them terrorists.”

Santangelo’s attorney Alfred F. Belcuore told the paper that Santangelo’s procedures are all legal and criticized the undercover video strategy the pro-life group employs.

Sunday, Live Action released similar footage of a Bronx abortion clinic worker at the Dr. Emily Women’s Health Center explaining to an undercover investigator that late-term fetuses are placed in a jars of “toxic” “solution” that ensures they do not survive the abortion. The Post reports that the clinic director said that the employee did not know what she was talking about.

“I have never had any fetus that was born alive,” Marjana Banzil told the paper. “If my staff member or somebody had mentioned something [like that], it was something they didn’t understand.”

Rose’s group is calling for investigations into both clinics.

“These clinics should be shut down,” Rose added in a statement, “and the doctors and clinic staff engaging in these inhuman and illegal practices should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This is infanticide, and these babies born alive but left to die deserve justice, and our care and compassion.”

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Caroline May