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Fact-Check: Yes, Partial-Birth Abortion Involves Ripping an Unborn Child Apart

At the third presidential debate, Donald Trump spoke of partial-birth abortions ripping babies apart.

Fact-Check: TRUE

Hillary Clinton was very uncomfortable with Donald Trump’s gruesome description of the partial-birth abortion procedure, but Trump was correct. Pro-abortion activists don’t like the term “partial-birth abortion,” preferring the more sanitized medical term “dilation and extraction.” The basic idea behind the procedure is to remove the fetus partially from the womb, where it is most commonly killed by puncturing the skull with scissors or a similar implement.

However, there is a “dismemberment abortion” variation on the procedure, which does indeed involve ripping the fetus apart, to reduce the danger to the mother from the hazardous partial-birth abortion procedure.

As to how common such procedures are, there is some uncertainty about how often the procedure is used, but 500 to 1,000 per year is often cited as an estimate. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated there are about 10,000 late-term abortions (20 weeks or later) per year, but the vast majority of them are not partial-birth abortions.

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