Salt Poisoning

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Otherwise known as "saline amniocentesis," "salting out," or a "hypertonic saline" abortion, this technique is used after 16 weeks of pregnancy, when enough fluid has accumulated in the amniotic fluid sac surrounding the baby. (5)

A needle is inserted through the mother’s abdomen and 50-250 ml (as much as a cup) of amniotic fluid is withdrawn and replaced with a solution of concentrated salt. [ The baby breathes in, swallowing the salt, and is poisoned.  The chemical solution also causes painful burning and deterioration of the baby’s skin.  Usually, after about an hour, the child dies. The mother goes into labor about 33 to 35 hours after instillation and delivers a dead, burned, and shriveled baby.  About 97% of mothers deliver their dead babies within 72 hours.

Hypertonic saline may initiate a condition in the mother called "consumption coagulopathy" (uncontrolled blood clotting throughout the body) with severe hemorrhage as well as other serious side effects on the central nervous system. [58] Seizures, coma, or death may also result from saline inadvertently injected into the woman’s vascular system.

Abortion complications

  • Toxicity to the mother of the pharmacologic agents used in the abortion.  Toxicity may be caused by the agent itself or by the method of infusing it, such as intravascularly instead of intraamniotically.

  • “Failed abortion,” also known as “live birth.”  A 1978 study showed that up to 7 percent of fetuses aborted with prostaglandins showed signs of life.

  • Retained tissue, including the placenta.

  • Uterine rupture, with resulting severe pain and blood loss.  Major surgery, including hysterectomy, will need to be performed.

  • Cervical laceration, perforation, heavy bleeding or hemorrhage, and infection.


5. W.K. Lee and M.S. Baggish, “ Live Birth as a Complication of Trimester Abortion Induced with Intra-amniotic Prostaglandin F2a,” Adv. Planned Parenthood (vol. 13, No.7, 1978). Quoted in Hern, Abortion Practice, pg. 183.