In a book entitled The Abortion Guide: A Handbook for Women and Men and published by Playboy Paperbacks, there are descriptions of abortion procedures. This is what Playboy thinks women and men need to know about a first trimester procedure:
“The length of gestation is one factor that bears upon dilation. The longer a woman has been pregnant, the more tissue there is to be removed…
The cannula is inserted into the uterus, the suction machine is turned on, and the contents of the uterus are withdrawn. The sensation produced is again cramping, mild to severe and similar to that of menstruation. There may also be a tugging or pulling sensation.
After suctioning, the uterus may be explored with a curette (a spoon -like instrument) to make certain it is completely empty. Suction may be continued for another minute or so, and this completes the abortion procedure… The procedure may last from 2 to 10 minutes.… Any lingering cramps will subside in about 20 minutes.”
The book describes a D&E this way:
“Dilation and suction are employed as they are in early abortion. In addition to suction, however, forceps (grasping instruments) are used to remove fetal tissue… The contents of the uterus are removed by suction and forceps, which are used alternately until the uterus is completely empty… The tugging and pulling sensations are greater than in early abortion, and there is a greater sense of pressure. Heavier cramping occurs near the end of the procedure as the uterus begins to contract.”
Carole Dornblaser and Uta Landy, PhD The Abortion Guide: A Handbook for Women and Men (Rockville Center, New York: Playboy Paperbacks 1982) 130, 131-132, 135
From pro-abortion activist AMANDA MARCOTTE on her abortion:
“Given the choice between living my life how I please and having my body within my control and the fate of a lentil-sized, brainless embryo that has half a chance of dying on its own anyway, I choose me.”
In a study, a person explains why she is against late term abortion (after 20 weeks). She has the facts wrong on abortion:
A: It is a person, she would just be killing a human person if she had an abortion. Yeah, it would be, it would be manslaughter after so many months, because it is human, it has a heart, it has feet. It has legs. Everything – a brain.
Q: How about before that time?
A: It’s just a blob, it’s not a person because it’s not fully developed yet. It doesn’t have the important parts yet. You would only be killing a blob.”
Judith G. Smetana Concepts of Self and Morality: Women’s Reasoning about Abortion (New York: Praeger Special Studies, 1982) 128 – 129
This woman supports abortion because she has her facts wrong. The heart of the baby starts beating in the third week.
In an interview, a teenager named Greg explains why he thinks abortion is OK:
A: If you kill it before it’s born and early, I don’t think they should do it like just before it’s born and it’s starting to get its brains and it’s all perfect like a little baby, but if it’s just getting formed and it’s not totally a baby yet, maybe.…
Q: When do you think it becomes an equal human life?
A: When it starts getting formed – at about six months. When it’s not formed, it’s just a little spermy thing.”
Judith G. Smetana Concepts of Self and Morality: Women’s Reasoning about Abortion (New York: Praeger Special Studies, 1982) 128
In reality, an unborn baby is formed by the time he or she is seven weeks old – long before 6 months:
“They say that every abortion kills a child… This is lying propaganda. So you have to bring the facts of biology to the people, so they understand what’s going on. They have to understand that a woman who wants an abortion isn’t killing a child. She doesn’t want a few cells to become a child.”
Pat Grogan “Interview with Canada’s Dr. Henry Morgentaler” in Pat Grogan, Evelyn Reed Abortion Is a Woman’s Right! (Pathfinder Press, 1985) 28
Above: 9 weeks. Roughly 40% of all abortion happen at this time or later
When states were trying to ban the partial-birth abortion procedure, the pro-choice movement came up with many lies to defend it. Partial-birth abortions were late-term abortions done when the baby was partly out of the mother. They are now illegal, but it was a long struggle to make them that way.
“The spin out of Washington was that it was only done for medical necessity, even though we knew it wasn’t so. I kept waiting for [the National Abortion Federation] to clarify it and they never did. I got caught up: What do we do about this secret? Who do we tell and what happens when we tell? But frankly, no one was asking me, so I didn’t have to worry.”
Renee Chelian, president of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers
“Abortion: Activists lied: Pro-choice advocates admit to deception.” Bergen Record, February 27, 1997
“During the first trimester [the embryo] is a mass of relatively undifferentiated cells that exist as part of a woman’s body. . . . It is not an independently existing, biologically formed organism, let alone a person….That which lives within the body of another can claim no right against its host. Rights belong only to individuals, . . . not to parts of an individual.”
Mary E. Williams. ed. Abortion: Opposing Viewpoints (San Diego, California: Greenhaven Press, 2002) 16
The first trimester child above has every organ he will ever develop including a brain, beating heart, lungs, stomach, and liver. And , if she were a girl, ovaries and a uterus of her own. See here.
Prominent pro-choice feminist Gloria Feldt wrote a book defending abortion where she claimed that (postabortion syndrome” or “PAS”) was a myth and that most women feel nothing but relief and happiness after their abortions. She denied that women suffer from emotional distress after their abortions, and maintained that abortion is a positive event in women’s lives. As she says in the following quote:
“… Websites abound with “help” for women suffering from this imaginary syndrome, and the inventors of PAS have pushed for legislation requiring that women be (mis)informed about its risks during mandatory pre-abortion counseling sessions… Women who experienced psychiatric symptoms such as depression reported having those symptoms before the procedure – the abortion itself did not contribute to their symptoms. None of this is meant to suggest that abortion is a decision to be taken lightly, but the reports of PTSD, flashbacks, depression, and suicidal tendencies are wildly exaggerated. Instead, researchers have found:
For most women, the process of choosing abortion represents a maturing experience, a successful coping with a personal crisis.…
98% of women who have abortions say they have no regrets and would make the same choice again under similar circumstances.”
Gloria Feldt The War on Choice: The Right-Wing Attack on Women’s Rights and How to Fight Back (New York: Bantam Dell, 2004) 154 – 155
Of course, no reference is given for the 98% statistic. In reality, these websites are visited by many thousands of women every year. There would not be so many groups for postabortion women if there were not a need for them. Silent No More, which is only one of many postabortion support organizations, has over 2000 postabortion testimonies in its database, all from women who regret their choice. And that’s only the women who allowed the page to share their testimonies; the ones who allowed themselves to go public about their abortion and their healing. Anyone who does a Google search for “after abortion stories” will find many many sites that have stories of regret and only one (that I know of) that highlights positive abortion experiences. Thousands and thousands of women go on retreats every year to help them cope with regret after their abortions – these retreats would not be necessary if women did not regret their abortions.
Sometimes abortion advocates say things that cannot be squared with the facts of science.
For example, when a pro-life group displayed large photos of aborted fetuses on the sides of trucks in Los Angeles, Feminist Majority Foundation Vice President Katherine Spillar was quoted saying:
“The typical abortion is done at 8 weeks or less and when we are talking about a pre-embryo the size of a grain of rice.”
She was quoted in Washington Times August 23, 2001 “A Vehicle for Change.”
According to The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th ed. Keith L. Moore, Ph.D. & T.V.N. Persaud, Md., (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998), the crown-rump length of an eight week fetus is about the size of a quarter. (Note that this measurement does not include the legs) An embryo the size of a grain of rice would be only three to four weeks old- and very few abortions are performed that early.
Here is a picture of an eight week old unborn, taken by Andrzej Zachwieja and Jan Walczewski under the direction of Professor Andrzej Skawina of Collegium Medicum, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland.
Incidentally, according to the Center for Disease Control cited in the MMWR, Nov.29, 2002 vol51 No55-9, 18% take place at 8 weeks with roughly 41-42% taking place later, adding up to nearly 445,000 a year.
Abortion clinic spokesperson Ellen Kreuger stated to the Winnipeg Sun (cited in Kansans for Life May 1991, p 9) that the unborn baby was
“a frog-like thing…without a heartbeat, brain, eyes, or internal organs.”
An embryo’s heart begins to beat around the 18-24th day after conception.(J.M. Tanner, G. R. Taylor, and the Editors of Time-Life Books, Growth, New York: Life Science Library, 1965) Eye development begins in the fourth week and is well underway by the sixth. (K. Moore, Before We Were Born, 3rd ed., 1989, p. 278) The brain develops very early and brain waves have been recorded by six to seven weeks after conception. (J. Goldenring, “Development of the Fetal Brain,” New England Jour. of Med., Aug. 26, 1982, p. 564) All body systems are present at 8 weeks. (Hooker & Davenport, The Prenatal Origin of Behavior, University of Kansas Press, 1952)
From a booklet entitled “Organizing for Action.” Prepared by Vicki Z. Kaplan for the National Abortion Rights Action League, 250 West 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019. 51 pages, no date.
“Describe how quick and safe the procedure is, how pleasant the clinic, how relaxed the patient, how the conceptus looks at ten weeks – a small bloody mass, very jelly-like, about an inch long, and weighing about 3/4 of an ounce. Absolutely no arms and legs – no “baby” at all!”
Here is a picture of a sonogram of an unborn baby at 10 weeks.
In a Planned Parenthood fact sheet, found on their website entitled “The Facts Speak Louder than ‘The Silent Scream” one statement made is:
“A fetus of 12 weeks cannot in any way be compared to a fully formed functioning person. At this stage only rudiments of the organ systems are present. The fetus is unable to sustain life outside the woman’s womb, it is incapable of conscious thought; it is incapable of essential breathing.”
Several assertions in this paragraph fly in the face of the known facts about fetal development. Even worse, the facts I am about to relate have been known to reputable scientists for decades. It is almost impossible for these statements to be the product of ignorance. They are either signs of an unbelievable amount of callous stupidity or deliberate lies.
By eight weeks, all body organs are present in the fetus. This was reported in Hooker & Davenport, The Prenatal Origin of Behavior, University of Kansas Press, 1952. Yes, 1952- and not a single study has ever contradicted this.
“By 11 weeks, all body systems are working.” “Life Before Birth,” Life Magazine, Apr. 30, 1965, p. 13
As for breathing:
“By 11 to 12 weeks (3 months), he [the fetus] is breathing fluid steadily and continues so until birth. At birth, he will breathe air. He does not drown by breathing fluid with-in his mother, because he obtains his oxygen from his umbilical cord. This breathing develops the organs of respiration.” “Life Before Birth,” Life Magazine, Apr. 30, 1965, p. 13
In addition, information recently came out that clinics were sending fetal parts, including eyes and organs, to laboratories to be experimented on. A pamphlet from a tissue harvesting company called “Opening Lines” advertised fetal tissue, including “livers less than 8 weeks for $125 (“discounted if significantly fragmented”) spleens over 8 weeks for $75, and eyes for $50-100 depending on fetal age with “40% discounts for individual eye.” (See chart below)
If fetal organs from babies under 8 weeks can be labeled and sold, then a twelve week unborn must have more than “rudiments of organs.”
And from BabyCentre.co.uk, which is a site that provides fetal development and other information for pregnant women, and is NOT a pro-life site but a neutral one:
Under the 12 week heading:
“Measuring from the crown of his head to his rump, your 2.5-inch/ 6-centimetre fetus has all his parts, from tooth buds to toenails. Your baby is busy kicking and stretching; his movements are so fluid they look like water ballet. Fingers and toes have fully separated. Now the fetus’s main task during the next six months will be to grow larger and stronger until it can survive on its own outside the womb.”
From pregnancy.org, page on week 12, here are some characteristics listed:
— Intestines move farther into your child’s body
— His or her liver begins to function – Responsible for cleansing the blood, storing nutrients, and providing needed chemicals, this is an important event!
— The pancreas begins to produce insulin
“At nine weeks, the embryo’s ballooning brain allows it to bend its body, hiccup, and react to loud sounds. At week ten, it moves its arms, “breathes” amniotic fluid in and out, opens its jaw, and stretches. Before the first trimester is over, it yawns, sucks, and swallows, as well as feels and smells. By the end of the second trimester, it can hear; toward the end of pregnancy, it can see.”
This is from the article “Fetal Psychology” by Janet L. Hopson, Psychology Today, October 1998
These fetal development sources present quite a different picture than Planned Parenthood!
Pro-choice activist Leonard Peikoff, in his article “Abortion Rights are Pro-Life”(www.AynRand.org)says the following:
“The status of the embryo in the first trimester is the basic issue that cannot be sidestepped. The embryo is clearly pre-human; only the mystical notions of religious dogma treat this clump of cells as constituting a person… what it [the unborn] actually is during the first trimester is a mass of relatively undifferentiated cells that exist as a part of a woman’s body. If we consider what it is rather than what it may become, we must acknowledge that the embryo under three months is something far more primitive than a frog or a fish.”
Pro-Choice activists have to work hard to distort the facts of fetal development in order to convince people that the unborn baby, even when she so clearly resembles a human being, is not a living person.