Pro-Choice “Facts”: Fetal Development

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!”

See actual pictures of babies aborted at 10 weeks here

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, 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, 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

Also note:

“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”( 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.”

See the picture below:

an unborn baby at seven weeks

 Here is what this baby would look like after an abortion.

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.

Share on Facebook

2 thoughts on “Pro-Choice “Facts”: Fetal Development”

  1. “See actual pictures of babies aborted at 10 weeks here”
    Here’s a quote where even though YOU KNOW that you’re discussing fetal development, you use the emotion tugging/persuasive technique of calling it “baby”!?

    In the next quote from your one-sided diatribe, you do it again, thus proving a disingenuous bent. Why use words like child and baby if you’re alleging a scientific discussion?
    “Here is a picture of a sonogram of an unborn baby at 10 weeks.”

    And then there’s the tactic of blowing up photos many X! A fetus is a couple of inches of material, yet your photos are at least double that and more.
    Lies, scare-tactics and scientific bias? Why?

  2. Am a student in chilton ISD and am doing a research on prenatal development and I was woundering if I can get some questions answered..

    1. What services do you provide to tenns? Adults?
    2. How can thise agency help women and couples have healthy pregnancies?
    3. Does a teen need a parent or guardians permission to access these services?
    4. IS there a coat?
    5. What adive would you give someone who is pregnant about having a healthy pregnancy?

    Hope that I can get some answers back. Thise is my Email:

    Thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

three + = eleven