"What's the big deal? It's not a baby yet."
Although your unborn baby does not have any legal rights under the law, he or she is, without a doubt, a living human being. At only six weeks of age, your baby will already have a beating heart. By eight weeks, your baby will have measurable brain waves and will be capable of experiencing pain. By twelve weeks your baby will already be able to cry, though silently.
This is what "LIFE" looks like:
Andy's mom, 15 years old at the
time, listened to her heart instead
of the doctor's advice.
Chlowee's 19 year old mom thought about having an abortion, but just couldn't do it.
Caleb's mom thought she had no other choice.
Saved from abortion, Julian was adopted against all odds.
Justin's father begged his mom to have an abortion, but she refused.
Late Term / Partial Birth Abortion:
Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grasps the baby's leg with surgical forceps.
The abortionist inverts the baby's into breach position, and then pulls her into the birth canal.
The abortionist delivers the baby's entire body, except for the head. He takes a pair of metzenbaum scissors, and jams them into the base of the baby's skull. He opens the scissors to form a hole, inserts a suction catheter, and removes the baby's brain.
Read the heartbreaking Testimony of Brenda Shafer, a pro-choice nurse who has witnessed partial-birth abortion first hand. - http://www.vanderbilt.edu/SFL/shafer.htm
In the following article, first published in US News and World Report, Marianne Lavelle reveals that partial-birth abortion is being used as birth control. - http://www.vanderbilt.edu/SFL/usnews_article.htm
Writing for the American Medical Association, Dr. M. Leroy Sprang demonstrates why a ban on late-term abortion is necessary. - http://www.vanderbilt.edu/SFL/Sprang.htm
Partial-Birth Abortion is Introduced -- Practicing abortionist Martin Haskell puts forth his newest invention at the 1992 National Abortion Federation Risk Management Seminar. - http://www.vanderbilt.edu/SFL/partial-birth_abortion.htm
A statement on partial-birth abortion from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. - http://www.aaplog.org/newspba.htm
"When you're a doctor who does these abortions and the leaders of your movement appear before Congress and go on network news and say these procedures are done in only the most tragic of circumstances, how do you think that makes you feel? You know they're primarily done on healthy women and healthy fetuses, and it makes you feel like a dirty little abortionist with a dirty little secret. I think we should tell them the truth, let them vote and move on. In the vast majority of cases, the procedure is performed on a healthy mother with a healthy fetus that is 20 weeks or more along. The abortion-rights folks know it, the anti-abortion folks know it, and so, probably, does everyone else."
--Ron Fitzsimmons, Executive Director for the National Coalition of Abortion Providers The New York Times, February 26, 1997
Is Abortion Murder? L.A. Times abortion poll, June 18, 2000:
Yes: Women=61%, Men=52%, All=57%
No: Women=34%, Men=39%, All=36%
Don't Know: Women=5%, Men=9%, All=7%
A List of Major Psychological Sequelae of Abortion
By David Reardon, Ph.D.
REQUIREMENT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT:
In a study of post-abortion patients only 8 weeks after their abortion, researchers found that 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor. (2) A 5 year retrospective study in two Canadian provinces found significantly greater use of medical and psychiatric services among aborted women. Most significant was the finding that 25% of aborted women made visits to psychiatrists as compared to 3% of the control group. (3) Women who have had abortions are significantly more likely than others to subsequently require admission to a psychiatric hospital. At especially high risk are teenagers, separated or divorced women, and women with a history of more than one abortion. (4)
Since many post-aborted women use repression as a coping mechanism, there may be a long period of denial before a woman seeks psychiatric care. These repressed feelings may cause psychosomatic illnesses and psychiatric or behavioral in other areas of her life. As a result, some counselors report that unacknowledged post-abortion distress is the causative factor in many of their female patients, even though their patients have come to them seeking therapy for seemingly unrelated problems. (5)
POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD or PAS):
A major random study found that a minimum of 19% of post- abortion women suffer from diagnosable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Approximately half had many, but not all, symptoms of PTSD, and 20 to 40 percent showed moderate to high levels of stress and avoidance behavior relative to their abortion experiences. (6) Because this is a major disorder which may be present in many plaintiffs, and is not readily understood outside the counseling profession, the following summary is more complete than other entries in this section. PTSD is a psychological dysfunction which results from a traumatic experience which overwhelms a person's normal defense mechanisms resulting in intense fear, feelings of helplessness or being trapped, or loss of control. The risk that an experience will be traumatic is increased when the traumatizing event is perceived as including threats of physical injury, sexual violation, or the witnessing of or participation in a violent death. PTSD results when the traumatic event causes the hyperarousal of "flight or fight" defense mechanisms. This hyperarousal causes these defense mechanisms to become disorganized, disconnected from present circumstances, and take on a life of their own resulting in abnormal behavior and major personality disorders. As an example of this disconnection of mental functions, some PTSD victim may experience intense emotion but without clear memory of the event; others may remember every detail but without emotion; still others may reexperience both the event and the emotions in intrusive and overwhelming flashback experiences. (7)
Women may experience abortion as a traumatic event for several reasons. Many are forced into an unwanted abortions by husbands, boyfriends, parents, or others. If the woman has repeatedly been a victim of domineering abuse, such an unwanted abortion may be perceived as the ultimate violation in a life characterized by abuse. Other women, no matter how compelling the reasons they have for seeking an abortion, may still perceive the termination of their pregnancy as the violent killing of their own child. The fear, anxiety, pain, and guilt associated with the procedure are mixed into this perception of grotesque and violent death. Still other women, report that the pain of abortion, inflicted upon them by a masked stranger invading their body, feels identical to rape. (8) Indeed, researchers have found that women with a history of sexual assault may experience greater distress during and after an abortion exactly because of these associations between the two experiences. (9) When the stressor leading to PTSD is abortion, some clinicians refer to this as Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS).
The major symptoms of PTSD are generally classified under three categories: hyperarousal, intrusion, and constriction.
Hyperarousal is a characteristic of inappropriately and chronically aroused "fight or flight" defense mechanisms. The person is seemingly on permanent alert for threats of danger. Symptoms of hyperarousal include: exaggerated startle responses, anxiety attacks, irritability, outbursts of anger or rage, aggressive behavior, difficulty concentrating, hypervigilence, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or physiological reactions upon exposure to situations that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic experience (eg. elevated pulse or sweat during a pelvic exam, or upon hearing a vacuum pump sound.)
Intrusion is the reexperience of the traumatic event at unwanted and unexpected times. Symptoms of intrusion in PAS cases include: recurrent and intrusive thoughts about the abortion or aborted child, flashbacks in which the woman momentarily reexperiences an aspect of the abortion experience, nightmares about the abortion or child, or anniversary reactions of intense grief or depression on the due date of the aborted pregnancy or the anniversary date of the abortion.
Constriction is the numbing of emotional resources, or the development of behavioral patterns, so as to avoid stimuli associated with the trauma. It is avoidance behavior; an attempt to deny and avoid negative feelings or people, places, or things which aggravate the negative feelings associated with the trauma. In post-abortion trauma cases, constriction may include: an inability to recall the abortion experience or important parts of it; efforts to avoid activities or situations which may arouse recollections of the abortion; withdrawal from relationships, especially estrangement from those involved in the abortion decision; avoidance of children; efforts to avoid or deny thoughts or feelings about the abortion; restricted range of loving or tender feelings; a sense of a foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect a career, marriage, or children, or a long life.); diminished interest in previously enjoyed activities; drug or alcohol abuse; suicidal thoughts or acts; and other self-destructive tendencies.
As previously mentioned, Barnard's study identified a 19% rate of PTSD among women who had abortions three to five years previously. But in reality the actual rate is probably higher. Like most post-abortion studies, Barnard's study was handicapped by a fifty percent drop out rate. Clinical experience has demonstrated that the women least likely to cooperate in post-abortion research are those for whom the abortion caused the most psychological distress. Research has confirmed this insight, demonstrating that the women who refuse followup evaluation most closely match the demographic characteristics of the women who suffer the most post-abortion distress. (10) The extraordinary high rate of refusal to participate in post-abortion studies may interpreted as evidence of constriction or avoidance behavior (not wanting to think about the abortion) which is a major symptom of PTSD.
For many women, the onset or accurate identification of PTSD symptoms may be delayed for several years. (11) Until a PTSD sufferer has received counseling and achieved adequate recovery, PTSD may result in a psychological disability which would prevent an injured abortion patient from bringing action within the normal statutory period. This disability may, therefore, provide grounds for an extended statutory period.
Thirty to fifty percent of aborted women report experiencing sexual dysfunctions, of both short and long duration, beginning immediately after their abortions. These problems may include one or more of the following: loss of pleasure from intercourse, increased pain, an aversion to sex and/or males in general, or the development of a promiscuous life-style. (12)
SUICIDAL IDEATION AND SUICIDE ATTEMPTS:
Approximately 60 percent of women who experience post-abortion sequelae report suicidal ideation, with 28 percent actually attempting suicide, of which half attempted suicide two or more times. Researchers in Finland have identified a strong statistical association between abortion and suicide in a records based study. The identified 73 suicides associated within one year to a pregnancy ending either naturally or by induced abortion. The mean annual suicide rate for all women was 11.3 per 100,000. Suicide rate associated with birth was significantly lower (5.9). Rates for pregnancy loss were significantly higher. For miscarriage the rate was 18.1 per 100,000 and for abortion 34.7 per 100,000. The suicide rate within one year after an abortion was three times higher than for all women, seven times higher than for women carrying to term, and nearly twice as high as for women who suffered a miscarriage. Suicide attempts appear to be especially prevalent among post-abortion teenagers.(13)
INCREASED SMOKING WITH CORRESPONDENT NEGATIVE HEALTH EFFECTS:
Post-abortion stress is linked with increased cigarette smoking. Women who abort are twice as likely to become heavy smokers and suffer the corresponding health risks. (14)
Post-abortion women are also more likely to continue smoking during subsequent wanted pregnancies with increased risk of neonatal death or congenital anomalies. (15)
Abortion is significantly linked with a two fold increased risk of alcohol abuse among women. (16) Abortion followed by alcohol abuse is linked to violent behavior, divorce or separation, auto accidents, and job loss. (17) (see also New Study Confirms Link Between Abortion and Substance Abuse)
Abortion is significantly linked to subsequent drug abuse. In addition to the psycho-social costs of such abuse, drug abuse is linked with increased exposure to HIV/AIDS infections, congenital malformations, and assaultive behavior. (18)
For at least some women, post-abortion stress is associated with eating disorders such as binge eating, bulimia, and anorexia nervosa. (19)
CHILD NEGLECT OR ABUSE:
Abortion is linked with increased depression, violent behavior, alcohol and drug abuse, replacement pregnancies, and reduced maternal bonding with children born subsequently. These factors are closely associated with child abuse and would appear to confirm individual clinical assessments linking post-abortion trauma with subsequent child abuse. (20)
DIVORCE AND CHRONIC RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS:
For most couples, an abortion causes unforeseen problems in their relationship. Post-abortion couples are more likely to divorce or separate. Many post-abortion women develop a greater difficulty forming lasting bonds with a male partner. This may be due to abortion related reactions such as lowered self-esteem, greater distrust of males, sexual dysfunction, substance abuse, and increased levels of depression, anxiety, and volatile anger. Women who have more than one abortion (representing about 45% of all abortions) are more likely to require public assistance, in part because they are also more likely to become single parents. (21)
Women who have one abortion are at increased risk of having additional abortions in the future. Women with a prior abortion experience are four times more likely to abort a current pregnancy than those with no prior abortion history. (22)
This increased risk is associated with the prior abortion due to lowered self esteem, a conscious or unconscious desire for a replacement pregnancy, and increased sexual activity post-abortion. Subsequent abortions may occur because of conflicted desires to become pregnant and have a child and continued pressures to abort, such as abandonment by the new male partner. Aspects of self-punishment through repeated abortions are also reported. (23)
Approximately 45% of all abortions are now repeat abortions. The risk of falling into a repeat abortion pattern should be discussed with a patient considering her first abortion. Furthermore, since women who have more than one abortion are at a significantly increased risk of suffering physical and psychological sequelae, these heightened risks should be thoroughly discussed with women seeking abortions.
A List Of Major Physical Sequelae Related To Abortion 1
The leading causes of abortion related deaths are hemorrhage, infection, embolism, anesthesia, and undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies. Legal abortion is reported as the fifth leading cause of maternal death in the United States, though in fact it is recognized that most abortion related deaths are not officially reported as such.2
For women aborting a first pregnancy, the risk of breast cancer almost doubles after a first-trimester abortion and is multiplied with two or more abortions. This risk is especially great for women who do not have children. Some recent studies have refuted this finding, but the majority of studies support a connection.3 More on abortion and breast cancer.
CERVICAL, OVARIAN, AND LIVER CANCER
Women with one abortion face a 2.3 relative risk of cervical cancer, compared to non-aborted women, and women with two or more abortions face a 4.92 relative risk. Similar elevated risks of ovarian and liver cancer have also been linked to single and multiple abortions. These increased cancer rates for post-aborted women are apparently linked to the unnatural disruption of the hormonal changes which accompany pregnancy and untreated cervical damage.4 More on cervical cancer.
Between 2 and 3% of all abortion patients may suffer perforation of their uterus, yet most of these injuries will remain undiagnosed and untreated unless laparoscopic visualization is performed.5 The risk of uterine perforation is increased for women who have previously given birth and for those who receive general anesthesia at the time of the abortion.6 Uterine damage may result in complications in later pregnancies and may eventually evolve into problems which require a hysterectomy, which itself may result in a number of additional complications and injuries including osteoporosis.
Significant cervical lacerations requiring sutures occur in at least one percent of first trimester abortions. Lesser lacerations, or micro fractures, which would normally not be treated may also result in long term reproductive damage. Latent post-abortion cervical damage may result in subsequent cervical incompetence, premature delivery and complications during labor. The risk of cervical damage is greater for teenagers, for second trimester abortions, and when practitioners fail to use laminaria for dilation of the cervix.7
Abortion increases the risk of placenta previa in later pregnancies (a life threatening condition for both the mother and her wanted pregnancy) by seven to fifteen fold. Abnormal development of the placenta due to uterine damage increases the risk of fetal malformation, perinatal death, and excessive bleeding during labor.8
HANDICAPPED NEWBORNS IN LATER PREGNANCIES
Abortion is associated with cervical and uterine damage which may increase the risk of premature delivery, complications of labor and abnormal development of the placenta in later pregnancies. These type of reproductive complications are the leading causes of handicaps among newborns.9
Abortion is related to an increased risk of subsequent ectopic pregnancies. Ectopic pregnancies are life threatening and may result in reduced fertility.10
PELVIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASE (PID)
PID is a potentially life threatening disease which can lead to an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy and reduced fertility. Of patients who have a chlamydia infection it the time of the abortion, 23% will develop PID within 4 weeks. Studies have found that 20 to 27% of patients seeking abortion have a chlamydia infection. Approximately 5% of patients who are not infected by chlamydia develop PID within 4 weeks after a first trimester abortion. It is therefore reasonable to expect that abortion providers should screen for and treat such infections prior to an abortion. 11
Endometritis is a post-abortion risk for all women, but especially for teenagers, who are 2.5 times more likely than women 20-29 to acquire endometritis following abortion.12
Approximately 10% of women undergoing elective abortion will suffer immediate complications, of which approximately one-fifth (2%) are considered life threatening. The nine most common major complications which can occur at the time of an abortion are: infection, excessive bleeding, embolism, ripping or perforation of the uterus, anesthesia complications, convulsions, hemorrhage, cervical injury, and endotoxic shock. The most common "minor" complications include: infection, bleeding, fever, second degree burns, chronic abdominal pain, vomiting, gastrointestinal disturbances, and Rh sensitization. 13
INCREASED RISKS FOR WOMEN OBTAINING MULTIPLE ABORTIONS
In general, most of the studies cited above reflect risk factors for women who undergo a single abortion. These same studies show that women who have multiple abortions face a much greater risk of experiencing these complications. This point is especially noteworthy since approximately 45% of all abortions are repeats.
INCREASED RISKS FOR TEENAGERS
Teenagers, who account for about 30 percent of all abortions, are also at much high risk of suffering many abortion related complications. This is true of both immediate complications, and of long-term reproductive damage.14
INCREASED RISK FOR CONTRIBUTING HEALTH RISK FACTORS
Abortion is significantly linked to behavioral changes such as promiscuity, smoking, drug abuse, and eating disorders which all contribute to increased risks of health problems.15 For example, promiscuity and abortion are each linked to increased rates of PID and ectopic pregnancies. Which contributes most is unclear, but apportionment may be irrelevant if the promiscuity is itself a reaction to post-abortion trauma or loss of self esteem.
As is clear from the document above, surgical abortion carries many physical risks, which are compounded for repeat and late term abortions. Many women may have damage to their reproductive systems without realizing it, only to find years later that they are infertile or worse. Surgical abortion can make subsequent pregnancies more dangerous, thus contributing to overall maternal mortality for wanted pregnancies. The increased risk of breast cancer, though well documented, is not usually disclosed to women seeking abortions. Any woman considering abortion should take into account the possibilty of becoming injured in any of the ways documented above.
Additional Documented Effects
More than 58 percent of all women experienced 'quite a bit' or 'severe' pain during induced abortion. Among women with no full term births prior to the abortion, this figure is 61.4%. "We were surprised to note that the majority of women reported moderate or more discomfort during the procedure [induced abortion]; we had not expected as many women to report severe pain." [Source: The Journal of Reproductive Medicine, Pain During Early Abortion, Dr. Lynn Borgatta and David Nickinovich (PhD), 1997, vol. 42, pp. 287-293. Co-author Dr. Lynn Borgatta is in the Medical Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (New York City).]
Women who have induced abortions have an increased risk of HIV infection of 172%, and researchers are at least 99% confident of this result. "Significantly higher prevalences of infection [HIV-1] were associated with induced abortion (0.49%) than with delivery (0.18%) (OR: 2.72; 95% CI: 2.29-3.22)" [European Journal of Epidemiology, Deliveries, abortion and HIV-1 infection in Rome, 1989-1994, 1997, 13:373-378.]
A typical 15 year old American girl has a 10% lifetime risk of breast cancer. If she gets pregnant in her teens and has the baby she reduces her risk to 7.5%. However, if she has an abortion, her risk of breast cancer rises to 15% (assuming she has at least one child in her 20's). If the abortion causes permanent infertility her and/or for other reasons, she never has another pregnancy, her risk rises to 30%. [Source: Brinton LA, Hoover R, Fraumeni IF, Ir. (1983) Brit. J. Cancer. 47:757-62.]
Stories - From Women Who Have Been There:
Personal Stories From the Perspective Of Abortion Doctors:
The Abortion Industry Speaks
There is a perspective on abortion not often heard--the perspective of the abortionists and the clinic workers who perform the procedure. They know that abortion is the destruction of a human life because their job is to supervise and perform the destruction. They see the baby when it is vibrant on the ultrasound, and they see it when it is extracted dead.
Below we present disturbing personal testimonies and first-hand descriptions of abortion written by those who work in the abortion industry.
What is it Like Performing Abortions?
"Following [the doctor's] directions, I took the collection bottle and poured its contents into a shallow pan. Then I used water to rinse off the blood and smaller particles which clouded the bottom of the pan. 'Now look closely,' the doctor said. 'It is important that we have got all the stuff out.' I looked in the pan to find that the stuff consisted of the remains of what had been, a few minutes before, a thirteen week old fetus. I could make out the remains of arms and legs and a trunk and a skull. I tried to piece them back together in my mind, to see if there were any missing parts. Most of the pieces were so battered and bloody they were not recognizably human. Then my eyes locked upon a perfect little hand, less than half a centimeter long. I stared at four tiny fingers and a tiny opposed thumb, complete with tiny translucent fingers. And I knew what I had done." --former abortionist "Chi An" quoted in Stephen Mosher's "A Mother's Ordeal: One Woman's Fight Against China's One Child Policy" pgs 60-61
"I got to where I couldn't stand to look at the little bodies anymore" --Dr. Beverly McMillan, when asked why she stopped performing abortions.
"We all wish it were formless, but its not...and its painful. There is a lot of emotional pain." --abortion clinic worker quoted in "The Ex Abortionists: They Have Confronted Reality" Washington Post April 1, 1988 pg 21
"I look inside the bucket in front of me. There is a small naked person in there, floating in a bloody liquid-plainly the tragic victim of a drowning accident. But then perhaps this was no accident, because the body is purple with bruises and the face has the agonized tauntness of one forced to die too soon. I have seen this face before, on a Russian soldier lying on a frozen snow-covered hill, stiff with death, and cold." --Pro-choice doctor and author Magda Denes, "Performing Abortions" by Magda Denes, M.D. "Commentary" Oct. 26 1976 p 35-37
"The first time, I felt like a murderer, but I did it again and again and again, and now, 20 years later, I am facing what happened to me as a doctor and as a human being. Sure, I got hard. Sure, the money was important. And oh, it was an easy thing, once I had taken the step, to see the women as animals and the babies as just tissue." --abortionist quoted from a radio talk show by John Rice in "Abortion" Litt D. Murfreesboro, TN.
"Clinic workers may say they support a woman's right to choose, but they will also say that they do not want to see tiny hands and tiny feet....there is a great difference between the intellectual support of a woman's right to choose and the actual participation in the carnage of abortion. Because seeing body parts bothers the workers." --Judith Fetrow, former clinic worker from San Francisco quoted in "Meet the Abortion Providers III" from a taped conference in Chicago 4/3/93
"You would just look in the buckets and see arms and legs. I have horrible dreams about that now. It was something you would see in a scary movie." --Former clinic worker Kirsten Breedlove
"I went up to the lab one day and on the pathologist's table I saw what I thought was little rubber doll until I realized it was a fetus. . .I got really shook up and upset and I couldn't believe it. It had all its fingers and toes, you know, hands and feet. . . I never thought it would look so real. I didn't like it." --Planned Parenthood employee quoted in Magda Denes book "In Necessity and Sorrow" New York: Basic Books 1979
"I hated putting babies in strainers and rinsing them off and putting them in zip-lock bags." --former abortion clinic owner Eric Harrah
"My 23rd abortion changed my mind about doing abortions forever. This patient was a little overweight and ultimately proved to be a little farther along than anticipated. This was not an uncommon mistake before ultrasound was readily available to confirm the gestational age. Initially, the abortion proceeded normally. The water broke, but then nothing more would come out. When I withdrew the curette, I saw that it was plugged up with the leg of the baby which had been torn off. I then changed techniques and used ring forceps to dismember the 13 or 14week size baby. Inside the remains of the rib cage I found a tiny, beating heart. I was finally able to remove the head and looked squarely into the face of a human being -- a human being that I had just killed." --Dr. Paul Jarrett
Are Women Being Given a Choice?
"In my facilities, I always gave option counseling. Of course you make the abortion the most appealing. I told them about adoption and about foster care and about [when there was welfare] assistance. The typical way it would go is, "Well, you know you can place your baby out for adoption." But then, in the second breath you would say, "That's an option available to you, but you also have to realize that there's going to be a baby of yours out here somewhere in the world you will never see again. At least with abortion you know what's happening. You can go on with your life...The longer I was in it, the less I cared, so I really didn't really care what my conscience said. My conscience was totally numb anyway. But what it did do was public relations-wise. You were able, when a reporter or TV crew came, to pull out a packet of information for the patients to read and they received it. So what can anybody say? Publicly it looked good -- in reality it was another tool that was used to force a woman into abortion. It's typical -- I would give them an option and then shoot it down. The only option you didn't shoot down, obviously, was abortion."
--Former clinic owner Eric Harrah quoted by Dr. Jack Willke and Brad Mattes
"I was trained by a professional marketing director in how to sell abortions over the telephone. He took every one of our receptionists, nurses, and anyone else who would deal with people over the phone through an extensive training period. The object was, when the girl called, to hook the sale so that she wouldn't get an abortion somewhere else, or adopt out her baby, or change her mind. We were doing it for the money." --Nina Whitten, chief secretary at a Dallas abortion clinic under Dr. Curtis Boyd
"Every woman has these same two questions: First, "Is it a baby?" "No" the counselor assures her. "It is a product of conception (or a blood clot, or a piece of tissue). . .How many women would have an abortion, if they told them the truth?" --Carol Everett, former owner of two clinics and director of four "A Walk Through an Abortion Clinic" by Carol Everett ALL About Issues magazine Aug-Sept 1991, p 117
"If a woman we were counseling expressed doubts about having an abortion, we would say whatever was necessary to persuade her to abort immediately." --Judy W., former office manager of the second largest abortion clinic in El Paso, Texas
"Sometimes we lied. A girl might ask what her baby was like at a certain point in the pregnancy: Was it a baby yet? Even as early as 12 weeks a baby is totally formed, he has fingerprints, turns his head, fans his toes, feels pain. But we would say 'It's not a baby yet. It's just tissue, like a clot.'" --Kathy Sparks told in "The Conversion of Kathy Sparks" by Gloria Williamson, Christian Herald Jan 1986 p 28
"I have seen hundreds of patients in my office who have had abortions and were just lied to by the abortion counselor. Namely 'This is less painful than having a tooth removed. It is not a baby.' Afterwards, the woman sees Life magazine and breaks down and goes into a major depression." --Psychologist Vincent Rue quoted in "Abortion Inc" David Kupelian and Jo Ann Gasper, New Dimensions, October 1991 p 16
The notion that the Constitution of the United States, designed, among other things, “to establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, . . . and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” prohibits the States from simply banning this visibly brutal means of eliminating our half-born posterity is quite simply absurd. -- Justice Antonin Scalia
The Facts of Prenatal Development
Is it a human being?
"From the moment a baby is conceived, it bears the indelible stamp of a separate distinct personality, an individual different from all other individuals." Ultrasound pioneer, Sir William Liley, M.D. 1967.
"After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into existence. This is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception." Dr. Jerome Lejeune, genetics professor at the University of Descartes, Paris. He discovered the Down syndrome chromosome.
"It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception." Professor M. Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School.
"By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception." Professor Hymie Gordon, Mayo Clinic.
When does the heart begin to beat?
At 18 days [when the mother is only four days late for her first menstrual period], and by 21 days it is pumping, through a closed circulatory system, blood whose type is different from that of the mother. J.M. Tanner, G. R. Taylor, and the Editors of Time-Life Books, Growth, New York: Life Science Library, 1965, p.
When is the brain functioning?
Brain waves have been recorded at 40 days on the Electroencephalogram (EEG). H. Hamlin, "Life or Death by EEG," JAMA, Oct. 12, 1964, p. 120
Brain function, as measured on the Electroencephalogram, "appears to be reliably present in the fetus at about eight weeks gestation," or six weeks after conception. J. Goldenring, "Development of the Fetal Brain," New England Jour. of Med., Aug. 26, 1982, p. 564
How early do some organs form?
The eye, ear and respiratory systems begin to form four weeks after fertilization. K. Moore, Before We Were Born, 3rd ed., 1989, p. 278
Very early, e.g., glucagon, a blood sugar hormone, has been demonstrated in the fetal pancreas 6 weeks after fertilization, and insulin by 7 to 8. F. Cunningham, "Pancreas," William’s Obstet., 19th ed., 1993, p. 183-4
Thumbsucking has been photographed at 7 weeks after fertilization. W. Liley, The Fetus As Personality, Fetal Therapy, 1986, p. 8-17
When does the developing baby first move?
"In the sixth to seventh weeks. . . . If the area of the lips is gently stroked, the child responds by bending the upper body to one side and making a quick backward motion with his arms. This is called a ‘total pattern response’ because it involves most of the body, rather than a local part." L. B. Arey, Developmental Anatomy (6th ed.), Philadelphia: W. B. Sanders Co., 1954
At eight weeks, "if we tickle the baby’s nose, he will flex his head backwards away from the stimulus." A. Hellgers, M.D., "Fetal Development, 31," Theological Studies, vol. 3, no. 7, 1970, p. 26
Another example is from a surgical technician whose letter said, "When we opened her abdomen (for a tubal pregnancy), the tube had expelled an inch-long fetus, about 4-6 weeks old. It was still alive in the sack. "That tiny baby was waving its little arms and kicking its little legs and even turned its whole body over." J. Dobson, Focus on the Family Mag., Aug. ’91, pg. 16
When are all her body systems present?
By eight weeks (two months). Hooker & Davenport, The Prenatal Origin of Behavior, University of Kansas Press, 1952
When do teeth form?
All 20 milk-teeth buds are present at six and a half weeks."Life Before Birth," Life Magazine, Apr. 30, 1965, p. 10
And include dental lamina at 8 weeks. Med. Embryology, Longman, 3rd Ed., 1975, p. 406
How about nine weeks?
At nine to ten weeks, he squints, swallows, moves his tongue, and if you stroke his palm, will make a tight fist.
By nine weeks he will "bend his fingers round an object in the palm of his hand." Valman & Pearson, "What the Fetus Feels," British Med. Jour., Jan. 26, 1980
When does he start to breathe?
"By 11 to 12 weeks (3 months), he 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
"Maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy decreases the frequency of fetal breathing by 20%. The ‘well documented’ higher incidence of prematurity, stillbirth, and slower development of reading skill may be related to this decrease." 80 F. Manning, "Meeting of Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons," Family Practice News, March 15, 1976
"In the 11th week of gestation fetal breathing is irregular and episodic. As gestation continues, the breathing movements become more vigorous and rapid." C. Dawes, "Fetal Breathing: Indication of Well Being," Family Practice News, Mar. 16, 1976, p. 6
Episodic spontaneous breathing movement have been observed in the healthy human fetus as early as ten weeks gestational age. Conners et al., "Control of Fetal Breathing in the Human Fetus," Am J. OB-GYN, April ‘89, p. 932
When can she swallow?
At 11 weeks. Valman & Pearson, British Med. Jour., "What the Fetus Feels," 26 Jan. 1980, p. 233
What of detailed development, like fingernails and eyelashes?
Fingernails are present by 11 to 12 weeks; eyelashes by 16 weeks. Fingerprints are completely established during the fourth month of gestation. Hamilton et al., Human Embryology, Fourth Ed., 1972, p. 567
At what point are all her body systems working?
By 11 weeks. "Life Before Birth," Life Magazine, Apr. 30, 1965, p. 13
How does the size of the baby increase in weight?
At 12 weeks (three months) she weighs about 30 gm (1.0 ounce); at 16 weeks about 170 gm (6 ounces); and at 20 weeks (four months), approximately 454 gm (one pound).
When is taste present?
"Taste buds are working between 13 and 15 weeks gestation" (11 to 13 weeks after conception). Mistretta & Bradley, Taste in Utero, 1977, p. 62 Bradley et al., "Dev. Taste Buds . . . ," J. Anat. 101 (4) 1967, p. 743-752
How about hearing?
"Auditory sense is present in the infant 24 weeks before birth [14 weeks after conception]. This involves brain functioning and memory patterns." M. Clemens, "5th International Congress Psychosomatic," OB & GYN, Rome: Medical Tribune, Mar. 22, 1978, p. 7
By 8 weeks?
By this age the neuroanatomic structures are present. What is needed is (1) a sensory nerve to feel the pain and send a message to (2) the thalamus, a part of the base of the brain, and (3) motor nerves that send a message to that area. These are present at 8 weeks.
The pain impulse goes to the thalamus. It sends a signal down the motor nerves to pull away from the hurt.
Give an example.
Try sticking an infant with a pin and you know what happens. She opens her mouth to cry and also pulls away.
Try sticking an 8 week old human fetus in the palm of his hand. He opens his mouth and pulls his hand away.
A more technical description would add that changes in heart rate and fetal movement also suggest that intrauterine manipulations are painful to the fetus.
Volman & Pearson, "What the Fetus Feels,"
British Med. Journal, Jan. 26, 1980, pp. 233-234.
O.K., that is activity that can be observed, but is there other evidence of pain? After all, the fetal baby can’t tell us he hurts.
Pain can be detected when nociceptors (pain receptors) discharge electrical impulses to the spinal cord and brain. These fire impulses outward, telling the muscles and body to react. These can be measured.
Mountcastle, Medical Physiology, St. Louis: C.V. Mosby, pp. 391-427
"Lip tactile response may be evoked by the end of the 7th week. At 11 weeks, the face and all parts of the upper and lower extremities are sensitive to touch. By 13 1/2 to 14 weeks, the entire body surface, except for the back and the top of the head, are sensitive to pain."
S. Reinis & J. Goldman, The Development
of the Brain C. Thomas Pub., 1980
Give me more proof.
In 1964 President Reagan said: "When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing."
President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters,
New York Times, Jan. 31, 1984
This provoked a public reaction from pro-abortion circles and a response from an auspicious group of professors, including pain specialists and two past presidents of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
They strongly backed Mr. Reagan and produced substantial documentation. Excerpts of their letter (2/13/84) to him included:
"Real time ultrasonography, fetoscopy, study of the fetal EKG (electrocardiogram) and fetal EEG (electroencephalogram) have demonstrated the remarkable responsiveness of the human fetus to pain, touch, and sound. That the fetus responds to changes in light intensity within the womb, to heat, to cold, and to taste (by altering the chemical nature of the fluid swallowed by the fetus) has been exquisitely documented in the pioneering work of the late Sir William Lily — the father of fetology."
We state categorically that no finding of modern fetology invalidates the remarkable conclusion drawn after a lifetime of research by the late Professor Arnold Gesell of Yale University. In The Embryology of Behavior: The Beginnings of the Human Mind (1945, Harper Bros.), Dr. Gesell wrote, "and so by the close of the first trimester the fetus is a sentient, moving being. We need not speculate as to the nature of his psychic attributes, but we may assert that the organization of his psychosomatic self is well under way."
Mr. President, in drawing attention to the capability of the human fetus to feel pain, you stand on firmly established ground.
Willke, J & B, Abortion: Questions & Answers,
Hayes, 1991, Chpt. 10
What of The Silent Scream?
A Realtime ultrasound video tape and movie of a 12-week suction abortion is commercially available as, The Silent Scream, narrated by Dr. B. Nathanson, a former abortionist. It dramatically, but factually, shows the pre-born baby dodging the suction instrument time after time, while its heartbeat doubles in rate. When finally caught, its body being dismembered, the baby’s mouth clearly opens wide — hence, the title (available from American Portrait Films, P.O. Box 19266, Cleveland, OH 44119, 216-531-8600). Proabortionists have attempted to discredit this film. A well documented paper refuting their charges is available from National Right to Life, 419 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20004, $2.00 p.p.
A short, 10-minute video showing the testimony of the doctor who did the abortion in Silent Scream definitely debunks any criticism of Silent Scream’s accuracy. The Answer, Bernadel, Inc., P.O. Box 1897, Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY, 10011.
Pain? What of just comfort?
"One of the most uncomfortable ledges that the unborn can encounter is his mother’s backbone. If he happens to be lying so that his own backbone is across hers [when the mother lies on her back], the unborn will wiggle around until he can get away from this highly disagreeable position."
M. Liley & B. Day, Modern Motherhood,
Random House, 1969, p. 42
But isn’t pain mostly psychological?
There is also organic, or physiological pain which elicits a neurological response to pain.
P. Lubeskind, "Psychology & Physiology of Pain,"
Amer. Review Psychology, vol. 28, 1977, p. 42
But early on there is no cerebral cortex for thinking, therefore no pain?
The cortex isn’t needed to feel pain. The thalamus is needed and (see above) is functioning at 8 weeks. Even complete removal of the cortex does not eliminate the sensation of pain. "Indeed there seems to be little evidence that pain information reaches the sensory cortex."
Patton et al., Intro. to Basic Neurology,
W. B. Saunders Co. 1976, p. 178
How about during an abortion?
This really hit the fan during the 1996 debate in the U.S. Congress over a law to ban partial birth abortions. Pro-abortionists had claimed that the anaesthetic had already killed the fetal baby. Top officials of the U.S. Society for Obstetric Anaesthesia & Perinatology vigorously denied this explaining that usual anaesthesia did not harm the baby.
D. Gianelli, Anaesthesiologists Question Claims in
Abortion Debate, Am. Med. News, Jan. 1, ’96
This brought the issue of fetal pain into the news, and testimony was given to the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the U.S. House of Representatives.
"The fetus within this time frame of gestation, 20 weeks and beyond, is fully capable of experiencing pain. Without doubt a partial birth abortion is a dreadfully painful experience for any infant.
R. White, Dir. Neurosurgery & Brain Research, Case Western Univ.
Also, "Far from being less able to feel pain, such premature newborns may be more sensitive to pain" ...that babies under 30 weeks have a "newly established pain system that is raw and unmodified at this tender age."
P. Ranalli, Neuro. Dept., Univ. of Toronto
Give me more research data.
Data in the British Medical Journal, Lancet, gave solid confirmation of such pain. It is known that the fetal umbilical cord has no pain receptors such as the rest of the fetal body. Accordingly, they tested fetal hormone stress response comparing puncturing of the abdomen and of the cord.
They observed "the fetus reacts to intrahepatic (liver) needling with vigorous body and breathing movements, but not to cord needling. The levels of these hormones did not vary with fetal age."
M. Fisk, et al., Fetal Plasma Cortisol and Bendorphin Response
to Intrauterine Needling, Lancet, Vol. 344, July 9, 1994, Pg. 77
Another excellent British study commented on this: "It cannot be comfortable for the fetus to have a scalp electrode implanted on his skin, to have blood taken from the scalp or to suffer the skull compression that may occur even with spontaneous delivery. It is hardly surprising that infants delivered by difficult forceps extraction act as if they have a severe headache."
Valman & Pearson, "What the Fetus Feels,"
British Med. Jour., Jan. 26, 1980
Abortion survivors are seldom discussed in the abortion debate, but there have been many. The babies who have survived abortion put a human face on the issue. Their very existence screams the truth: Abortion ends--or seeks to end--the life of a human being.
What can those who advocate abortion say to a child born alive from an abortion?
"Oh, you poor thing. We’re sorry that you’re missing a limb as a result of that failed abortion, but that abortion attempt was in your mother’s best interest as well as yours and society’s and the world's."?
"We feel remorse for you, we really do. You could have been healthy and adopted, we know. Your injuries are awful; that abortion doctor shouldn't have put you through this. We promise that next time we will make sure that our physicians are trained and competent in performing 'safe, legal abortions' so that they will terminate babies like you correctly. That way, you won't have to suffer the prolonged misery of your life as a rejected child, and we won't have to suffer from seeing you suffer..."
Click on the link for more. We present the stories of those who have survived abortion.
Post Abortion Depression:
What about the return of back-alley "illegal" abortions?
True Feminism IS Pro-Life!!
On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized abortion for the full-term of pregnancy. Since then, more than 40 million abortions have taken place.
Except when noted, the following statistics are based on research published by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, special research affiliate of Planned Parenthood Federation of America--the nation's largest provider and promoter of abortion. Estimates for 1997 and 1998 are based on trends from previous years.
In the past, AGI has estimated a possible 3-6% rate of underreporting. The following uses the lower figure.
Year Number of Abortions
INCIDENCE OF ABORTION
49% of pregnancies among American women are unintended; 1/2 of these are terminated by abortion.
In 1997, 1.33 million abortions took place, down from an estimated 1.61 million in 1990. From 1973 through 1997, more than 35 million legal abortions occurred.
Each year, 2 out of every 100 women aged 15-44 have an abortion; 47% of them have had at least one previous abortion and 55% have had a previous birth.
An estimated 43% of women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old.
WHO HAS ABORTIONS
52% of U.S. women obtaining abortions are younger than 25: Women aged 20-24 obtain 32% of all abortions, and teenagers obtain 20%.
While white women obtain 58% of all abortions, their abortion rate is well below that of minority women. Black women are more than 3 times as likely as white women to have an abortion, and Hispanic women are roughly 2 times as likely.
Catholic women are 29% more likely than Protestants to have an abortion, but are about as likely as all women nationally to do so.
2/3 of all abortions are among never-married women.
On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities; about 2/3 say they cannot afford a child; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner.
About 13,000 women have abortions each year following rape or incest (00.9% of the annual total).
Sources of Data
The data in this fact sheet are are taken from research conducted by The Alan Guttmacher Institute and published in its peer-reviewed journal, Family Planning Perspectives.
Videos can be viewed at the following link:
Contact Embryoscopy -- Photos taken by inserting a tiny camera directly into the womb.
Embryonic Morphology Slide -- Watch as the tiny human being develops from the early embryonic stage (3 weeks of age) to the fetal stage (8 weeks of age).
3d Ultrasound Photography -- Photos taken using the latest 3d imaging technolgy.
The Silent Scream - Dr. Bernard Nathanson presents a real ultrasound video of an abortion performed on an 11 week old unborn baby.
The Dancing Fetus - Watch as these first-trimester babies bounce around in the womb. Keep in mind that it is currently legal to have an abortion practically for any reason, throughout all 9 months of a pregnancy.
The Harder Truth - A video of a 2nd trimester abortion