From abortion bans to federal defunding and the new push to stop subsidizing abortions for many victims of rape, the anti-choice activist have been getting more vocal and more public, as abortion issues are raised to the forefront.
Nearly every reproductive health care clinic will be seen with a protester or two marching in front of it, often with a sign depicting a bloody body they claim is an aborted fetus. But what they don’t mention is that most abortions occur early in pregnancy, and that the pictures on their signs often aren’t fetuses aborted at the stage they say they are, and in some cases likely aren’t aborted fetuses at all.
The pictures at Abortionaccess.info show a very different reality. Most early abortions have matter with no discernible “body” at all. For a seven week pregnancy, the fetus is literally smaller than the tip of a pinky, and looks more like a shrimp than a tiny baby doll like protesters would have you believe.
As for those giant, blown up mini-babies we all see at the March for Life and other anti-abortion events? Many of those pictures have incorrect gestational ages, and some of them aren’t even the products of abortion.
A considerable number of anti-abortion visuals feature an almost fully developed fetus. Abortions preformed at this stage via hysterotomy or D&X abortions are rare. Only about 1.5% of abortions are performed at 21-weeks or older, according to according to a 2000 study conducted by the Nation Center for Chronic Disease (CDC). A July 1992 LIFE magazine article, The Great Divide, reported that Reverend Robert Schenk, member of anti-choice coalition Operation rescue, attended a demonstration outside an abortion clinic in Buffalo, NY, with “Baby Tia”, a 7-inch, gray-tinted and formaldehyde-soaked dead fetus. In the escalating madness of the crowd, the fetus was dropped onto the sneaker-trodden street. Authorities arrested Schenk and confiscated the fetus, which was taken to a coroner, only to be identified as an approximately 20-week-old stillborn. The article reads, “Many pro-choice supporters in Buffalo are angry about the distance between their reality-what they see in the clinics-and the images the anti-abortionists present as fact. ‘What they are showing to the public is a lie,’ says Joni Ladowski, a nurse at a nearby clinic, as she unfolds a length of gauze. In the center lies what appears to be a clot the size of a peanut. It is a fetus, nine weeks old. ‘This is an abortion,’ she says.”
But it’s unsurprising that so many of the materials being used are factually inaccurate, or outright lies. After all, lying to woman is a form of freedom of speech when abortion is involved.
If anti-abortion activists dealt in reality versus propaganda, maybe a real conversation on trying to reduce the number of abortions could be had, via prevention and pregnancy assistance.
Photo credit: wikimedia commons