What Abortion Really Looks Like And How Anti-Choice Signs Lie

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.

Related Stories:

Freedom of Speech Is Only Freedom to Lie To Women

Abortion Funding Ban Exceptions: For “Forcible Rape” Only


Photo credit: wikimedia commons


Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

I like that sentence -- "Lying to women is a form of freedom of speech when abortion is involved." So true.

The truth is, it is nobody's business except the pregnant woman's. It's her CHOICE to carry that fetus to term or not. Women need education so that they can make the right choice for themselves and their lives. Then, if her choice is abortion, that is HER choice. The law.

Diane L.
Diane L6 years ago

The mis-representations, including the grossly graphic and unaccurate photos are only the tip of the iceberg as far as why the "pro lifers" lack credibility, same as some who become so militant and lecture and judge those who eat meat, screaming, "go vegan" and calling anyone else "murderers, blood-thirsty animal haters" and using inflammatory words meant to sicken and disgust. They fail to use common sense and therefore revert to hateful fear-mongering and attempting to lay guilt trips on anyone who feels differently.

Janice L.
Janice Lawrence7 years ago

I checked out those pictures and was amazed at how little there is. The thing doesn't even look like a shrimp until it's been magnified. It really looks like just a skin tag. I've passed plenty of clots and pieces of endometrial stuff that looked far more human. Raw liver chopped up looks more human than the embryos in these picture. These anti-choice perps are just genuine whackjobs, I mean seriously mentally ill, obsessive weirdos.

I still don't see these people adopting all these unwanted kids.

cobalt rose
cobalt rose7 years ago

It's such a shame that so called pro-life groups cease to care for the lives of children after they're born. If they focused more on taking care of individuals and their families and actually providing the financial support needed to cover the existing members of a household (regardless of that family member's age) then maybe there would be less need for abortions. What is so wrong with taking care of the mother (who needs to be able to care for the baby) and other family members once they have come into this world? If you are truly pro life then you should value those lives already in existence too. People need to focus less on ideals and start resolving the issues that exist in reality. Fairy tales are wonderful, but sticking your head in the sand and hoping that your god will take care of your mistakes as you harm others with your misguided actions and by denying access to assistance for people who need it (which is what most churches do for anyone who really needs assistance) doesn't solve any real problems. If you aren't ready to take responsibility and pay for the full cost of living for a child (through adulthood if necessary), then you should not be involved in bringing it into the world.

Resta C.
Resta C7 years ago

A life is a life and deserves to live.

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman7 years ago


Lika S.
Lika P7 years ago

Of course they lie. They're part of the patriarch that wants to keep women barefoot and pregnant, while cooking, cleaning, volunteering for PTA, taking care of his elderly folks, being the kid's doctor, nurse, teacher, etc... all on little sleep, but when it comes to taking care of her, if she gets a couple dollars for her trouble, they want to think that's all in a day's work...

Kittie K.
Kittie K.7 years ago

The protesters are no better than the politicians, who lie and steal to get what they want. If they want to show you a stillborn and say it's aborted, they will. They just shouldn't expect intelligent people to believe them. And I'm pro-choice, so I think they should all go to the circles of hell anyway.

William Y.
William Y7 years ago

Emily Weibel says "I'm not against all abortion, but I am against the abuse of abortion and treating it like it is not a big deal."

I agree. There should be some restrictions, but the deciding factor should be the woman, not some non related individuals.

Point 2, Those signs show how far the anti-choice crowd will go to put force their prejudicial ideas.

Jennifer Martin
Jennifer M7 years ago

Abortion sucks. But you know what sucks more? Children who are neglected, abused, or unwanted. Children starving or addicted to drugs because some pro-lifer lied and scared the shit out of the mother. The world is full of children who aren't wanted. Let's not add to that number!