By Kathi Aultman
Over the last 60 years, the abortion industry has effectively molded public opinion by inundating us with lies propagated by the film industry and the media. They made abortion an issue of women’s rights, ignoring the fundamental human rights of the unborn. Some of the most prestigious medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), are controlled by abortion advocates. When lies are repeated long enough, they are regarded as truth. These are three of the most damaging lies.
Abortion just removes a small “blob of tissue.”
My friend was told this common lie prior to her abortion at 10 weeks gestation (8 weeks post-fertilization). Years later, she was devastated when she saw a picture of an unborn baby at that gestational age. At that stage, the unborn baby has 90% of the structures found in adults, including fingers, toes, and eyelids.
Gestational age is calculated from the last menstrual period (about two weeks before fertilization). Post-fertilization age is the actual age of the developing human. Most people consider fertilization and conception to be synonymous, but in 1965, ACOG redefined conception as the point of implantation.
At fertilization, the egg and sperm fuse, and a new human being is created. Implantation occurs about one week later, around three weeks gestation. Drugs that prevent implantation, like the morning-after pill, cause the death of this tiny human being.
At just six weeks gestation, when the earliest abortions are performed, the unborn baby has a beating heart and a functioning circulatory system. At eight weeks, the unborn baby becomes more active, and brain activity can be recorded. Unborn babies may experience pain as early as 12 weeks. By 23 weeks, survival outside the womb is possible.
Clearly, abortion doesn’t just remove a “blob of tissue.”
Abortion is necessary for women to succeed.
The abortion industry has convinced the public that women can only succeed if they have access to abortion and that without it, they will never be able to fulfill their dreams or compete with men in the workplace. The vast number of mothers with successful careers belies this.
I had an abortion because I was afraid having a baby would prevent me from becoming a doctor. It saddened me later when I met several women who had children before entering medical school.
It is unacceptable that, rather than provide the support systems women need to flourish, our society relies on abortion to solve the problem of unexpected pregnancy.
Abortion is safe.
Abortions have risks, and the incidence of risk increases as the unborn baby grows. However, we don’t know the true incidence because not all states are required to report complications. All abortions run the risk of excessive bleeding, infection, incomplete abortion, failed abortion, severe pain, and death. Surgical abortions also have the risk of perforation of the uterus with injury to the pelvic organs. Once, when I was on ER call, a woman presented with her small bowel hanging from her vagina. An abortionist had perforated her uterus during her abortion. Chemical abortions have the additional risks of uterine rupture and missed ectopic pregnancy.
We know that women can suffer from depression, drug abuse, emotional problems, and suicide after an abortion, especially if they have preexisting psychological issues or feel pressured into having the abortion. One of my patients who was seeing me for prolonged bleeding after her first-trimester abortion was also seeing a psychiatrist. She told me that the idea that she had killed her child was much more difficult to cope with than the unexpected pregnancy.
I didn’t regret my abortion until after the birth of my daughter. I became deeply depressed, consistent with Post-Abortion Syndrome. Caring friends helped me get the counseling I needed.
These are just a few of the lies the abortion industry tells women. Pro-life advocates must not only reject these lies but also show women that they are loved and have support available to them when they are facing an unplanned pregnancy.
Kathi Aultman, MD is a retired board-certified OB-GYN who used to perform abortions. She has spoken and testified on abortion at state, national, and international levels. She is an Associate Scholar with the Charlotte Lozier Institute.