By Sarah Terzo
Pro-life writer Melinda Tankard Reist shares the testimonies of women who regret their abortions in her book Giving Sorrow Words: Women’s Stories of Grief after Abortion. I recommend the book to pro-lifers who want to understand the trauma many women feel after their abortions. The detailed accounts of pain, grief, and loss are heartbreaking.
In some of the most disturbing testimonies in the book, women describe being lied to at the clinic.
One of the stories in Giving Sorrow Words is told by a woman named Sue, (last name withheld), who went to an abortion clinic still unsure of what to do.
Although some pro-choicers claim that all women seeking abortions enter clinics bound and determined to go through with the procedure, one poll showed that up to 60% of women were still uncertain about their decision when they arrived at the clinic. The same poll found that 44% “stated they were actively hoping to find an option other than abortion during counseling.”
Unfortunately, abortion clinic workers do not always give accurate facts and neutral counseling to these women. Instead, they withhold facts and even lie. This is what happened to Sue.
According to her testimony, the abortion doctor told her:
Don’t worry, it’s not formed till after 12 weeks.
Sue later found out the truth about fetal development – when it was too late to undo her abortion:
Then I saw the Human Body program [on the ABC]. I would not have gone ahead if I’d been told the truth about the formation of the baby.
As you can see in the image below, taken from ”The Endowment for Human Development ”(a site unaffiliated with the pro-life movement), a preborn baby has arms and legs, complete with fingers and toes, very early on in pregnancy. This baby is 7 ½ weeks old (dated from conception).
By eight weeks, the preborn baby is fully formed. At this time, she has a brain that is divided into cerebral hemispheres, just like an adult’s. The preborn baby’s brain has been generating brain waves since six weeks. Her heart has been beating since 22 days. It is nearly impossible to look at an eight week preborn baby and not realize she is a developing human. The baby certainly doesn’t look like a cat fetus or a dog fetus – she has a human form.
Annabelle was 8 weeks, 5 days old when her mother had a miscarriage and took this photo of her.
Here is an ultrasound of a ten-week-old preborn child. Note how developed the baby is. This is definitely a child who is “fully formed.” And yet, 92 percent of abortions are performed at 13 weeks or earlier.
Would Sue have rejected abortion if the abortionist had told the truth? While it is impossible to know for certain, there is a good chance that Sue, like many women, would’ve refused to abort her child if she knew how developed the baby already was, and that from the very beginning, her baby was fully human.
The facts about fetal development, as well as pictures of developing babies in the womb, are powerful arguments against abortion. Crisis pregnancy centers often give fetal development information to women who are contemplating abortion and allow them to view ultrasounds of their preborn babies.
Sadly, all too many women do not get accurate information about their babies, or the chance to view an ultrasound, at abortion clinics.
Source: Melinda Tankard Reist, Giving Sorrow Words: Women’s Stories of Grief after Abortion (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 2007) ,p. 180.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Clinic Quotes and is reposted with permission.