PPFA stealth edits fetal development page, now says no heartbeat at 6 weeks

By Dave Andrusko

The headline almost says it all: “Planned Parenthood edits fact sheet to say no heartbeat at 6 weeks of fetal development: Planned Parenthood now differentiates between ‘cardiac activity’ and ‘heartbeat.’” 

This story on Fox News by Timothy H.J. Herozzi says “The changes made to the organization’s website were noticed Thursday after Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams claimed that there is no such thing as a six-week heartbeat.”

This stealth-editing was first noticed by Dr. Calum Miller who published two screen shots of Planned Parenthood’s webpage about early fetal development on Twitter.

Back to Herozzi: “As recently as July 25 of this year, Planned Parenthood stated that in the fifth and sixth weeks of gestation ‘a very basic beating heart and circulatory system develop’ within the fetus.”

I took a moment out to see what Planned Parenthood is saying now: 

“What happens during week 5-6 ? A part of the embryo starts to show cardiac activity. It sounds like a heartbeat on an ultrasound, but it’s not a fully-formed heart — it’s the earliest stage of the heart developing.

How about “what happens during week seven?”

The heart has formed.

Herozzi writes, “The information disseminated by Planned Parenthood and Abrams contradicts years of established research into fetal development.” He helpfully points to sources with impeccable credentials. 

According to the National Library of Medicine, at five weeks, “the baby’s brain, spinal cord, and heart begin to develop” and by week six its “heart continues to grow and now beats at a regular rhythm. This can be seen by vaginal ultrasound.”

According to March of Dimes – a major women’s health advocacy nonprofit founded under the Roosevelt administration – at five weeks “[the] baby’s heart and lungs are developing, and [the] baby’s heart starts to beat.” 

The organization says of the sixth week, “[the] baby’s heart beats about 105 times a minute.”

Should we expect that Planned Parenthood will acknowledge that it changed when a fetal heartbeat can be detected? Not in this lifetime.

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