The Facts About Abortion
Putting aside all the arguments about the morality of abortion, what are the simple facts about it?
- By the end of the second week after conception, the baby has a developing brain and a basic heart. This means that the fetus is not part of the mother’s body, but is distinctively separate.
- As you approach the end of your third week, the baby has begun to develop vertebrae, eyes, ears and a closed circulatory system. The baby’s heart is beating by now and he has begun to develop lungs as well as arms and legs.
- As you near your sixth week, the brain is visible and electrically active.
- The baby can feel pain by the 9th week after conception. Though doctors now know this to be true; still as many as 48% of all abortions occur after this point. You may not be able to feel it, but the baby can move and kick.
- By the 16th week of pregnancy the baby can hear noises and responds to touch through the uterine wall. Your baby is about the size of a lime, about 2 inches long. His face is beginning to take shape and although his skin is still transparent, he is growing at an amazing rate!
- At 20 weeks, your baby is larger than an avocado! Her heart is pumping over 25 quarts of blood every day. Although abortions are still performed this far into pregnancy, it is important to know that babies born this early have survived!
Abortion is not a simple procedure. It may carry serious emotional and physical consequence, and should be considered carefully before a decision is reached to go forward with abortion. If you are considering abortion, it is important to know all the facts about the procedure.
- RU-486 This is a drug that produces an abortion. This drug is taken after the mother misses her period. It produces severe cramps and bleeding, as well as nausea. It can take up to a week to end the pregnancy in this way. The mother will no doubt see the developing baby as it is expelled. Recently, this drug has been suspected in a number of women’s deaths.
- Suction-Aspiration With this method, the cervix is opened and a hollow plastic tube with a knife-like edge is inserted. Suction is used to tear the baby’s body into pieces, when this is done the placenta is cut from the uterus and sucked into a bottle along with what is left of the baby.
- D & C Abortion This method is like suction-aspiration except that the baby is scraped into a basin instead of vacuumed into a bottle.
- Prostaglandin Abortion This method is often used for mid- and late-term abortions. The mother is given prostaglandin, a hormone that induces labor. Often the baby is delivered dead, a result of the trauma. To ensure the baby is not born alive, a drug is injected into the baby’s heart, killing it, so that it is born dead.
- D and X This method of abortion is for mid- to late-term pregnancies and involves the abortionist using forceps to position the baby feet first so that it is delivered except for the head. At this point, the baby is most definitely viable and alive and kicking around. A pair of dull tipped surgical scissors is shoved into the base of the skull and spreads the tips apart to expand the wound. A suction catheter is placed into the baby’s skull and the brain is sucked out. The skull collapses and the baby’s head passes without difficulty through the cervix.
With the last two methods, babies have survived. It is important to ask a clinic what their protocol is, should a baby survive the procedure, and that you are okay with their answer.
No matter what anyone tells you, there is nothing simple about abortion, and in fact, the truth about abortion is very ugly. Regardless of what your choice ends up being, find out all that you can about the baby’s development and the procedure that will be used during an abortion. Explore all your options before making a decision that could affect you the rest of your life.
The plain and simple truth of the matter is abortion is taking a child’s life. When there are so many abortion alternatives available for women who find themselves pregnant, it makes no sense to snuff out the light of a child’s life, when that life could well bring love and happiness to another family, and may even contribute something extraordinary to the world some day. Think carefully about the facts of abortion and what it really means before making the decision to extinguish the life of a child. If you’d like to talk about your options, please call our Pregnancy Option Hotline at 1-800-923-6784. We can help you learn about all your options!