And Then There Were None, is a pro-life ministry which helps abortion workers leave their jobs. The group frequently hosts webcasts in which former workers discuss stories about their time in the abortion industry. In one of these webcasts, former Planned Parenthood director Sue Thayer revealed that women were surprised and horrified to see the bodies of their aborted babies after taking the abortion pill. Thayer spoke about WebCam abortions, in which abortion pills were given to women without a doctor present. The doctor would see the patient via WebCam and would not personally examine her. Pro-lifers tried to stop this practice, and the state of Iowa took Planned Parenthood to court. Thayer says:
[Planned Parenthood officials] stood [in court] and said, “We have never had a complaint about WebCam abortion.” And I’m thinking, is a little tiny nine-week fetus in a Ziploc bag considered a complication? Because we had women bringing them back. You know, after they’ve gone home to complete their abortion and then, they’re doing these up to day 63 at that time, now they do them up to day 70. So many women would actually see a lot of clotting [and] a little tiny fetus in there – women would put them in a Ziploc bag and come back to the center, and say, “You told me it was a heavy period. You told me it was just tissue, and here’s my baby.” So, it was just all bad.
Live Action has previously covered stories of women who were horrified and traumatized by seeing their babies after a medication abortion. Unlike in a surgical abortion, where pieces of the baby are whisked away and not seen by the woman, in abortions by pill, she may come face-to-face with her aborted baby.
The abortion textbook, A Clinician’s Guide to Medical and Surgical Abortion, acknowledges this possibility. It instructs abortionists in training that…
Involuntary viewing of the products of conception is not an issue during surgical abortions, but the patient needs to know that during a medical [pill] abortion she may see the products. Some women are not affected by viewing the tissue or even find it reassuring; others prefer not to see the tissue at all…
If the pregnancy is eight weeks or beyond, she may indeed see a tiny embryo. The presence or absence of human shape and extremities may have an important impact. After providing a description, ask what, if any, effect the information has on her and then validate her reaction.1
Judging by woman’s testimonies, few women taking the abortion pill are told that they might see their babies, much less that those babies would be quite well-formed. But telling women too much information about fetal development could lead to them not choosing abortion, therefore causing the abortion facility to lose money. Instead, women will continue to be surprised and possibly traumatized by learning too late how developed their babies were.
Maureen Paul, E Steve Lichtenberg, Lynn Borgatta, David Grimes, Philip G Stubblefield A Clinician’s Guide to Medical and Surgical Abortion(New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1999) 34
Editor’s Note: The preborn child pictured in the featured image is approximately 7-8 weeks post-fertilization.
Archbishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix celebrated Mass with members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Region XIII who gathered at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls on Feb. 12, 2020, during their ad Limina Apostolorum visit. (photo: Daniel Ibanez / CNA/EWTN)