Date: January 23, 2023
“Primary care clinicians like us who provide early abortions in their practices have long known that the pregnancy tissue we remove does not look like what most people expect. After Roe v. Wade was overturned last summer in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and early pregnancy termination was banned across more than a dozen states, we felt it was important to make this information public and show the images we have seen more widely.
It’s important to us to counter medical misinformation related to early pregnancy because about 80 percent of abortions in the United States occur at nine weeks or earlier. So much of the imagery that people see about abortion comes from abortion opponents who have spent decades spreading misleading fetal imagery to further their cause.
Last fall, as members of the MYAbortion Network, a clinician-led organization dedicated to educating people about abortion and expanding early abortion services into primary care settings, we launched a multimedia project to provide accurate information regarding early pregnancy tissue after abortion.
The Guardian published our first photos on Oct. 19; they went viral, appearing in media outlets and getting shared widely on social media.
Many people, even those who support abortion rights, did not believe the photos were accurate. Some insisted we had deliberately removed the embryos before taking the photos. The images weren’t consistent with those often seen in embryological textbooks, magnified on ultrasounds or used in anti-abortion propaganda; these enlarged images are not what you see with the naked eye after an abortion. A Stanford gynecologic pathologist has validated our photos, but many people could not believe the pictures were presented unaltered.
…showing these images is vital to counter misinformation, not only for patients but for our colleagues as well.
Relief was how Jewel experienced seeing the pregnancy tissue. “I was really scared about all the horror stories and the trauma. The anxiety of coming here was worse than actually going through it,” she told Dr. Fleischman.”
Never much liked the grossly manipulative nature, of anti-abortion campaigns and harassers.
It is good to see these photographs released.
Fact is…most of what gets removed during any typical abortion, does not even possess the ability to feel pain, let alone the ability of cognition.