Human Rights

Analysis: Abortion facilities have history of deceptive counseling

abortion counseling

Abortion facilities have a long, shameful history of lying to abortion- minded women about the development of their babies and the risks of abortion. We also have testimonies from women about their experiences. One woman named Sue said:

The doctor said: “Don’t worry, it’s not formed till after 12 weeks.” 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.”(1)

Below is a picture of an ultrasound of a pre-born baby at just 10 weeks in the womb.


Another woman was told that her baby at 3 months was “just a clump of cells.” When she found out the truth, it inspired her to do an experiment:

When I saw that a 3-month-old “clump of cells” had fingers and toes and was a tiny, perfectly formed baby, I became really hysterical.

I’ve been lied to and misled, and I’m sure thousands of other women are being just as poorly informed and badly served. To prove it, John [her husband] and I visited most every clinic in Cleveland. I pretended I was pregnant and asked for guidance.

What we heard was incredible. One counselor told us the fetus did not begin to resemble human being until 7 months, another said 5 months, and so it went. (2)

A reporter for the LA Times visited a facility and actually caught a  “counselor” there lying to a woman. The article quoted her telling a woman who was 5 weeks pregnant, “It’s completely formed about nine weeks. Yours is more like a chicken yolk.”*(3)

At 5 weeks, a pre-born baby’s heart is beating. You can see a video capturing it here in a baby that is only 4 ½ weeks old.

The baby has the beginning of limbs, a brain that is divided into 2 hemispheres, and a circulatory system.

While a 5 week–old preborn baby still has a lot of development to go, he or she is definitely not “a chicken yolk.”

Another observer at an abortion center, Peter Korn, told of the following conversation between an abortion worker and a woman named Peggy, who was ambivalent about getting an abortion. Peggy asks:

“Is it true that at six weeks it has a heartbeat?” Carye

[The counselor] says nobody is sure exactly when the heart begins beating, and tries to deflect that concern. (4)

In reality, the fact that a fetal heart starts beating 3 weeks after conception has been known to science since 1964. 

There is no disagreement in the medical community as to when the baby’s heart starts beating.

Former abortion workers have also admitted that they lied to women. For example, Kathy Sparks said:

Sometimes we lied. A girl might ask what her baby was like at a certain point in the pregnancy: Was it a baby yet? Even as early as 12 weeks a baby is totally formed, he has fingerprints, turns his head… But we would say ‘It’s not a baby yet. It’s just tissue, like a clot.'(5)

Abortionist Alberto Hodari, in a speech at Wayne University, claimed that abortionists had “a license to lie” to patients. Students for Life has a recording:


Clinicquotes has more examples in its section on Abortion Counseling.

Live Action has also caught abortion workers and abortionists lying in undercover videos. In these 3 videos, abortion center workers give blatantly false information to women posing as abortion patients:



  1. Melinda Tankard Reist Giving Sorrow Words: Women’s Stories of Grief after Abortion (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 2007) 180
  2. David C Reardon Aborted Women: Silent No More (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway books, 1987) 250
  3. Offering Abortion, Rebirth” LA Times Nov 11, 2005
  4. Peter Korn. Lovejoy: A Year in the Life of an Abortion Clinic (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press) 1996 p 25
  5. Gloria Williamson “The Conversion of Kathy Sparks” Christian Herald January 1986 p 28

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