Planned Parenthood’s deception on fetal development countered by ‘Baby Olivia’

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Planned Parenthood has been lying to women about fetal development for decades. But Live Action has been helping to expose those lies, with undercover work like its Medical Misinformation investigation in 2009, and with the groundbreaking 2021 “Baby Olivia” video. Science is clear that life begins at fertilization, not at birth.

Development at six weeks

Live Action went undercover at Planned Parenthood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on September 9, 2009. The undercover pro-life journalist was told by Planned Parenthood that she was between six and eight weeks pregnant with “fetal matter.” Planned Parenthood told her:

There’s not a baby at this point. You wouldn’t be able to identify any parts of the fetus whatsover. […] at this point there’s nothing developed at all. There’s no legs, no heart. At this point it’s just the embryo itself.

But “Baby Olivia,” the world’s most realistic and medically accurate computer-generated 3D animated representation of a child developing in her mother’s womb, shows the truth about prenatal development that Planned Parenthood tries to hide.

At six to eight weeks after fertilization, a preborn child has recordable brain waves, a beating heart, arms, legs, fingers, and toes. She can bring her hands together and can hiccup by seven and a half weeks. She is not “fetal matter.” She is a human being, who has been rapidly developing for weeks, even if her mother didn’t yet know she existed.

Development at 10 weeks

On September 8, 2009, as part of the same undercover investigation, Live Action investigators went to a Planned Parenthood in Appleton, Wisconsin. There, the undercover journalist was told that she was about 10 weeks along but that her baby only had “heart tones” and would not have a heartbeat until about 17 or 18 weeks.

“Heart tones is cardiac activity, but it is not a beat on your own — that you would survive outside the uterus,” said Planned Parenthood.

Likewise, when Live Action went into a Planned Parenthood in Indianapolis, Indiana, on September 10, 2009, Planned Parenthood staff at this location told the undercover journalist that the heartbeat is detectable around the “eight or the ninth week,” when the heartbeat begins beating around 22 days post-fertilization and becomes detectable by six weeks.

READ: ‘Baby Olivia’ provides an incredible look at the first trimester of human development

That tiny heart sustains the child’s life inside the womb while the body continues to develop. If that heartbeat stops, the baby dies. But Planned Parenthood has never wanted women to know this information, choosing its wording carefully.


When is a baby a “baby”?

“A fetus is what’s in the uterus right now,” said the Planned Parenthood Milwaukee staff. “That is not a baby. A baby is what’s born at 40 weeks.” She continues by claiming that the baby doesn’t become a baby until birth.

At the Indianapolis location, the Planned Parenthood staff made a similar remark, claiming, “It’s not a baby, it’s a fetus… not like a person.”

In reality, “baby” is nothing more than a term, like “toddler,” “teenager, “and “adult.” “Baby” is not a synonym of “human being,” but a label describing a developmental stage of a human being. And “person” is a legal term that various human beings have been stripped of over the course of history. Planned Parenthood is simply using semantics to convince women that their preborn children aren’t actually children.

Telling a woman she is aborting a human being with a beating heart isn’t likely to sell abortion, but telling her she’s only aborting “tissue” is. According to its own 2019-2020 annual report, Planned Parenthood now commits 41% of the abortions in the U.S. — it is America’s number one abortion corporation. By its own count, 354,871 preborn children were killed by Planned Parenthood in that year, and each year the number increases.

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