Abortion advocates frequently claim that the majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade, and want abortion to remain legal and unrestricted, even through all nine months of pregnancy. But many people also are not familiar with what an abortion actually entails. When they see it for the first time, what happens?
One woman was interviewed on the street about her views on abortion. “I personally wouldn’t do it, but I wouldn’t restrict anyone,” she said, smiling. “I wouldn’t tell anyone that they couldn’t do it.” She was then shown a video of a first-trimester surgical abortion, known as an aspiration or D&C (dilation and curettage) abortion. The video, a 2D animation of the procedure narrated by former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino, shows how the abortionist forcibly dilates the woman’s cervix, and then uses a suction catheter, 10-20 times stronger than a household vacuum, to suck the child from her mother’s womb. He then uses a curette to scrape the lining of the uterus to ensure nothing is left behind.
After seeing the video, the woman found it difficult to explain what she just saw, saying that it made her sad. “I’m about to cry!” she said, and then repeated again, “I’m about to cry!” She became emotional, and then explained that she was four months pregnant, and began crying. “I don’t want to take anyone’s rights away and say, like, ‘oh, like, you can’t have an abortion,'” she said. “I don’t know, I guess I’m in the middle, like pro-choice and pro-life.”
She then agreed that she learned more about the procedure than she knew before. “I didn’t know that’s how, like — that was scary to me, like, I didn’t know that’s how it went down.”
In a second video, another woman said that for her, abortion was a tricky subject, and that it was personal. “I think it depends on, you know, the situation,” she said, adding that she was “pro-choice, for sure.” When asked about limitations on abortion throughout pregnancy, she was unsure. “I know with science, you know, they kind of figured out, like, if the baby can — or the fetus — can feel anything, so I think as long as there’s no suffering on either part, then I think it should be fine,” she said, and explained that it was her role as a mother that led her to support abortion. “I think anyone who’s not ready, or maybe there are certain circumstances, maybe rape or incest, you know, and stuff like that, and having to be able to carry that,” she said, adding, “and then I just think that there’s so many people that are having children that necessarily, aren’t in the right place or mentally, you know — or emotionally stable, so that’s what I’m like, you know, you should be able to choose if you want to have a baby, you know, and take that route, because it’s a very serious thing.”
She was then shown a video, again with 2D graphics narrated by Dr. Levatino, explaining a D&E, or dilation and evacuation, procedure. This is the most common abortion procedure committed in the second trimester, and takes place over the course of several days, culminating in the abortionist ripping the baby apart limb by limb.
After seeing the video, the woman appeared shaken. “I didn’t realize the fetus would be so big,” she said. “Just kind of seeing it being, like, ripped apart, and piece by piece, it just… it’s kind of unsettling a little bit. Um, I didn’t — yeah, like I said, I was shocked by how big it was, and I thought it would be way smaller.”
She then reaffirmed that she remains pro-choice, but admitted that she also now supported abortion being limited to the first trimester, a position that the overwhelming majority of Americans share. “Maybe like Plan B is different, or a few weeks before they started developing,” she said about when she thought abortion should remain legal. She was then shown photos of fetal development in the first trimester, and asked to pinpoint where she thought the cutoff should be. She originally picked week 10, saying, “I could see the fingers, and the brain starting to develop, so I don’t know, I’m kind of even thinking like week 6, maybe, you know, just cause it’s like, you’re — between week 6 and week 7, cause I feel like between 8 and 12, you can see that more, and it’s like, I don’t know, that’s more like, ugh!”
Finally, she agreed that the videos had changed her mind, and that she now believed there needed to be a cutoff point at when abortion should not be allowed. Many people, like this woman, are not aware of what the reality of abortion truly is — and seeing that reality can be incredibly eye-opening.
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