Janet from Rhode Island was very early in her pregnancy when she went to Planned Parenthood for advice on what to do. In a scenario which is familiar to any pro-lifer who has done research on Planned Parenthood, she was offered offered “counseling” that was biased towards abortion.
Janet’s testimony, along with those from many other women, is listed at Silent No More in a document containing the stories of women who had bad experiences with Planned Parenthood. All the women who told their stories in the document now support cutting government funding for Planned Parenthood.
I was 4 weeks pregnant, and went to Planned Parenthood for advice, because I didn’t really want an abortion, since my best friend had had a second trimester abortion at Planned Parenthood, and I watched her sob inconsolably afterward, saying “I saw the (dead) baby.” No alternative was given except an appointment for an abortion, to “terminate a pregnancy,” saying my fetus was just tissue.
Although a preborn baby at four weeks has a lot of developing yet to do, he or she (sex is determined at conception) is far from “just tissue.” He or she has a beating heart that is pumping blood through a rapidly growing circulatory system. While she has not yet taken on the outward appearance of a baby, her arms and legs have already begun to develop. According to the Endowment for Human Development, a site which has detailed information about fetal development and which is not directly affiliated with the pro-life movement:
By 3 weeks the brain is dividing into 3 primary sections called the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain.
Development of the respiratory and digestive systems is also underway.
To characterize such a complex growing organism as mere “tissue” is deeply misleading. Janet goes on to describe the abortion itself:
On the day itself, I was led downstairs to a holding room like a lamb to a slaughter, and I remember being strapped to the abortion table and my doctor looking into my eyes. I hoped he might ask me if this was what I really wanted to do, but it was over before I got the chance…
Janet had second thoughts about her abortion but did not get a chance to ask the doctor to stop. Abortion clinics often push women through a system akin to well-oiled machinery. These clinics rush women through their abortions one after another in order to get them in and out of surgery quickly. In fact, one survey found that 81% of postabortion women felt rushed through their abortions. (After all, the more women the clinic can abort each day, the more money they can make.) Women coming in for an abortion may be scared and uncertain, but once the momentum of the process takes over, it can be hard for them to stop it.
The fact that Janet was actually strapped to the abortion table no doubt added to her sense of helplessness. Being strapped down and overpowered no doubt added to the sense of victimization and loss of control which is inherent in an abortion procedure, which is always invasive and violent.
Janet describes her pain after the abortion that continues to this day:
… 37 years later I am still emotionally paralyzed and overwhelmed with grief over having lost the only child I would ever have.
All too often, abortion leads to a lifetime of regret. Studies have shown that women who have abortions have higher rates of suicide, depression, and psychiatric hospitalizations. Thousands of women have shared first hand stories of the grief, guilt, and trauma that followed their abortions.
Abortion damages women, and all too often women considering abortion are not given fair and accurate counseling beforehand. Pro-choice groups, including Planned Parenthood, continue to fight against laws that compel clinics to give accurate information about abortion’s risks and about fetal development. Although this information is intended to help women make an informed choice, pro-“choice” groups oppose giving it. For example, the Planned Parenthood website says:
Some policies require physicians to force a woman to view the ultrasound, and deliver politically motivated statements to the woman, even if she declines to view or listen to them.
What they are not saying, of course, is that the “politically motivated statements” consist of verified factual information about abortion’s physical and emotional risks as well as information about the baby that an abortion will destroy.
Also, Planned Parenthood has a history of fighting informed consent laws even when those laws say that hearing the information and viewing the ultrasound are optional.
Too often, the abortion industry keeps women in the dark about the reality of abortion and the pain they may feel afterwards.
Janet’s story of heartbreak is, sadly, only one of many.