Pro-abortion author Carole Joffe spent time observing the workings at an abortion facility and interviewed abortion industry workers. She wrote of the training abortion workers received about how to refer to the preborn baby:
[A] good deal of time was devoted to “word sensitization” – the need to choose one’s words with extraordinary care when discussing the abortion procedure with clients.… The most interesting problem was how to refer to the product of the abortion. Although it was acknowledged that many clients would refer to this as the “baby,” or the “pregnancy,” new counselors were, not surprisingly, urged not to use these charged terms, but instead to use the more neutral, though admittedly more awkward, “product of conception” or “tissue.”(1)
Abortion facilities usually avoid the use of the term “baby” unless a woman insists on using it. Emphasizing the humanity of the child doesn’t sell abortions.
One abortion doula, who comforts women as they kill their babies, said:
I’ve been taught to follow the patient’s lead. If she calls it her baby, then I do too. But with the next patient, just as far along, it’s fetal tissue, it’s the products of conception. One stumbles over her words, says “all the stuff inside,” and that feels right, too.
Of course, the nature of a preborn baby doesn’t change based on the woman’s perception of him or her.
Some abortion workers always dehumanize the preborn child. Abortion facility worker Sallie Tisdale said, “[I] describe the procedure to come, using care with my language. I don’t say “pain” any more than I would say “baby.”(2)
Women who now regret their abortions recall this dehumanization.
Linda Keener Thomas was 20 weeks along and recalled what the abortion worker told her:
Abortion seemed to be my only choice. It would solve everything. So I called a clinic for information and asked the lady, “Is it a baby?”
“No, honey, it’s just tissue. After all, you want to finish school, don’t you?”
I clung to that statement like a drowning person clutching a life preserver, repeating it over and over until I almost believed it. But deep in my heart I knew the truth that it was a baby, my baby.(3)
In an amicus brief submitted for the Supreme Court for the case Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, another woman said, “I was told my baby ‘was just tissue the size of a peanut.’ It was easy and slight pain like menstrual cramping. No, I had no idea I would be depressed for six years.”
A post-abortive woman named Margaret recalled:
[I] was told, “You are in an unsupported situation and we can help you because you can have an abortion.”
Seeking reassurance, I asked “It’s not a baby, is it?”
“No,” they replied. “It’s just a blob of cells at the moment and the sooner it’s done the better.”
From this moment on, my denial hardened. It couldn’t be a baby, and I was doing the best thing possible for everyone concerned.(4)
preborn child at 16 weeksVictoria from Pennsylvania told the harrowing story of her third abortion. Her Planned Parenthood counselor told her her child was a “blob of tissue,” even though she was four months along:
My last abortion was done at four months. I felt there was no way out, I felt trapped. I was dropped off at Planned Parenthood, and went in alone, and petrified.
At that abortion mill, I was told that “it’s the best thing to do, you won’t feel anything” and it’s only “a blob of tissue.” The nurse escorted me to the “procedure room.” The room was cold, with a distinct smell. While waiting for the pain meds to kick in, I saw in the corner a large canister with a long tube and attached on the end was a very sharp object. Then I heard the sucking machine. The doctor took that tube with the sharp object attached and shoved it up inside of me with such force that I couldn’t breathe. The pain medicine never kicked in. I was crying, telling them the pain medicine isn’t helping. I felt everything. I begged the nurse to help me, to stop. The pain was unbelievable! No one listened. They just continued to suck my baby through that tube into pieces.(5)
Workers at abortion facilities routinely lie about fetal development and encourage women to think of their babies as just “tissue” or cells. They do this because many women would not have abortions if they knew the truth about fetal development.
Carole Joffe The Regulation of Sexuality: Experiences of Family-Planning Workers (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986)94
Wendy Williams, Ann Caldwell Empty Arms: More Than 60 Life-Giving Stories of Hope from the Devastation of Abortion (Chattanooga, Tennessee: Living Ink Books, 2005) 143
Sallie Tisdale “We Do Abortions Here” Harpers Magazine October 1987
Melanie Symonds, Phyllis Bowman And Still They Weep: Personal Stories of Abortion(The SPUC Educational Research Trust, 1996) 54
Janet Morana Shockwaves: Abortions Wider Circle of Victims (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Corp., 2017) 21 – 22
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