TRIGGER WARNING: This article or section, or pages it links to, contain information about abortion, sexual assault and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors, also some of the language is a lot stronger than normally presented, It also contains images that Abort67 claim are of Aborted Foetus, Ergo NSFW[note Not Safe For Work].

This Post has taken me a while to write, and I hope I do not present any false or inaccurate information here; please contact me if you think I have failed in this regard, or comment at the bottom of the post.

If you know of any further resources I should Cite or Link to please also post these at the bottom; also if you disagree with my position; the comments section is available for your feedback.

Delkaetre’s Rant

I follow a number of London Goth’s including Delkaetre, recently she wrote this long ranty post:

Oh do fuck off, you anti-choice douchewranglers. And you, the journalist – have the decency to call lies out as such, instead of using “claim” for both hateful fictions and actual fact. The claims being made by Abort 67 are not merely things that “BPAS [British Pregnancy Advisory Service] claim are misleading information”, they are outright lies. BPAS is disputing A67’s claims, because those claims are lies. There is a big fat difference between a claim and a statement of fact. I can claim that the sky is filled with pink unicorns, but it is a fact that the sky is not filled with those things. So, Abort 67, here are reasons why you are telling lies to vulnerable women:

  • There is no link between abortion and breast cancer. The initial claims actually relate to the fact that a pregnancy carried all the way through appears to lower the chance of breast cancer
    • aborting it [the foetus] does not raise the risk any more than being abstinent or using contraception.
  • There is greater danger to the mother with birth than with abortion, not the other way round as Abort 67 claim. Birth is far more dangerous to any woman than abortion ever will be, with a much greater range of potentially lethal medical mishaps and life-threatening conditions attached to it.
  • There is no mental health link. No suicidal tendencies linked to abortion. The “study” that made this claim used total lifetime incidences of mental health problems, including those that existed prior to the pregnancy and those with no link to the abortion, and this “study” has been pretty thoroughly debunked by anyone who’s actually read it. In contrast, it *has* been shown that women who are already suffering some mental health issues who give birth and then give the baby away have greater issues directly stemming from the pregnancy than those who have abortions. If you don’t want the baby, being forced to carry it and then hand it over to a stranger will make your problems worse, not better.
  • The pictures on the signs used by the aforementioned cretinous slime-spewers are almost exclusively of late-term (after 24 weeks) abortions, which are very uncommon and only allowed for serious medical reasons such as the fetus not being able to survive outside the womb anyway, or fetus killing the mother. Those pictures are not pictures of early and mid-term abortions, which look like a bad period at best. The women who are going in without a really quite obvious third trimester pregnancy are not going to have the Bits Of Baby special, they are going to have a very heavy period with possible chunks.
  • And no, an early-term abortion is not killing a human. It is killing cells which contain human DNA and which will eventually develop into more complex human tissue if nothing goes wrong at any point, but which at that early stage is about as human as a cancerous tumor. Sure, it contains your DNA and is being made and fed by your body and even starting to develop bone mass and blood vessels – well, so’s the fetus.

Now stop making shit up, you gibbering shitwaffles. (more creative swearing than usual per people trying to take away my actual sodding right to my personal bloody autonomy and medical cocking safety)

Rosie Swash’s Abortion Protest Video

After reading Del’s post I went and watched Rosie Swash’s Abortion Protest Video[note Rosie Swash’s Abortion Protest Video on The Guardian] shows Hundreds of pro-choice and anti-abortion activists conducting rival protests in London’s Bedford Square (30/03/2012). The pro-life/anti-abortion group are 40 Days For Life, but like Abort 67, they are a crazy right wing group (oh and Catholic). Catherine who is an anti-abortion protestor sets the argument level low by almost instantly invoking Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies[note Wikipedia – Godwin’s Rule], because she believes that abortion is the killing of Children, and then comparing that to Hitler’s Germany;

Also on the video Rosie went to the bpas’ clinic in Brighton where 40 Days for Life are protesting outside. Secret filming shows the protesters asking Rosie why she is going to the clinic, bpas have writen a feedback form for women to fill in if they chose:

As you will have seen there is currently a demonstration outside by protestors who do not support your right to consider an abortion. Protestors such as those outside the clinic today are legal and unfortunately we are unable to prevent them, however bpas is committed to doing everything we can to ensure that teh protestors do not cause you undue stress or prevent you from accessing our services.

If there is anything that the protesters said or did which you would like to tell us about please use the box below to leave your comments/ If you feel that the protestors have harrassed or intimidated you today and you wish to take further action you can contact the local police on 0845 60 70 999. If you would like to talk to someone about your experance, and perhaps allow your story to be used by bpas whan campaining on this issue, please call Abigail Fitzgibbon on 020 7612 0224 or email [email protected]

responses include:

The demonstrators approached me blocking my access. I told them in no unceertian terms not to speak to me. They [illegable]. I found it extremely stressful adn upsetting. This is not a desion taken lightly and I do not feel I need to be harrassed.

and

I feel intimidated by being fillmed I was raped and have PTSD. I felt calm coming here and now I can’t breath and feel panicy and judged last thing I needed.

This is a description of a 40 Days for life protest According to British Medical Journal’s  Blog[note British Medical Journal’s  Blog – Plastic-fetuses, Monks and Cake]:

Some campaigners pray aloud, while others hand out leaflets and “counsel” women going inside. Lorenzo, speaking on behalf of campaign organisers in London, stated the campaign was not a protest but a peaceful vigil praying for lives that would be lost. He said: “We’re here to show women there are other choices and other options.”

These other options as detailed on their leaflets, include promises of help with accommodation, help arranging financial assistance, and help with baby sitting. They also say they can “show how you can continue studies or your job.”[note Pregnant? Worried? We’ll help. Leaflet distributed by 40 Days for Life London.]

The protesters from 40 Days for Life As well as handing out leaflets offering help, the campaigners also seem to be happy using emotional manipulation; praying vocally for the fetuses’ souls, the placing of plastic fetuses on the steps to the clinic, and bringing their own children to play in full view of the clinics door.

“As at least one in three women in the UK can expect to have an abortion, it is not surprising that support for legal abortion remains quite strong – despite shrill campaigns by individuals who would like to see tighter laws,” said Bpas chief executive Ann Furedi.

She also described abortion as “a necessary back-up to birth control” for family planning, saying: “No woman ever wants to need to have an abortion, but those who do not want it to be legal are in a minority.”[note Politics.co.uk – Abortion Laws are Acane]

My understanding of the 1967 Act, is that it requires two registered medical practitioners to sign a form that states that the continuation of the pregnancy would “injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman”. I can not think of another surgical that is so difficult to access (perhaps with the exception of euthanasia).

We have lived in a status quo which the pro-choice lobby tolerated so as not to rock the boat. The driving political pressure was towards limiting abortion – cutting down the time limit or enforcing new counselling on women from suspect groups. Women’s rights groups have ended up defending a system which is manifestly unacceptable. Abortion should not be legal to protect a woman’s mental health. It should be legal because a woman – not the state and certainly not deranged religious crusaders – owns her body.[note Polotics.co.uk – Anti-abortion extremists are in the heart of Government]

The history of abortion is not very progressive; Access to abortion was heavily restricted in the UK.  The Offences Against The Person Act 1861[Note The Offences Against The Person Act 1861] made abortion completely illegal.  It was the acquittal of Dr Aleck Bourne by the  Central Criminal Court in July 1938. Dr Bourne had carried out an abortion on a 14-year-old sexually assaulted by five off-duty British officers in the Royal Horse Guards. The Young lady had first asked at St. Thomas’ Hospital however she was turned away on the grounds that she might be “carrying a future prime minister”. Dr Bournes actions were defended by Lancet as:

an example of disinterested conduct in consonance with the highest traditions of the profession.

Due to Dr Bourne’s actions there was an limited increase in the  legal toleration of abortion, the next change was that in 1967, the Abortion Act was passed, opening the way to a much more liberal regime. Within five years the annual number of abortions had reached almost 160,000. It is worth noting, that Dr Bourne was never in favour of “the right to choose” and later became a determined opponent of abortion:

Those who plead for an extensive relaxation of the law [against abortion] have no idea of the very many cases where a woman who, during the first three months, makes a most impassioned appeal for her pregnancy to be ‘finished,’ later, when the baby is born, is thankful indeed that it was not killed while still an embryo. During my long years in practice I have had many a letter of the deepest gratitude for refusing to accede to an early appeal.

Abort 67

I wondered who Abort 67 were, after a quick look at their website[note Abort67.co.uk] I found this passage:

Abort67 is the name given to the public education project that seeks to change the way we think about abortion. In 1967 the Abortion Act [Abortion Act 1967] was passed granting legal abortions to all women. We would like to see the law reversed giving full protection to the unborn. The best way to achieve this goal of changing public policy is to first change public opinion. Abort67 is a project of Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform UK.  Abort67 is a non-religious organisation though many of our supporters and volunteers belong to various faith groups.  Abortion is not just a “religious” issue it is a matter of human rights that all should be concerned about.

oh great a secular group of right wing nutters :S

Also on Abort 67’s Site I found a number of photos of “aborted foetus”, I shall compare them against images form The Boots MD site[note Boots MD – Slideshow Foetal Development], Other information[note Baby Centre. – Average Fetal Length & Weight chart][note Baby Centre – Baby Size].

Over View

Human Carnegie stage 1-23This image was found on Google Image Search; not sure of original source.

Conception

Sperm Fertilizing Egg

The length of a pregnancy is usually measured by the number of days that have passed since the first day of the woman’s last menstrual period (abbreviated to LMP).

LMP day Zero is considered to to be the first day of the first trimester, and the end is the last day of the 13th week thereafter[note The bump – How long is each Trimester].

Post Coital

After Sex, but if they have not used contraceptives (or if they have failed) a woman can use a “morning-after pill”, howver the term is actually misleading.

the traditional type of tablet works for up to 72 hours (three days) after sex – not just the morning after. And the newer version, introduced in 2010, should work for up to FIVE days after intercourse.

But the earlier you take it, the better: the morning-after pill works best if taken within 12 hours of unprotected sex.

Medical professionals don’t use the term morning after pill. They call it the post-coital pill (PCP) or – in Britain – the emergency contraceptive (EC)[note Net Doctor – Morning After Pill] they are drugs intended to disrupt ovulation or fertilization[note Wikipedia – Emergency Contraception].

Some Pro Life campaigners don’t agree with the use of PCP or EC as they feel they are still preventing a human life.

4 Weeks

4 Week Foetus - ultrasound

About the size of a poppy seed.

5 Weeks

About the size of a sesame seed, looking more like a tiny tadpole than a human.

6 Weeks

About as long as a lentil.

7 Weeks

Having doubled in size since last week, is about as big as a blueberry.

8 Weeks

8 Week Foetus

At this point the foetus is about 16mm long and weighs 1 gram, now comparable to the size of a kidney bean.

This is the point Abort 67 Give us the first images:

The smallest UK ‘Bronze’ coin is a Penny, which has a Diameter of 20mm; looking at the images that Boots gave me; and the Abort 67 photos; and comparing them against a penny on my desk, I would have to come to the conclusion that these photos are not as they claim a foetus at 8 weeks (for reference a sharpened pencil is ~15 mm from point to paint).

9 Weeks

At this point the foetus is about 23mm long and weighs 2 gram, now about the size of a grape.

Up until this point a medical abortion can be carried out. A medical abortion is a type of non-surgical abortion in which  pharmaceutical drugs are used to induce abortion. An oral preparation for medical abortion is commonly referred to as an abortion pill[note Wikipedia – Medical abortion][note Pro Choice.org – Medical Abortion][note UK Health Centre – Abortion Stage 1].

The ‘Gold’ coin used above is 22mm in diamiter; just slightly bigger than a penny; looking at the images that Boots gave me for 12 weeks; and the sizes from Baby Centre and the Chart at the top and comparing them against the Abort 67 photos; I would have to come to the conclusion that these photos are not as they claim a foetus at 9 weeks.

10 Weeks

Just over 3cm long, or about the size of a kumquat, 4 grams.

Again I really don’t trust Abort 67’s scale, or the truth in the dating of these photos; the tweezers I use on a day to day bases are ~150 mm long, so again I don’t trust Abort 67 to be presenting images against the right week.

11 Week

4.1 cm long, or about the size of a Fig, and 7 grams.

The First photo looks like it could be about the right size; and this is the first one where I agree that the second images scale makes sense.

12 weeks

12 Week Foetus

5.4 cm long, about lime sized, and 14 grams.

14 Weeks

First Day of Second Trimester, considered to run till week 27.

15 Weeks

The method used in pregnancies up to 15 weeks is the Vacuum Aspiration or Suction Method.  This can be used if you are unable to take the abortion pill or if you are further on in your pregnancy.  You can only have this treatment up to 15 weeks into your pregnancy.

This treatment is carried out by using gentle suction to remove the foetus from the womb.  It doesn’t take long – around five to 10 minutes.  You can choose whether to have no anaesthetic, a local anaesthetic or a general anaesthetic.[note UK Health Centre – Abortion Stage 2]

16 Weeks

11.6 cm, about the size of an Avocado, and 100 grams.

19 Weeks

There are two procedures that can be used at 15, 16, 17, 18 & 19 weeks of your pregnancy.  The first is called a Late Medical Abortion and can be used from 13 weeks into your pregnancy.  The second is called Surgical Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) and is available from 15 weeks into your pregnancy.[note UK Health Centre – Abortion Stage 3]

20 Weeks

20 Week Foetus - ultrasound20 week fetus

About the size of a Banana at 16.4 cm and 300 grams.

24 Weeks

24 Week Foetus - Ultrasound

At this point the UK law states that a Surgical Abortion for non-medical reasons can no longer occur, however abortions for medical reasons can still be carried out up until Full Term.

about the size of an Ear of Corn at 30 cm and weighing in at 600 grams.

There are Two methords for carrying out Late Stage abortions; Surgical Two-stage Abortion, and Medically Induced Abortion[note UK Health Centre – Abortion Stage 4]

Surgical Two-stage Abortion

During the first stage of the treatment your cervix, the entrance to your womb is softened and opened or dilated.  This can take a few hours to take effect.  You may or may not be offered an anaesthetic at this stage of the procedure.  The heartbeat of the foetus is then stopped.

The second stage is carried out under general anaesthetic.  The doctor will use forceps and a suction tube to remove the foetus from your womb.  This is the same method as used in the Surgical Dilation and Evacuation procedure.

Medically Induced Abortion

Prostaglandin is used but, unlike earlier methods where it is used in tablet form, this time it is injected into your womb.  This causes your womb to contract, a bit like it would if you were in labour at the end of a pregnancy.  These contractions can last between six and 12 hours.

You will be awake throughout this process but you can opt to take medicines to help you manage the pain.

After this treatment you will have a general anaesthetic so your womb can be completely emptied using the Surgical Dilation and Evacuation Method.

I cant really guess how far off date these images are; but it looks like they are about right.

28 Weeks

28 Week Foetus

36 Weeks

36 Week Foetus

New born

Newborn

Thoughts

I can’t disagree that the photos are not possibly of human foetus, but I feel that the week numbers are wrong, and that the images have been staged to make the most impact possible.

40 Days for Life

From Wikipedia [note Wikipedia – 40 Days for Life]

40 Days for Life is a pro-life campaign that was begun in 2004 by a local group in Bryan-College Station, Texas, led by David Bereit. The campaign is active in the fall and spring of each year, though local campaigns may continue it year-round. The fall 2010 campaign launched in 238 locations around the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, England, Northern Ireland, and Denmark.

2011 campaign

The spring 2011 campaign ran from March 9 to April 17, 2011. 40 Days for Life, according to their definition of embryos and fetuses as babies, says that they are aware of “483 babies who have been saved from abortion” as a result of the campaign. [note 40 Days for Life Campaign Ends, 483 Babies Saved From Abortion]

As for this lot, they are a right wing bunch of Christian nutters, who seem to be importing (or exporting) the American Conservative right wing politics to the rest of the world.

Gah

While looking for more details on statistics, and resources to compile this post; I came across AbortionFacts, that is a right wing Pro Life site set up to misinform, and misrepresent the facts.

All in

I feel that the Right Wing, Religious and secular “Pro-Life” are slowly trying to erode the rights that were brought in in the Abortion Act 1967, and will slowly try to lobby government, and shame, pressure, emotionality blackmail women, until abortion is back to being illegal, regardless of reason for the woman requesting one.

I believe that although Rosie Swash’s Video had good intentions; she failed to research, and should have called out the inaccurate lies by the pro lifers for what they are; rather than giving them equal footing to facts.

I believe that Religion has no place in Medical Ethics, or Morality; I have no respect for people who try to reference passages out of a book (in this case; the bible) that is in no way applicable to wider society; outside the members of their particular cult.

A Large number of people who are against Abortion are also against Same Sex relationships, Sex out side marriage, and contraceptives. they can’t have everything! they are not representative; just vocal.

If abortion becomes Illegal; women will die; back street abortions will happen, will go wrong, and women will die.

Further Reading