The fundamental, uniting principle of the pro-life movement is that all human life is precious and invaluable. It is the belief in the intrinsic equality of human rights for all human beings regardless of age, size, development, location, ethnicity, religion or worldview. It is an alliance against what abortion really is: the taking of innocent life. To be pro-life is to be genuinely-human-rights. It may seem like an oversimplification to say that supporters of any cause should be fully informed and educated on the issues they support. That’s a given, right? Surprisingly though, several pro-choice supporters change their position after seeing the process of abortion demonstrated via video.
Where they once passionately defended a woman’s right to choose, they now passionately defend a preborn baby’s right to live. Clearly, they did not comprehend the brevity of abortion prior to viewing the videos. They realize they are not as adequately educated on the procedures, methods and general entailments of abortion as they thought. To be "pro-choice" is to condone the taking of innocent life. To fittingly refute this, a reasonable person should watch, via video, the process by which an abortion procedure is performed and witness the abortion procedure process for themselves.
In a Live Action video, “Watch Their Minds Change On Abortion,” Live Action, a pro-life media outlet founded by its President Lila Rose, asked women to share their positions on abortion. Following their responses Live Action then asked the same women to watch a video of an abortion procedure. In the video the procedure is described by former abortionist Dr. Levatino. The women change their positions after seeing the truth about what abortion does to the unborn baby.
“What are your thoughts about abortion?”, the interviewer asks.
The first woman responds,
“I think that women should have the right to choose what they do with their bodies and anything beyond that is restricting, is oppressive - to have someone think that they can dictate what a species or woman can do in a certain situation. Like, if someone gets raped... and they end up pregnant, they should have the right to terminate that pregnancy because it wasn’t voluntary. So, to take away those types of rights and to overlook those types of situations, it’s like, what kind of world are we living in?”
The second woman responds,
“I have to second that 110%. I think that as women, we shouldn’t be having any sort of person tell us what...we cannot do with our own bodies because it is our bodies.”
The interviewer then asks,
“And would you support any restrictions on abortion, let’s say first, second or third trimester?”
“That makes sense.”
The first woman continues,
“If a person decides after a certain amount of time that they want to have an abortion and if the fetus is alive and kicking and breathing and moving, then, you know, there should be limits on that. Yeah. Definitely.”
The second woman adds,
“I would say that there definitely has to be a time frame when it would be okay -um -I’m not as knowledgeable as to where...when their fingers and stuff like that start forming but um, I think the earliest indication of when someone is pregnant...and when they decide they’re not ready, that should be the time frame of when they should do it… I don’t think they should do it like six months down the line or anything like that because there are premature babies that are born and can live a full life from that time frame, so I don’t think that’s fair.”
The two women then watch a video published by Live Action entitled, “1st Trimester D&C.” The video shows an animated demonstration of a dilation and curettage abortion performed on a baby within the first trimester.
After the women watch the video the interviewer asks,
“In one word can you describe your thoughts on what you saw?”
“Now can you elaborate?” asks the interviewer.
“Um, It’s just like, I have a kid so watching that like, even though it was animated, it’s just the idea of it… I already knew, it made me uncomfortable.”
The second woman:
“Well, I mean, I guess to elaborate on it, we all have life and just to see that being formed, I mean, that being done to a form of life or potential life, is disturbing so it is a little shocking and barbaric.”
“If you don’t want to keep the child, follow through with the pregnancy and let the child live or… adoption is an option… It’s tough,”
finished the first woman.
The interviewer then addresses the first woman, “And you mentioned that you also are a Mom.”
“Yeah I had a choice and I chose life. I have a kid. But I mean, people who aren’t ready, I mean you’re never ready… I don’t think that’s what procreation is about, being ready. I think it’s about creating a journey.”
“So I mean, whatever excuses there are… there’s always another way.”
“I think people should be given a choice to do what they want to do, but at the same time, it’s not necessarily a choice I would make, that’s why I haven’t put myself in that position but I’m also not in a place of judgment either,”
chimed the second woman.
Interviewer: “Did you guys learn anything that you didn’t know before about abortion?”
“All those, those tools that he’s sticking and the stuff -yeah, no, that’s about it.”
“Um, well what I said earlier was something about I wasn’t educated enough on the fingers and when things like that are formed, but when they were pulling the baby out, or the fetus got suctioned out, it had its parts and stuff, so now seeing that I do have a different, I think, opinion on how I would go about that. Something I’d have to research further, definitely.”
The interviewer then asks, “Do you think these videos should be shown to people and, if so, to whom?”
“Um, yeah. This should be part of sex-ed. That should be a definite subject that you teach adolescents going into adulthood. That’s something that I didn’t get when I was growing up. I didn’t get that education on the consequences of becoming an adult and being sexually active and if people start talking about it and getting the information out it’ll help with the situation that’s going on now because, you know, it starts -starts here,”
the first woman says, pointing to her mind.
“Definitely all age groups should be addressed [with] this topic because it’s something that, if you are sexually active, it’s something that can happen and it’s part of the consequences so, I think… there are ads for commercials on condoms and birth control and things of that nature. I think there should also be some sort of way to communicate to the general public about this just so it’s something that isn’t as uncommon to discuss because when you guys first approached me there was that moment where I was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to talk about that touchy subject’,
“but it shouldn’t be something that’s touchy and I’m happy that we did stop to talk because now it let me think about things differently than from what I was thinking about just initially even before this interview.”
The video then ends with a link to the videos that LiveAction says are “changing pro-choice minds.” The link is to a series of videos that demonstrate the procedures and methods of each different type of abortion. It is a project initiated by LiveAction.
Both women had profound reactions. Once they were confronted with the reality of first trimester Dilation and Curettage abortion and how it dismembers tiny humans, they changed their stances immediately. While both still acknowledged the controversy surrounding the issue of abortion, they were unable to deny the barbaric nature of the abortion procedure and the agonizing cruelty it imposes onto the preborn baby. They became less emphatic about a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body once they were faced with what abortion does to the preborn baby’s body: complete dismemberment. Once they were fully informed they were then able to see that abortion brutally ends lives.
Abortion Ends a Life
It has been argued that most medical procedures are uncomfortable to watch and, as the argument goes, because a fetus is nothing more than an organic compound, an abortion procedure is just another medical procedure; abortion procedures should therefore be no more or less relevant to pro-abortion supporters than an appendectomy or tonsillectomy. If it were true that a fetus is just another bodily organ this would be a sound assertion. Of course it’s not true; A preborn baby is alive and wholly human, as we’ll soon substantiate. Furthermore, just because a video may make us uncomfortable, that is not a valid reason to evade the issue it speaks to altogether, or to deny its validity and benefit as a resource.
Mike Winger is a pro-life and Christian apologist. In his video, “Why Every Pro-Choice Argument Fails,” Mr. Winger lends succinct plausibility to the humanity of the preborn baby.
“What is the unborn?”, Winger asks. He then turns to the professional opinion of embryologists, citing an embryology textbook entitled, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, by Keith L. Moore & T.V.N. Persaud. He quotes,
“A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm...unites with a female gamete or oocyte… to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.”
“By the way, a zygote is the… first stage in human development,” shares Winger, “Just like an infant refers to a certain age, toddler refers to a certain age, zygote refers to a certain age and that age is like day one.”
“T.W. Sadler’s Langman’s Embryology states: ‘The development of a human begins with fertilization, a process by which the spermatozoon from the male and the oocyte from the female unite to give rise to a new organism, the zygote.”
“The zygote is an independent, new organism. That’s what it is.” says Winger. He continues quoting text,
“Embryologists Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Muller write the following, 'Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed'."
Winger adds, “The science of embryology is saying that there’s something that happens… when [the sperm and egg of human beings] unite, they form a distinct, whole, living human being.”
Is a preborn baby nothing more than a clump of cells? Organic matter? The truth is that all living beings are formed of organic matter; yet they are not solely organic matter. “Clumps of cells” form the physical being of all humanity; a preborn baby, alongside all human beings, is formed from a clumps of cells. Cells are alive. Cells are living organisms. A fetus is formed from living organisms, therefore a fetus is alive. A preborn baby is a living organism with its own distinct DNA. Its chromosomes are separate from those of the mother’s chromosomes. A preborn baby is alive, with his or her own central nervous system. Therefore, a preborn baby is just as alive as a baby post-birth, just as alive as a toddler, as a child, as an adolescent and as an adult. Is a sentient, adult human being not also formed from a clump of cells? Why is one formed organic compound entitled to human rights while the other is not?
Winger then objectively references pro-choice Philosopher David Boonin. In his book, A Defense of Abortion, Boonin states,
“that we are identical to the embryos and fetuses we once were. He writes, ‘A human fetus, after all, is simply a human being at a very early stage in his or her development.”
Winger adds, “That’s all they [zygotes] are. They’re just a human being at an early stage of development.”
Winger then references Scott Klusendorf of the the Pro Life Training Institute. Winger:
“Scott Klusendorf likes to ask, ‘Did you evolve from an embryo?’...You may think to yourself, ‘Well, maybe I did evolve from an embryo.’ No, actually. The answer’s no. You didn’t evolve from an embryo. You didn’t come from an embryo. You once were an embryo. Just like you once were a teenager, or you once were a toddler, or you once were an infant. You once were an embryo. You once were a zygote. That’s the nature of what is going on inside of the human body when a woman gets pregnant; There is suddenly a new human body developing inside of her but it’s [also] human.”
Winger then posits that the preborn has three qualities that all human beings possess. Those three shared qualities is that they are, “Living, human and whole. The zygote or embryo is alive. Dead things don’t grow,” says Winger. He continues,
“That’s just the nature of life. Dead things don’t grow. This is a living thing because it’s alive and it is growing. It is developing. It’s in a process of going through stages of life, it’s just at its earliest stage of life.”
Winger then references abortion advocate Ronald Dworkin’s book, Life’s Dominion. Dworkin says, “Abortion deliberately kills a developing embryo and it is a choice for death.” Winger expounds,
“Abortion is killing. There’s a living thing and I’m killing it…Whatever you want to call this thing in the womb, whether you want to call it a zygote or an embryo or a baby, whatever you call it, it’s alive.”
Thus he concludes the first shared quality: A baby developing in the womb is certainly alive.
“It’s not just alive, it’s human. That’s the second quality.” Winger then marvels that there’s even a need to make the case that the preborn person is in fact, human. “It’s not a hamster,” says Winger.
“It’s not a gerbil of some kind. It’s not a monkey. It’s not a squid. This is actually a human...It has human DNA. DNA is the genetic code of life. It’s like the genetic fingerprint and this growing, living thing inside of a woman has its own DNA and its own genetic fingerprint. The DNA does not belong to Mom. It doesn’t belong to Dad. It only belongs to this zygote, this embryo, this living human.”
He then explains that gender and blood type are, “immediately present there in the DNA; In the genetic fingerprint that is in this living human being.”
Winger then references Peter Singer, a Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University. Singer is pro-abortion and pro-infanticide.**
Winger quotes the Princeton Professor,
“It is possible to give ‘human being’ a precise meaning. We can use it as the equivalent to, ‘member of the species Homo Sapiens.’ Whether a being is a member of a given species is something that can be determined scientifically by an examination of the nature of the chromosomes in the cells of living organisms. In this sense there is no doubt that, from the first moments of its existence, an embryo conceived from human sperm and eggs is a human being.”
“If my DNA says I’m human, then my DNA said it when I was a zygote. I’ve always been human… From the beginning of conception of life until death you are always a human being regardless of what stage [of development] you’re in.”
The third quality Singer says the human being, born and preborn, shares is “wholeness.”
“How can it be a whole human being when it's not finished growing yet?” Winger continues,
“Look at a twenty five year old man. This is a whole human being. Yes. But when that twenty five year old man was eight, he was still a whole human being, he just wasn’t finished in his stages of development, right? He was eight years old. He didn’t have a fully developed reproductive system. He didn’t have a fully developed brain… That’s just the nature of what it means to develop but it’s not the nature of what it means to be whole; or complete. An infant is a very small human being who is not completed in development but is complete in structure. This is everything a human is as an infant. It’s one solid unit of human, independent from others, even if it’s dependent upon them; Independent in identity if dependent for the sake of living.”
Winger rightly establishes that abortion is the killing of innocent human life and is therefore morally wrong.
As demonstrated by Winger, an abortion is the intentional killing of the preborn baby who is in fact, wholly alive and human. To say that an abortion is comparable to an appendectomy or tonsillectomy is wrong for obvious reasons. A preborn baby is a distinct, separate, individual human being who is at his or her earliest stage of development in life. An appendix is not going to grow two arms, two legs and its own separate central nervous system. Neither a tonsil nor an appendix have distinct DNA separate from the mother’s DNA. Neither are capable of viability outside of the womb; Not to mention, neither are dissected or ripped apart prior to removal, either. It is concluded then, that removing an organ from the human body is not even slightly comparable to dismembering the human body. Of course not. That is exactly what abortion does. There’s no pretty way to say it. Abortion not only kills, it cruelly and inhumanely butchers and mutilates the tiny, preborn human in the womb with absolutely no anesthetics administered. That is a fact.
Facing the Reality of Abortion
Many women who are encouraged to have abortions are not aware of the facts. These same women live to regret their abortions later in life because they didn’t learn the truth until it was to late. Women deserve to be sufficiently instructed and educated on abortions before they make a decision they may just regret for the rest of their lives. Showing a demonstration video of the process of abortion is the best way to securely educate and prepare her as a patient. Watching a live birth may make a pregnant woman uncomfortable but she also stands to gain new understanding and knowledge that can prepare her for her own labor and delivery in the future. Watching an open heart surgical procedure may make a new medical student uncomfortable, but ultimately that student stands to gain the medical education necessary to train and equip he or she for their chosen vocation. Likewise, a woman considering abortion should also watch the process of the abortion she is considering so that she will be properly prepared to make a fully informed decision. For the same reason, the abortion supporter should be informed on the process of abortion to ensure sound support of their position.
Patients are entitled to the details entailing their procedures, in order to make sufficiently informed decisions regarding their medical care, and they should therefore be informed on the procedural practices relevant to each individual case; it is the practice of the Hippocratic code of medical ethics known as informed consent. According to these laws, set in place to protect patients, it is a health care provider’s responsibility to disclose adequate information to his or her patient so that the patient may then make the properly informed, volitional decision to receive or deny further medical care. In fact, even patients and/or patient guardians of appendectomies and tonsillectomies are given general breakdowns of the process behind the extraction prior to the operation.
Enter former Executive Director of Planned Parenthood, Abby Johnson. Johnson was a pro-choice aid in regularly performed abortions for eight years until one day she was asked to hold the probe of an ultrasound during an ultrasound guided abortion. The mother of the child was sedated and unable to see the screen but Johnson was watching. She watched as the abortionist approached the baby with an abortion instrument and eventually ripped the baby limb from limb. She described seeing the baby, a tiny person in the womb, struggling at first to get away from the instrument. Johnson shares with Tyndale House Publishers that Planned Parenthood actually instructed employees to give a scripted answer to patients who asked if their babies would feel the pain from their abortions. She was prompted to lie and tell patients that the baby doesn’t have any sensory development until twenty eight weeks.
In truth, a preborn baby’s nervous system is the first system to develop. While medical professionals debate the exact moment of development that a baby feels pain, most agree that a preborn baby can feel excruciating pain by twenty weeks gestation. However, the baby Johnson witnessed only measured, from crown to rump, at thirteen weeks gestation. Johnson says the baby struggled and jumped to move away from the instrument that eventually ripped the baby’s body apart. That baby’s behavior indicated that he or she did feel the pain. The baby struggled and fought until eventually succumbing helplessly; as Johnson said, “It was just over.” In an interview on Huckabee, Abby Johnson said the baby was, “fighting for its life.” She recalls placing her hand on the mother’s stomach during the ultrasound and realizing that the life that same stomach once held had just been ended.
“People never see, really, what’s happening then?” Huckabee asked Johnson. “No.” she said. “I can’t help but believe if they saw that they might be running out of those clinics.” said Huckabee. Johnson replied,
“Yeah, absolutely. If clinic workers saw what was happening on that screen, they would be running out of those clinics. This is what the abortion industry does not want their workers to see. They don’t want their workers to see what’s actually happening during an abortion. That’s why so many of these abortion industries don’t do ultrasound guided abortion procedures. They don’t want people to see what’s really happening in the woman’s womb.”
They don’t want people to see a baby fighting for its life and ultimately surrendering to the instrument that overpowers it and rapidly tears its body limb from limb. If these mothers could see what was actually happening to their babies it would make a difference. Seeing the abortion procedure on screen opened Johnson’s eyes to the truth that abortion is nothing less than the heinous execution of innocent lives. Johnson saw a life as she awed thinking, “It’s life. It’s alive!” In recollecting her experience with the ultrasound guided abortion Johnson says she thought to herself after seeing the baby dismembered, “The screen was black and it was over and I just thought, ‘Gosh, I mean that’s it. That’s ‘Choice.’ That’s what I’ve been fighting for -for eight years.’ You know? And I couldn’t help but think of all of those women that I had lied to -not intentionally. I mean I didn’t mean to lie to them when they asked me, ‘Will my baby feel this?’ -but I just thought, ‘What if they had known the truth?’ You know, what if I had known the truth? I mean, if those women had known the truth would it have made a difference?
Because it mattered to them. You know, they asked for a reason and I had just flat out lied to them. And I just couldn’t help but think ‘What if they had known the truth?’ What if so many other people in our society actually knew the truth about abortion and what ‘Choice’ is actually doing to these children in the womb?”
Sinister movements rely on sly furtiveness and stratagem. Evil actions are most effectively persuasive when masked as ideas: e.g., calling the mass slaughter of babies in the womb,"Choice." We’ve simply attached an idea to an uncivil, unjust movement and voila! Our disguise is complete. It’s easy to take comfort in ideologies and systems when we have the option not to see the actions behind those ideas and systems. But when we’re face-to-face with their direct actions and practices we are no longer able to deny the truth and hide comfortably behind the disguise of ideas. Instead, we’re forced to accept the facts and make a decision based on those facts. Abortion is the termination of a defenseless, developing human being and yet this reality is concealed within the words: “Pro-Choice.” The idea that a woman can choose what to do with her own body even when it’s used as an excuse to kill another human being.
After witnessing the baby’s dismemberment via ultrasound, remember what Abby Johnson said:
“I thought…'That’s 'Choice'.” That’s what I’ve been fighting for for eight years’...What if so many other people in our society actually knew the truth about abortion and what ‘Choice’ is actually doing to these children in the womb?”
After that experience Johnson left Planned Parenthood permanently and has since dedicated her life to raising the awareness of what abortion really is. She is now the author of the book Unplanned: The Dramatic True Story of a Former Planned Parenthood Leader's Eye-Opening Journey across the Life Line. At the end of his interview with Abby Johnson, Huckabee rightfully concluded when he said, “We can’t necessarily just listen to words, we need to understand the actions behind them.” Find the full transcript of Huckabee’s interview with Abby Johnson here.
To many women were unaware of the ramifications prior to deciding to go through with their abortions. As a result, several of those women regret their abortions and suffer from the grief to this day. Abby Johnson realized that most women wanted to know if their babies would feel the pain of the abortion. They cared enough to ask if their babies would suffer. Planned Parenthood failed those patients. Those particular women were lead to believe that ending their babies’ lives was justs an idea, a “choice.” Those women were not given the honest, informed answers they deserved. Instead, they were fed lies and manipulated into believing their abortions were humane. Abortion is never humane. As I’ve shared, while medical professionals generally agree that babies in the womb can feel pain at twenty weeks, we have no absolute way of knowing when each individual baby actually has the ability to experience pain.
We’re told there’s no definitive way to measure pain. Because of this, there’s no way to affirm the point at which the preborn baby feels pain. We’re also told pain occurs in the brain. Knowing this, perhaps the baby feels pain shortly after their neural tube closes and the brain and spinal cord develop at five weeks gestation. Maybe the baby feels pain between ten to twenty weeks gestation when nociceptors develop. Here’s the truth: We do not know. It’s a fact that medicine is an applied science rather than an exact science. One has to wonder why the thirteen week old baby Abby Johnson witnessed on an ultrasound screen fought and struggled to get away from the abortion tool that ultimately brought about the baby’s brutal demise. The baby sensed the abortion tool. Otherwise the baby would not have fought so desperately to get away from the tool. Why would it try to get away from the instrument if it couldn’t even feel it? Because we know the baby most likely could not see, hear, taste or smell the tool we must assume the baby felt the abortion instrument. If the baby was capable of feeling the instrument, the baby must therefore have been able to feel pain. Unimaginable pain.
Regardless of when the baby feels pain, killing innocent life can not be justified so long as the life that is being killed can not feel pain. Reversely, applying this logic hypothetically, the killing of any person can therefore be justified as long as an anesthetic is first administered to the victim. Irrational, senseless, ludicrous. The killing of any innocent life is a heinous, moral wrong that can not be justified for any reason.
Share the Truth
Know what you’re defending. The premise of every assertion must back its conclusion. Therefore, it’s not only reasonable to expect supporters of any cause to be fully informed on the issues they support, but they must also offer verifying evidence in support of their assertion. If abortion is just another humane medical procedure, prove it. Show me the videos from ultrasound guided abortions of second trimester babies who don’t struggle and fight for their lives; Show me the babies who shouldn’t flinch. Compare those videos to that of appendectomies and tonsillectomies. Prove beyond a measurable doubt that babies at any level of gestation can not feel the pain imposed onto them. The least the abortion supporter can do is study the procedures and methods of the abortions he or she so staunchly supports. Not only should they, but for the mere principle of decency and integrity, an abortion supporter should want to be fully informed on the issue of abortion.
Sure, there will always be individuals who are unwilling to observe reason. But those who are willing and able, should. Abortion supporters need to know that they’re supporting the deliberate, inhumane killing of innocent human life when they support abortion. Once they understand this, they must either respond reasonably and reject abortion entirely or they must unequivocally concede that they do indeed support the killing of innocent babies in utero.
During her speech at the 2019 Conservative Political Action Conference, Abby Johnson herself drove that very point home. “There was time in society when I think we were sort of ignorant,” Johnson said,
“to what an unborn child actually was. There was a time when people said, ‘Well, it’s just a clump of cells. It’s just a mass of tissue. That’s what people really believed many years ago. That was the ignorance that caused us to pass Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. But now we know, we have medical science, advancements that tell us that inside the womb is a unique human being with unrepeatable DNA; That has a beating heart, that has brain waves, that feels pain. Yet, we have sunk to a new low, a new level of depravity in our society when we are willing to look at that unborn human being and still say, ‘I know it’s alive, I know it’s a baby, I know it has a beating heart, I know it has unrepeatable DNA, yet I am still willing to kill it'.”
You are either for true human rights or you are not. You are either for life or you are not.
**I should mention that Peter Singer is quoted as saying, “The notion that human life is sacred just because it is human life is medieval.” It is remarkable to me that this fallacious appeal to novelty has garnered the momentum that it has among so-called scholars. A scholar ought be well versed and trained in rejecting master fallacies and yet, appealing to contemporary thought and ableism is the foundation of Singer’s logic throughout his lectures and writings. But even Singer acknowledges that the preborn is human, thus his attempt to justify killing the preborn human on the premise that human life is not intrinsically valuable; essentially arguing that some human lives are less valuable than others.
- Moore, Keith L., T. V. N. Persaud, and Mark G. Torchia. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology. 10th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier, 2016.
- Sadler, T. W., and Jan Langman. Langman's Medical Embryology. 12th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2012.
- Boonin, David., A Defense of Abortion, Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press 2003.
- Dworkin, Ronald. Life's Dominion: An Argument About Abortion, Euthanasia, and Individual Freedom. New York: Vintage Books, 1994. Print.
- Singer, Peter. Practical Ethics, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993, 85-86.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.