Former Abortionist Kathi Aultman on Dehumanization

Dr. Aultman

Kathi Aultman is a former abortionist who told her story in an interview with Lila Rose from Live Action. Aultman was strongly pro-choice when she entered medical school. A doctor she really admired committed late-term abortions, and she was eager to learn from him. She bought into the pro-abortion argument that women’s bodily autonomy gave them the right to have abortions.

She liked the challenge of doing abortions and was not put off by doing them late in pregnancy:

I was challenged by the procedure and I really hate to say this, but the bigger the better. I cringe now when I say that, but I wanted to do the biggest ones I could. It was a challenge, and my whole focus was being good at what I did and stretching the limits. 

She did not see the babies she aborted as human beings:

I think part of the problem was that I didn’t see a fetus any [differently] than a chick embryo. The chick embryos that we dissected in college. And I didn’t see them as human beings. 

She did not feel any emotional conflict about tearing preborn babies apart. In fact, she was fascinated by the babies’ bodies:

As a matter of fact, and again I hate to admit this, but when I would look at the parts that I had taken out, I was fascinated with them. I thought, “Oh, these are so cute. And they’re great, they’ve got little fingers and toes.”

… I just wanted to find out everything about them that I could. But I did not see them as human beings. I just saw them as embryos and fetuses. Not as people. 

Aultman became pregnant. She continued to do abortions throughout her pregnancy:

I got pregnant while I was in residency, and I was moonlighting at an abortion clinic at the time doing abortions. And I was almost proud of the fact that here I was pregnant, and I was still doing abortions. I felt like, well, my baby is wanted, theirs is not. They have the right to abort their babies. And so, I continued to do abortions during my whole pregnancy. 

But when the baby was born, Aultman found that her attitude had shifted. Things about her work that hadn’t bothered her in the past began to trouble her. She stopped doing abortions because of three women she encountered.

She describes the first woman:

The first one was a young girl that came in, and she was scheduled that morning. I had done three abortions on her myself… And she had had other abortions that I didn’t do, but I had done three of them. And I told the people at the clinic that I didn’t want to do it. And they said, “You don’t have the right to judge. It’s her choice. If she wants to use abortion as birth control, that’s up to her.”

I looked at them, and I said, “Yeah, but I’m the one that’s having to do the killing.” So, I ended up doing the abortion, and afterwards I tried to get her to take birth control and she refused, so she left. 

Finally, Aultman was starting to see what she was doing as killing. The casual attitude of the woman using abortion as birth control troubled her. The next encounter was with a woman who had a similar attitude:

Then the next woman came in with a friend, and sometimes people did want to see the tissue. And the friend said, “Do you want to see the tissue?” And she said, “No. I just want to kill it.”

And it just hit me, like cold water in the face. And I thought, “What did this baby do to you?” It’s not the baby’s fault. 

The third woman was a mother of four who really wanted to keep the baby. She and her husband didn’t believe they could afford a fifth child. Pressured by financial circumstances, the woman was forced to “choose” abortion. She cried the entire time she was at the abortion facility. Aultman was able to see how little choice this woman had and how devastated she was by her abortion. Aultman says, “Thankfully, she was my last patient, because I just — I couldn’t do them after that.”

She says:

I think I had finally made that baby = fetus connection. And I realized that that was a little person, just like my daughter was a little person. And the fact that they were no longer wanted was not enough for me to kill them. 

Aultman quit and resolved never to do abortions again. But she was still pro-choice. She still supported keeping abortion legal and would refer patients for abortions, even if she wouldn’t do them herself.

Aultman had always believed the pro-choice narrative that young girls needed abortion because a baby would destroy their lives. But what she saw in her practice proved otherwise:

It wasn’t until I started to see young girls in my practice who had babies and did really well. I had always thought that an unplanned pregnancy for a young girl was the worst thing that could happen to her. That’s sort of the normal thinking…

That’s the narrative. And to see these girls do so well. And then I had other patients who were seeing psychiatrists or were struggling with the physical complications of abortions. And it just wasn’t what I expected. It didn’t jive with the rhetoric, the rhetoric that I had embraced. 

Aultman became a Christian and began going to church. Her new beliefs had no effect on her pro-choice views. But she saw young girls in her church have babies. Just like the young girls in her practice, these young women’s lives were not destroyed by their children. She got to know the babies and watched them grow, all the while knowing that had their mothers been her patients, she would’ve encouraged them to abort. She says:

And as I watched those little children grow up into these wonderful people, I began to again see, okay, these are real people that we are killing. Who never get a chance to be alive. And we never get to see who they’re going to become.

But the final, pivotal event that won her to the pro-life cause was reading an article given to her by some pro-life friends.

The article drew a parallel between the Holocaust in Nazi Germany and abortion in America today. Although abortion and the Holocaust are very different, the article pointed out that both were enabled to happen because people did not see the victims as human beings. Both preborn babies and the victims of the Holocaust were dehumanized. Aultman says:

My dad was with… the group that [liberated] the first concentration camp during World War II. And so, I grew up with all those stories and those horrific pictures. And then, when I became a doctor, I couldn’t understand how the German doctors could do the things that they did… 

When I read that comparison between the Holocaust and abortion, I finally understood how they could do the horrible things that they did. Because just as I didn’t see the fetus as a person, they didn’t see the Jews and the Gypsies and the others as people. And if you don’t consider someone human, you can do anything you want. 

That’s when I realized that I was a mass murderer. I had killed all of these people. And that’s when I completely changed my opinion on abortion. 

Aultman made the connection between the dehumanization of babies in the womb and the dehumanization of other victims of violence.

She struggled to cope with the guilt and remorse she felt for killing so many people. It took years of therapy, reflection, prayer, and spiritual guidance for her to come to terms with what she had done. Now Aultman is pro-life and speaks out against abortion.

She says that she is far from the only former abortionist, but most former abortionists never tell their stories:

[N]ot many people can continue to do abortions. They may do them during their residency training, but very few of them go on to do abortions because the normal human cannot be ripping apart and killing other human beings for very long, if you have a conscience. And that’s why there aren’t that many abortionists, because people just can’t continue to do it. Something happens along the way, where they see the light, and they realize what they are doing. 

Most former abortionists, she says, keep quiet because of the stigma of abortion and their shame in taking part in so many deaths. Many of the ones still in practice know that women don’t want their babies delivered by an abortionist or former abortionist. They fear losing their patients, and they fear the judgment of people in their lives.

Aultman speculates that if more doctors spoke out about their experiences, it would greatly help the pro-life movement. It is important for the pro-life movement to create a welcoming environment that encourages former abortion doctors to tell their stories.

At the end of the interview, Aultman encourages those currently doing abortions to feel the same compassion for the babies that they feel for the mothers:

So you’re thinking you’re helping this poor woman. There are alternatives for her, okay? There aren’t any alternatives for the baby. So you’re, in order not to inconvenience this person, or make her feel bad about “giving her baby away” or whatever, you’re then taking the life of this other person, who never gets to experience the light of day. Never can grow up and be who they’re supposed to be. So, have as much compassion for the baby as you do for this woman. 

She also reminds pro-lifers of the importance of reaching out to people on the other side with compassion:

It wasn’t people yelling at me, berating me, trying to make me feel guilty, that’s not what changed my opinion. It was people loving me, even though I was pro-abortion and me respecting them and then them telling me, “well, maybe you should consider this.” 

Aultman’s conversion was a process, and it took time. Pro-life friends, such as the ones that shared the article, were pivotal in opening her eyes. Pro-lifers need to approach pro-choicers with respect and compassion and be willing to befriend them. Many times, it is through friendship that conversions happen.

You can watch the full interview and read the transcript here.

[Today’s guest article is by Sarah Terzo of ClinicQuotes. If you want to contribute an article to the Secular Pro-Life blog, check out our submission guidelines.]

Former Abortionist Kathi Aultman on Dehumanization

Dr. Aultman

Kathi Aultman is a former abortionist who told her story in an interview with Lila Rose from Live Action. Aultman was strongly pro-choice when she entered medical school. A doctor she really admired committed late-term abortions, and she was eager to learn from him. She bought into the pro-abortion argument that women’s bodily autonomy gave them the right to have abortions.

She liked the challenge of doing abortions and was not put off by doing them late in pregnancy:

I was challenged by the procedure and I really hate to say this, but the bigger the better. I cringe now when I say that, but I wanted to do the biggest ones I could. It was a challenge, and my whole focus was being good at what I did and stretching the limits. 

She did not see the babies she aborted as human beings:

I think part of the problem was that I didn’t see a fetus any [differently] than a chick embryo. The chick embryos that we dissected in college. And I didn’t see them as human beings. 

She did not feel any emotional conflict about tearing preborn babies apart. In fact, she was fascinated by the babies’ bodies:

As a matter of fact, and again I hate to admit this, but when I would look at the parts that I had taken out, I was fascinated with them. I thought, “Oh, these are so cute. And they’re great, they’ve got little fingers and toes.”

… I just wanted to find out everything about them that I could. But I did not see them as human beings. I just saw them as embryos and fetuses. Not as people. 

Aultman became pregnant. She continued to do abortions throughout her pregnancy:

I got pregnant while I was in residency, and I was moonlighting at an abortion clinic at the time doing abortions. And I was almost proud of the fact that here I was pregnant, and I was still doing abortions. I felt like, well, my baby is wanted, theirs is not. They have the right to abort their babies. And so, I continued to do abortions during my whole pregnancy. 

But when the baby was born, Aultman found that her attitude had shifted. Things about her work that hadn’t bothered her in the past began to trouble her. She stopped doing abortions because of three women she encountered.

She describes the first woman:

The first one was a young girl that came in, and she was scheduled that morning. I had done three abortions on her myself… And she had had other abortions that I didn’t do, but I had done three of them. And I told the people at the clinic that I didn’t want to do it. And they said, “You don’t have the right to judge. It’s her choice. If she wants to use abortion as birth control, that’s up to her.”

I looked at them, and I said, “Yeah, but I’m the one that’s having to do the killing.” So, I ended up doing the abortion, and afterwards I tried to get her to take birth control and she refused, so she left. 

Finally, Aultman was starting to see what she was doing as killing. The casual attitude of the woman using abortion as birth control troubled her. The next encounter was with a woman who had a similar attitude:

Then the next woman came in with a friend, and sometimes people did want to see the tissue. And the friend said, “Do you want to see the tissue?” And she said, “No. I just want to kill it.”

And it just hit me, like cold water in the face. And I thought, “What did this baby do to you?” It’s not the baby’s fault. 

The third woman was a mother of four who really wanted to keep the baby. She and her husband didn’t believe they could afford a fifth child. Pressured by financial circumstances, the woman was forced to “choose” abortion. She cried the entire time she was at the abortion facility. Aultman was able to see how little choice this woman had and how devastated she was by her abortion. Aultman says, “Thankfully, she was my last patient, because I just — I couldn’t do them after that.”

She says:

I think I had finally made that baby = fetus connection. And I realized that that was a little person, just like my daughter was a little person. And the fact that they were no longer wanted was not enough for me to kill them. 

Aultman quit and resolved never to do abortions again. But she was still pro-choice. She still supported keeping abortion legal and would refer patients for abortions, even if she wouldn’t do them herself.

Aultman had always believed the pro-choice narrative that young girls needed abortion because a baby would destroy their lives. But what she saw in her practice proved otherwise:

It wasn’t until I started to see young girls in my practice who had babies and did really well. I had always thought that an unplanned pregnancy for a young girl was the worst thing that could happen to her. That’s sort of the normal thinking…

That’s the narrative. And to see these girls do so well. And then I had other patients who were seeing psychiatrists or were struggling with the physical complications of abortions. And it just wasn’t what I expected. It didn’t jive with the rhetoric, the rhetoric that I had embraced. 

Aultman became a Christian and began going to church. Her new beliefs had no effect on her pro-choice views. But she saw young girls in her church have babies. Just like the young girls in her practice, these young women’s lives were not destroyed by their children. She got to know the babies and watched them grow, all the while knowing that had their mothers been her patients, she would’ve encouraged them to abort. She says:

And as I watched those little children grow up into these wonderful people, I began to again see, okay, these are real people that we are killing. Who never get a chance to be alive. And we never get to see who they’re going to become.

But the final, pivotal event that won her to the pro-life cause was reading an article given to her by some pro-life friends.

The article drew a parallel between the Holocaust in Nazi Germany and abortion in America today. Although abortion and the Holocaust are very different, the article pointed out that both were enabled to happen because people did not see the victims as human beings. Both preborn babies and the victims of the Holocaust were dehumanized. Aultman says:

My dad was with… the group that [liberated] the first concentration camp during World War II. And so, I grew up with all those stories and those horrific pictures. And then, when I became a doctor, I couldn’t understand how the German doctors could do the things that they did… 

When I read that comparison between the Holocaust and abortion, I finally understood how they could do the horrible things that they did. Because just as I didn’t see the fetus as a person, they didn’t see the Jews and the Gypsies and the others as people. And if you don’t consider someone human, you can do anything you want. 

That’s when I realized that I was a mass murderer. I had killed all of these people. And that’s when I completely changed my opinion on abortion. 

Aultman made the connection between the dehumanization of babies in the womb and the dehumanization of other victims of violence.

She struggled to cope with the guilt and remorse she felt for killing so many people. It took years of therapy, reflection, prayer, and spiritual guidance for her to come to terms with what she had done. Now Aultman is pro-life and speaks out against abortion.

She says that she is far from the only former abortionist, but most former abortionists never tell their stories:

[N]ot many people can continue to do abortions. They may do them during their residency training, but very few of them go on to do abortions because the normal human cannot be ripping apart and killing other human beings for very long, if you have a conscience. And that’s why there aren’t that many abortionists, because people just can’t continue to do it. Something happens along the way, where they see the light, and they realize what they are doing. 

Most former abortionists, she says, keep quiet because of the stigma of abortion and their shame in taking part in so many deaths. Many of the ones still in practice know that women don’t want their babies delivered by an abortionist or former abortionist. They fear losing their patients, and they fear the judgment of people in their lives.

Aultman speculates that if more doctors spoke out about their experiences, it would greatly help the pro-life movement. It is important for the pro-life movement to create a welcoming environment that encourages former abortion doctors to tell their stories.

At the end of the interview, Aultman encourages those currently doing abortions to feel the same compassion for the babies that they feel for the mothers:

So you’re thinking you’re helping this poor woman. There are alternatives for her, okay? There aren’t any alternatives for the baby. So you’re, in order not to inconvenience this person, or make her feel bad about “giving her baby away” or whatever, you’re then taking the life of this other person, who never gets to experience the light of day. Never can grow up and be who they’re supposed to be. So, have as much compassion for the baby as you do for this woman. 

She also reminds pro-lifers of the importance of reaching out to people on the other side with compassion:

It wasn’t people yelling at me, berating me, trying to make me feel guilty, that’s not what changed my opinion. It was people loving me, even though I was pro-abortion and me respecting them and then them telling me, “well, maybe you should consider this.” 

Aultman’s conversion was a process, and it took time. Pro-life friends, such as the ones that shared the article, were pivotal in opening her eyes. Pro-lifers need to approach pro-choicers with respect and compassion and be willing to befriend them. Many times, it is through friendship that conversions happen.

You can watch the full interview and read the transcript here.

[Today’s guest article is by Sarah Terzo of ClinicQuotes. If you want to contribute an article to the Secular Pro-Life blog, check out our submission guidelines.]

A former late-term abortion nurse speaks out

Warren Hern is one of the few people in the United States who openly performs abortions even after 24 weeks gestation. He performs abortions in Colorado, one of a handful of states that have no gestational limits on abortion — that is, it is legal to perform abortion for any reason at any point in the pregnancy. (Pro-life advocates on the ground are working to change that.)

3D image of a 28-week-old baby in the womb

Hern has gone on record explaining that the later abortions he performs are not always for women facing any grave medical outcome. He has also published work exploring how abortion workers (both doctors and nurses) are emotionally and psychologically impacted by late-term abortion. His work has been incredibly frank, providing a sharp contrast to the strident euphemisms of many pro-choice advocates.

Julie Wilkinson worked as a nurse in Hern’s clinic for years, but she is now passionately pro-life and works in a NICU instead. I recently read a piece in New American about her conversion. Here are a few random thoughts a bit too long for a FB post:

Though an abortion was not something I ever planned to have, I rationalized the deaths of the infants: All the abused babies and children were better off going to heaven than being born and suffering if they were unwanted.

Several notes about this mentality:

  1. Usually religiosity correlates with being anti-abortion. Still it’s interesting (and disheartening) to see how belief in an afterlife can help people feel complacent about taking lives. This is in line with what we’ve previously written about the “Abortion Religion,” in which abortion supporters appropriate supernatural concepts like reincarnation to justify violence against children in the womb.
  2. The idea that children born of unintended pregnancies will be unwanted is largely a myth. Research has found that the vast majority of women who sought but were denied abortion and went on to birth their children raised their children themselves and bonded to their children just fine.
  3. Notice that very few (if any) people take the above mentality and apply it to born children. We don’t argue that the solution to child abuse is to euthanize the children being abused, so they can be better off in heaven.
Continuing…

I was raised a Christian and still considered myself one, mind you, but I attended church rarely.

This makes sense. Being pro-choice is inversely correlated with church attendance.

After a few weeks, I was taught how to assist with late cases, 13-24 weeks. … I would hand sterile instruments to the doctor so that he could withdraw amniotic fluid from the uterus and replace it with a concentrated urea (salt) solution, which I was responsible to mix. He said that the solution caused the placenta to separate from the uterus, resulting in the fetus dying. The truth was, the babies likely suffered terribly in the salt solution, their fragile skin and lungs being burned.

Good time to suggest everyone read the January 2020 Journal of Medical Ethics article “Reconsidering Fetal Pain,” which argues the fetus may feel pain as early as 13 weeks.

An early troubling situation occurred when a married, successful couple came to visit the clinic. They wanted a child, but they found out at 16 weeks that she was carrying twins and were not sure if twins would fit into their lifestyle. That visit bothered most of the workers, but it was no trouble for the doctor, who aborted the couple’s healthy babies a couple weeks later.

Another example of how later abortions are not exclusively done for medical reasons. On the contrary, based on what information we can find, it appears later abortions are usually not for medical reasons. In fact, Hern himself has published research saying only 30% of his patients seek second and third trimester abortions for reasons of fetal abnormality.

After a couple years, I believe the Holy Spirit began to nudge me.

I feel conflicted about this idea. On the one hand, I’m grateful for every person who moves from a pro-choice to a pro-life position, and I recognize that faith plays a role in those conversions for some people. On the other hand, if it’s the Holy Spirit doing this work, why the subtlety? Why a “nudge”? Why not a massive shove in the other direction, similar to Saul on the road to Damascus?

But I’m an atheist, so for me these questions are really just rhetorical. Whatever her reasons, I’m glad Julie changed her mind.

However, my heart didn’t change overnight. Time was necessary to change my years-long belief in a woman’s “right to choose.”

She’s not alone here. A lot of conversions are stories of a slow process, often over years. Please remember that factor when you’re talking about abortion with people who disagree. Be patient as you plant ideas, and don’t worry if you don’t see any major changes immediately. Just keep going.

After I left Boulder, I never told people what I had done there. I got married, and we had three beautiful daughters. I did not tell them my story either; I just made sure they were raised to be pro-life. It felt very lonely to keep that dreadful secret.

Julie’s reaction demonstrates why it’s so tricky to conduct accurate research regarding people’s feelings about their own choices — people who feel shame, regret, guilt, deep sorrow, or other negative emotions are less likely to speak up than people who are satisfied with their decisions. This problem is one of the major limitations of the recent highly touted study claiming 95% of women do not regret their abortions. Read more here.

Then a few years ago, another person told me I should reach out to Abby Johnson, who was a former abortion clinic director who held retreats for ex-abortion workers. So I did. I found a small, generally invisible group of people who are passionately pro-life. We have seen abortion from the inside, and we know the truth.

Abby Johnson’s pro-life work is unique and so needed. I’m glad she has created this space for former abortion workers.

A former late-term abortion nurse speaks out

Warren Hern is one of the few people in the United States who openly performs abortions even after 24 weeks gestation. He performs abortions in Colorado, one of a handful of states that have no gestational limits on abortion — that is, it is legal to perform abortion for any reason at any point in the pregnancy. (Pro-life advocates on the ground are working to change that.)

3D image of a 28-week-old baby in the womb

Hern has gone on record explaining that the later abortions he performs are not always for women facing any grave medical outcome. He has also published work exploring how abortion workers (both doctors and nurses) are emotionally and psychologically impacted by late-term abortion. His work has been incredibly frank, providing a sharp contrast to the strident euphemisms of many pro-choice advocates.

Julie Wilkinson worked as a nurse in Hern’s clinic for years, but she is now passionately pro-life and works in a NICU instead. I recently read a piece in New American about her conversion. Here are a few random thoughts a bit too long for a FB post:

Though an abortion was not something I ever planned to have, I rationalized the deaths of the infants: All the abused babies and children were better off going to heaven than being born and suffering if they were unwanted.

Several notes about this mentality:

  1. Usually religiosity correlates with being anti-abortion. Still it’s interesting (and disheartening) to see how belief in an afterlife can help people feel complacent about taking lives. This is in line with what we’ve previously written about the “Abortion Religion,” in which abortion supporters appropriate supernatural concepts like reincarnation to justify violence against children in the womb.
  2. The idea that children born of unintended pregnancies will be unwanted is largely a myth. Research has found that the vast majority of women who sought but were denied abortion and went on to birth their children raised their children themselves and bonded to their children just fine.
  3. Notice that very few (if any) people take the above mentality and apply it to born children. We don’t argue that the solution to child abuse is to euthanize the children being abused, so they can be better off in heaven.
Continuing…

I was raised a Christian and still considered myself one, mind you, but I attended church rarely.

This makes sense. Being pro-choice is inversely correlated with church attendance.

After a few weeks, I was taught how to assist with late cases, 13-24 weeks. … I would hand sterile instruments to the doctor so that he could withdraw amniotic fluid from the uterus and replace it with a concentrated urea (salt) solution, which I was responsible to mix. He said that the solution caused the placenta to separate from the uterus, resulting in the fetus dying. The truth was, the babies likely suffered terribly in the salt solution, their fragile skin and lungs being burned.

Good time to suggest everyone read the January 2020 Journal of Medical Ethics article “Reconsidering Fetal Pain,” which argues the fetus may feel pain as early as 13 weeks.

An early troubling situation occurred when a married, successful couple came to visit the clinic. They wanted a child, but they found out at 16 weeks that she was carrying twins and were not sure if twins would fit into their lifestyle. That visit bothered most of the workers, but it was no trouble for the doctor, who aborted the couple’s healthy babies a couple weeks later.

Another example of how later abortions are not exclusively done for medical reasons. On the contrary, based on what information we can find, it appears later abortions are usually not for medical reasons. In fact, Hern himself has published research saying only 30% of his patients seek second and third trimester abortions for reasons of fetal abnormality.

After a couple years, I believe the Holy Spirit began to nudge me.

I feel conflicted about this idea. On the one hand, I’m grateful for every person who moves from a pro-choice to a pro-life position, and I recognize that faith plays a role in those conversions for some people. On the other hand, if it’s the Holy Spirit doing this work, why the subtlety? Why a “nudge”? Why not a massive shove in the other direction, similar to Saul on the road to Damascus?

But I’m an atheist, so for me these questions are really just rhetorical. Whatever her reasons, I’m glad Julie changed her mind.

However, my heart didn’t change overnight. Time was necessary to change my years-long belief in a woman’s “right to choose.”

She’s not alone here. A lot of conversions are stories of a slow process, often over years. Please remember that factor when you’re talking about abortion with people who disagree. Be patient as you plant ideas, and don’t worry if you don’t see any major changes immediately. Just keep going.

After I left Boulder, I never told people what I had done there. I got married, and we had three beautiful daughters. I did not tell them my story either; I just made sure they were raised to be pro-life. It felt very lonely to keep that dreadful secret.

Julie’s reaction demonstrates why it’s so tricky to conduct accurate research regarding people’s feelings about their own choices — people who feel shame, regret, guilt, deep sorrow, or other negative emotions are less likely to speak up than people who are satisfied with their decisions. This problem is one of the major limitations of the recent highly touted study claiming 95% of women do not regret their abortions. Read more here.

Then a few years ago, another person told me I should reach out to Abby Johnson, who was a former abortion clinic director who held retreats for ex-abortion workers. So I did. I found a small, generally invisible group of people who are passionately pro-life. We have seen abortion from the inside, and we know the truth.

Abby Johnson’s pro-life work is unique and so needed. I’m glad she has created this space for former abortion workers.

What changed an abortion counselor’s mind

Linda Couri worked at Planned Parenthood but left and became pro-life. She gave an interview on the WeDignify podcast where she spoke about her experiences working for the largest abortion provider in America.

Couri believed in Planned Parenthood’s mission, which she saw as educating young people about sex and providing health care. In retrospect, she thinks one reason she worked at Planned Parenthood was the affirmation they gave her about her own abortion. Couri was strongly pro-choice but had never been able to convince herself that abortion was not killing a baby. When she had her own abortion, she says she just “tucked it away into a little spot far, far away for a long time” and tried not to think about it.

Workers at the Planned Parenthood facility affirmed her choice and eased any lingering sense of guilt:

[I] could surround myself with a lot of really good, caring women, self-sacrificial women working at Planned Parenthood, who would surround me and say, “yeah, it’s okay. It’s okay that you did this. It was your right. Not only that, it was probably better for the whole world.” And so, it helped to keep the psychological distress of the abortion at bay. 

While working at Planned Parenthood, Couri struggled with the issue of abortion:

What did cause me distress was the issue of abortion, merely because although I was pro-choice, i.e., you shouldn’t take away the right of a woman to control her own body – I was highly convinced of that – but I also knew that something really bad was happening, like killing very small people. So that had always made me uncomfortable. But the dissonance that that created, I often was able to avoid. Avoid, and just not deal with it. 

Couri mainly worked in sex education, but she was sometimes asked to counsel women considering abortion. One day, she was asked to talk to a pregnant 16-year-old. Couri says:

She’s crying and scared. My job was to go through her options, and after comforting her and letting her know it would be okay, I said, “Well, you have three options. The first is, you can keep the baby. That will be difficult, but we can help you through that.… And I said, “you could give up your baby for adoption. That too will be hard, but we can help you with that.” Because we did have connections with adoption agencies, and to help girls through their pregnancy. And then I said, “or you can have an abortion.” 

Although Couri attempted to be neutral, she was convinced that abortion was the best choice for the girl:

[I]n my mind, at the time, I really, truly, from the bottom of my heart, believed that abortion was the best option for her. I saw her carrying the baby and keeping the baby as really ruining her life. For making her life way too difficult. And I saw her, quote, “giving the baby up” for adoption … But I also saw that option as being very difficult. So, in my mind, abortion really was the best option. After all, I had had an abortion, and it [had] seemed like the best option to me – I was unscathed, right?
But I saw it as her choice, so I presented these three options. 

The girl asked Couri, “Please tell me one thing. If I have an abortion, am I killing my baby?”
Couri describes her response:

It was hard, because I knew that she was. But I decided to answer by saying, “Well, you will be terminating the product of your conception.” Which was meant to deflect the question. And I knew it. And she looked at me kind of confused, and she scheduled an abortion. Which I really thought was the best option for her, but I was really stressed out, because I didn’t answer her question. [I] rhetorically tricked her. 

Couri felt guilty for being dishonest. She went to her supervisor:

I went to go talk to my supervisor. Who was really great. I said, “I just lied to her.” And she and I – we didn’t play the semantics game, like, oh, it’s not a life, it’s not life – we both kind of just went straight to the issue, which was like, this is the best option for her. Abortion’s the best option. This is a hard job that we have, and it’s a hard choice, but [it’s] the best choice for her and for her life. That’s what we believed. But still, there was, like, this fuzzy dissonance. It was like static in my head. 

This was not the last difficult conversation Couri had with other staff. One day, a nurse who worked at the facility came into Couri’s office, upset and on the verge of tears. Couri explains:

She came into my office, and she seemed to be upset, and she shut my door. And she said, “I don’t understand why I’m so upset, Linda. I’ve been doing this for a long time, but for some reason it’s really getting to me because I just saw a little hand, during an abortion procedure.” And, she and I sat, knee to knee – two women that were being paid very little to do the work that they do, feeling like we had a mission – sitting knee to knee holding each other’s hands. And being really sad, kind of weeping a little bit, and saying, “Are we doing the right thing?” And spending a bunch of time convincing each other that we were. Hugging each other and saying “Carry on. Onward and upward! Let’s go do the right thing.”

These incidents unsettled Couri, but then she discovered something else. Couri was thinking of doing an academic research project on women’s responses to abortion. In the past, the abortion facility had left journals in the recovery room for women to write down their feelings after abortion. Couri decided to look at them for her research. Couri had always believed that she was helping women by providing abortions. But she was in for a shock:

I noticed that in the abortion clinic that there were stacks and stacks of journals down there… So, I was like, oh wow this is great. I have untainted, qualitative research in terms of how women feel right after their abortion. So, in my mind it would’ve been a fabulous research study. So I went down to the clinic one day when nobody was there, and was just like, I’m going to peek through them and kind of see what they say. And some of them said things like, “I’m so relieved, everyone here has been so kind,” but as I started flipping through the journals there were entries like, “Oh my God, what have I done? I killed my baby.” Like, panicked writing. 

These entries had a profound effect on her:

And I can remember the feeling I had where I was literally confused. I was like, wait what? I couldn’t believe it. I had fully expected that people would [be] relieved. You know, projecting myself onto them – that they would be relieved. But it was all these other reactions and they were written down. It caused me to double take, and I was like, wait what? People – and then I started thinking, where do these people go? Some of them are young. What did they do? They’re leaving here. What kind of support systems do they have? They feel this way – it really messed with my world.… It did not match up with what I thought reality was, and I couldn’t deny it, because it was written down. There was no agenda behind these people writing it down. It was just pure unadulterated reaction to how they felt after an abortion. 

The journals caused Couri to reconsider what she was doing. It began to dawn on her that abortion was not helping women. At first, she tried to set up a post-abortion support group in the facility. But she had trouble attracting women to it. Many women seemed to want to forget their abortions happened. They did not want to return to the abortion facility or talk to Couri.

Shortly after gaining this new perspective, Couri left the abortion industry.

[Today’s guest post is by Sarah Terzo.]

What changed an abortion counselor’s mind

Linda Couri worked at Planned Parenthood but left and became pro-life. She gave an interview on the WeDignify podcast where she spoke about her experiences working for the largest abortion provider in America.

Couri believed in Planned Parenthood’s mission, which she saw as educating young people about sex and providing health care. In retrospect, she thinks one reason she worked at Planned Parenthood was the affirmation they gave her about her own abortion. Couri was strongly pro-choice but had never been able to convince herself that abortion was not killing a baby. When she had her own abortion, she says she just “tucked it away into a little spot far, far away for a long time” and tried not to think about it.

Workers at the Planned Parenthood facility affirmed her choice and eased any lingering sense of guilt:

[I] could surround myself with a lot of really good, caring women, self-sacrificial women working at Planned Parenthood, who would surround me and say, “yeah, it’s okay. It’s okay that you did this. It was your right. Not only that, it was probably better for the whole world.” And so, it helped to keep the psychological distress of the abortion at bay. 

While working at Planned Parenthood, Couri struggled with the issue of abortion:

What did cause me distress was the issue of abortion, merely because although I was pro-choice, i.e., you shouldn’t take away the right of a woman to control her own body – I was highly convinced of that – but I also knew that something really bad was happening, like killing very small people. So that had always made me uncomfortable. But the dissonance that that created, I often was able to avoid. Avoid, and just not deal with it. 

Couri mainly worked in sex education, but she was sometimes asked to counsel women considering abortion. One day, she was asked to talk to a pregnant 16-year-old. Couri says:

She’s crying and scared. My job was to go through her options, and after comforting her and letting her know it would be okay, I said, “Well, you have three options. The first is, you can keep the baby. That will be difficult, but we can help you through that.… And I said, “you could give up your baby for adoption. That too will be hard, but we can help you with that.” Because we did have connections with adoption agencies, and to help girls through their pregnancy. And then I said, “or you can have an abortion.” 

Although Couri attempted to be neutral, she was convinced that abortion was the best choice for the girl:

[I]n my mind, at the time, I really, truly, from the bottom of my heart, believed that abortion was the best option for her. I saw her carrying the baby and keeping the baby as really ruining her life. For making her life way too difficult. And I saw her, quote, “giving the baby up” for adoption … But I also saw that option as being very difficult. So, in my mind, abortion really was the best option. After all, I had had an abortion, and it [had] seemed like the best option to me – I was unscathed, right?
But I saw it as her choice, so I presented these three options. 

The girl asked Couri, “Please tell me one thing. If I have an abortion, am I killing my baby?”
Couri describes her response:

It was hard, because I knew that she was. But I decided to answer by saying, “Well, you will be terminating the product of your conception.” Which was meant to deflect the question. And I knew it. And she looked at me kind of confused, and she scheduled an abortion. Which I really thought was the best option for her, but I was really stressed out, because I didn’t answer her question. [I] rhetorically tricked her. 

Couri felt guilty for being dishonest. She went to her supervisor:

I went to go talk to my supervisor. Who was really great. I said, “I just lied to her.” And she and I – we didn’t play the semantics game, like, oh, it’s not a life, it’s not life – we both kind of just went straight to the issue, which was like, this is the best option for her. Abortion’s the best option. This is a hard job that we have, and it’s a hard choice, but [it’s] the best choice for her and for her life. That’s what we believed. But still, there was, like, this fuzzy dissonance. It was like static in my head. 

This was not the last difficult conversation Couri had with other staff. One day, a nurse who worked at the facility came into Couri’s office, upset and on the verge of tears. Couri explains:

She came into my office, and she seemed to be upset, and she shut my door. And she said, “I don’t understand why I’m so upset, Linda. I’ve been doing this for a long time, but for some reason it’s really getting to me because I just saw a little hand, during an abortion procedure.” And, she and I sat, knee to knee – two women that were being paid very little to do the work that they do, feeling like we had a mission – sitting knee to knee holding each other’s hands. And being really sad, kind of weeping a little bit, and saying, “Are we doing the right thing?” And spending a bunch of time convincing each other that we were. Hugging each other and saying “Carry on. Onward and upward! Let’s go do the right thing.”

These incidents unsettled Couri, but then she discovered something else. Couri was thinking of doing an academic research project on women’s responses to abortion. In the past, the abortion facility had left journals in the recovery room for women to write down their feelings after abortion. Couri decided to look at them for her research. Couri had always believed that she was helping women by providing abortions. But she was in for a shock:

I noticed that in the abortion clinic that there were stacks and stacks of journals down there… So, I was like, oh wow this is great. I have untainted, qualitative research in terms of how women feel right after their abortion. So, in my mind it would’ve been a fabulous research study. So I went down to the clinic one day when nobody was there, and was just like, I’m going to peek through them and kind of see what they say. And some of them said things like, “I’m so relieved, everyone here has been so kind,” but as I started flipping through the journals there were entries like, “Oh my God, what have I done? I killed my baby.” Like, panicked writing. 

These entries had a profound effect on her:

And I can remember the feeling I had where I was literally confused. I was like, wait what? I couldn’t believe it. I had fully expected that people would [be] relieved. You know, projecting myself onto them – that they would be relieved. But it was all these other reactions and they were written down. It caused me to double take, and I was like, wait what? People – and then I started thinking, where do these people go? Some of them are young. What did they do? They’re leaving here. What kind of support systems do they have? They feel this way – it really messed with my world.… It did not match up with what I thought reality was, and I couldn’t deny it, because it was written down. There was no agenda behind these people writing it down. It was just pure unadulterated reaction to how they felt after an abortion. 

The journals caused Couri to reconsider what she was doing. It began to dawn on her that abortion was not helping women. At first, she tried to set up a post-abortion support group in the facility. But she had trouble attracting women to it. Many women seemed to want to forget their abortions happened. They did not want to return to the abortion facility or talk to Couri.

Shortly after gaining this new perspective, Couri left the abortion industry.

[Today’s guest post is by Sarah Terzo.]

Women who’ve had abortions don’t owe loyalty to the abortion industry

Since Roe v. Wade, there have been over 60 million abortions committed in the United States. Even if 40% of those were repeat abortions (statistics vary by year), about 36 million women have had at least one legal abortion in the past 40 years.

Some current and former abortion workers have wondered where all these women are. Why aren’t more of them active in the pro-choice movement? Certainly, there are many who are. But there has been no massive uprising of post-abortive women fighting for abortion rights. Despite high profile campaigns like Shout your Abortion, most post-abortive women keep their abortions to themselves. The fact that the pro-life movement is so powerful, even when such a large number of women have had abortions and would seem to have every reason to support that right, is telling.

Jeannie Jones counseled women and helped them get abortions both before and after Roe. She says:

I became convinced within a year or two of doing abortion counseling to great numbers at Amherst Medical that the whole thing – society’s condemnatory attitude toward abortion – was going to change so dramatically because there were all these women of all ages who had abortions and members of their families who knew about it. They had this experience of making this tough decision. I thought that was going to change the political landscape and I can’t believe [that opposition to legal abortion] is still going on. There’s this enormous number of women having abortions still, but it’s like you had one and you don’t have any sympathy or concern for anyone else. Where is this enormous population of people who personally had this experience? Where are their families?

[Source: David P Cline Creating Choice: A Community Responds to the Need for Abortion and Birth Control, 1961 – 1973 (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2006) 206]

Abortion is highly stigmatized despite many women having abortions.
Former abortion worker Robin Dizard is so frustrated that more post-abortive women haven’t been fighting for abortion rights that she contemplated “outing” her former patients. The fact that many post-abortive women just want to go on with their lives, and others join the pro-life movement, angers her. She writes about exposing women’s secret abortions in order to shame them into being pro-choice, or to discredit their pro-life activism:

[I]t’s something that has been used very effectively in outing [of gay people], for example. I’m not in favor of it but look what it does. And look what happens when the hypocrites who are holding elected office get found out: “Oh, Senator whoever you are, your office is full of pornography, that’s very interesting,” and then the guy pipes down a little bit.

[Source: Ibid. 207]


Ironically and perhaps unintentionally, Dizard compares having an abortion to looking at pornography. This comparison acknowledges the stigma surrounding abortion.

Many pro-life post-abortive women are in fact open about their abortions; they see them as tragic events in their lives. Often, it is the abortion experience that motivates post-abortive pro-life women, whether they feel comfortable talking about their abortions or not.

Abortion worker Steph Herold also expresses her frustration:

We need our patients, who we do everything for, to stand up for us. We don’t need them to tell their abortion stories to everyone they know, although of course that would be great. We need them to fight for abortion access in whatever way makes sense to them. If one in three US women has an abortion by age 45, where are these women? Why don’t they stand up for us?

[Source: Sarah Erdreich Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2013) 175]

Herold’s fake “one in three” statistic has been debunked.

Herold isn’t seeing the women who had abortions at her facility on the pro-choice picket line.

Abortion facility owner Maggie Cage ran a full-page newspaper ad during Operation Rescue’s campaign. While pro-lifers staged sit ins in front of the facility door, Cage called for her former patients to come and “defend” the facility:

Where are you? Where are all the people we’ve helped over the years? We need you now. When you needed us, we were there. We held your hand and supported you. We see you in restaurants and at the grocery store, at PTA meetings and softball games. You are the businesspeople, the school officials, the politicians, the voters. We kept you safe. We held your secrets. But now we need help. Where are you?

[Source: Susan Wicklund This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor (New York: Public Affairs Perseus Books Group, 2007) 160]

All the current and former abortion workers quoted here avoid coming to an obvious conclusion: many women don’t consider their abortion experience empowering. At “best,” they want to forget about it. At “worst,” they actively work against abortion.

What about the numbers? How many women who have had abortions are active in the pro-life movement vs. the pro-choice movement?

Unfortunately, current statistics aren’t available. But there is an older study, done in 1981, which found that more post-abortive women were involved in National Right to Life than in NARAL (one of the most prominent pro-abortion groups, then and now).

[Source: Donald Granberg, “The Abortion Activists” Family Planning Perspectives July – August 1981]

The study was done by pro-choice researcher Donald Granberg and published in the journal of the Alan Guttmacher Institute. It found that 3% of women in National Right to Life and 36% of women in NARAL had had abortions. At first glance, it seems like women who have abortions are far more likely to join NARAL and be pro-choice. But when you actually count the numbers up, you find that more post-abortive women were members of National Right to Life.

At the time of the study, there were 12 million women in National Right to Life and 156,000 in NARAL. This means that 39,000 women in NARAL had abortions. In National Right to Life, the number was 245,000.

What this translates to, if you do the math, is that there were six times more post-abortive women in National Right to Life than in NARAL.

Of course, there is only so much we can determine from the study. It only includes two organizations (though at the time, they were the largest), and it is from decades ago. So, we don’t know how much it can be applied to today. But it is seems clear that the majority of the 36 million American women who have had abortions are not pro-abortion activists.

[Today’s guest post by Sarah Terzo is part of our paid blogging program.]

Women who’ve had abortions don’t owe loyalty to the abortion industry

Since Roe v. Wade, there have been over 60 million abortions committed in the United States. Even if 40% of those were repeat abortions (statistics vary by year), about 36 million women have had at least one legal abortion in the past 40 years.

Some current and former abortion workers have wondered where all these women are. Why aren’t more of them active in the pro-choice movement? Certainly, there are many who are. But there has been no massive uprising of post-abortive women fighting for abortion rights. Despite high profile campaigns like Shout your Abortion, most post-abortive women keep their abortions to themselves. The fact that the pro-life movement is so powerful, even when such a large number of women have had abortions and would seem to have every reason to support that right, is telling.

Jeannie Jones counseled women and helped them get abortions both before and after Roe. She says:

I became convinced within a year or two of doing abortion counseling to great numbers at Amherst Medical that the whole thing – society’s condemnatory attitude toward abortion – was going to change so dramatically because there were all these women of all ages who had abortions and members of their families who knew about it. They had this experience of making this tough decision. I thought that was going to change the political landscape and I can’t believe [that opposition to legal abortion] is still going on. There’s this enormous number of women having abortions still, but it’s like you had one and you don’t have any sympathy or concern for anyone else. Where is this enormous population of people who personally had this experience? Where are their families?

[Source: David P Cline Creating Choice: A Community Responds to the Need for Abortion and Birth Control, 1961 – 1973 (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2006) 206]

Abortion is highly stigmatized despite many women having abortions.
Former abortion worker Robin Dizard is so frustrated that more post-abortive women haven’t been fighting for abortion rights that she contemplated “outing” her former patients. The fact that many post-abortive women just want to go on with their lives, and others join the pro-life movement, angers her. She writes about exposing women’s secret abortions in order to shame them into being pro-choice, or to discredit their pro-life activism:

[I]t’s something that has been used very effectively in outing [of gay people], for example. I’m not in favor of it but look what it does. And look what happens when the hypocrites who are holding elected office get found out: “Oh, Senator whoever you are, your office is full of pornography, that’s very interesting,” and then the guy pipes down a little bit.

[Source: Ibid. 207]


Ironically and perhaps unintentionally, Dizard compares having an abortion to looking at pornography. This comparison acknowledges the stigma surrounding abortion.

Many pro-life post-abortive women are in fact open about their abortions; they see them as tragic events in their lives. Often, it is the abortion experience that motivates post-abortive pro-life women, whether they feel comfortable talking about their abortions or not.

Abortion worker Steph Herold also expresses her frustration:

We need our patients, who we do everything for, to stand up for us. We don’t need them to tell their abortion stories to everyone they know, although of course that would be great. We need them to fight for abortion access in whatever way makes sense to them. If one in three US women has an abortion by age 45, where are these women? Why don’t they stand up for us?

[Source: Sarah Erdreich Generation Roe: Inside the Future of the Pro-Choice Movement (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2013) 175]

Herold’s fake “one in three” statistic has been debunked.

Herold isn’t seeing the women who had abortions at her facility on the pro-choice picket line.

Abortion facility owner Maggie Cage ran a full-page newspaper ad during Operation Rescue’s campaign. While pro-lifers staged sit ins in front of the facility door, Cage called for her former patients to come and “defend” the facility:

Where are you? Where are all the people we’ve helped over the years? We need you now. When you needed us, we were there. We held your hand and supported you. We see you in restaurants and at the grocery store, at PTA meetings and softball games. You are the businesspeople, the school officials, the politicians, the voters. We kept you safe. We held your secrets. But now we need help. Where are you?

[Source: Susan Wicklund This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor (New York: Public Affairs Perseus Books Group, 2007) 160]

All the current and former abortion workers quoted here avoid coming to an obvious conclusion: many women don’t consider their abortion experience empowering. At “best,” they want to forget about it. At “worst,” they actively work against abortion.

What about the numbers? How many women who have had abortions are active in the pro-life movement vs. the pro-choice movement?

Unfortunately, current statistics aren’t available. But there is an older study, done in 1981, which found that more post-abortive women were involved in National Right to Life than in NARAL (one of the most prominent pro-abortion groups, then and now).

[Source: Donald Granberg, “The Abortion Activists” Family Planning Perspectives July – August 1981]

The study was done by pro-choice researcher Donald Granberg and published in the journal of the Alan Guttmacher Institute. It found that 3% of women in National Right to Life and 36% of women in NARAL had had abortions. At first glance, it seems like women who have abortions are far more likely to join NARAL and be pro-choice. But when you actually count the numbers up, you find that more post-abortive women were members of National Right to Life.

At the time of the study, there were 12 million women in National Right to Life and 156,000 in NARAL. This means that 39,000 women in NARAL had abortions. In National Right to Life, the number was 245,000.

What this translates to, if you do the math, is that there were six times more post-abortive women in National Right to Life than in NARAL.

Of course, there is only so much we can determine from the study. It only includes two organizations (though at the time, they were the largest), and it is from decades ago. So, we don’t know how much it can be applied to today. But it is seems clear that the majority of the 36 million American women who have had abortions are not pro-abortion activists.

[Today’s guest post by Sarah Terzo is part of our paid blogging program.]

Who needs an ultrasound? DIY chemical abortion is here.

In 1996, the Clintons used the phrase “safe, legal, and rare” to describe the supposed goal for abortions. Since then, many people have dropped the “rare” from their list of stated expectations, but they have continued to proclaim that they are concerned about the safety of women getting abortions. In fact, a primary purported reason for keeping abortion legal has always been the prevention of do-it-yourself, “back-alley” procedures.

In what could certainly be seen as a contradiction, some of these same people have petitioned to increasingly remove medical professionals from the abortions themselves. Not only have these activists dodged efforts to hold abortion centers to the same standards as other medical facilities, but in Canada, they have now legalized self-managed chemical abortions. Until now, patients were required to receive an ultrasound before being prescribed the abortion pills, but the government has done away with this mandate.

“Sexual health advocates” were quick to praise this action, noting that it would remove a possible barrier to abortion for women who had difficulty scheduling an ultrasound. But what it has also removed is a vital safety check that keeps women likely to be harmed by the medication from taking it. So… what could go wrong?

Undiagnosed Ectopic Pregnancy 
One of the main reasons for the ultrasound requirement (currently still in place for the United States) is to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. In this life-threatening condition, the zygote implants in an improper and dangerous place, such as a fallopian tube or the abdominal cavity. Just as an ultrasound is part of regular prenatal care, it’s essential even if a woman has chosen an abortion. Without an early ultrasound, she cannot be diagnosed, and she may experience the hemorrhaging and shock that can result from untreated ectopic pregnancy.

Miscalculated Gestational Age 
The abortion pills are contraindicated after a certain point of pregnancy (with the point depending on the type of pills), and without an ultrasound, women may easily miscalculate how far along they are. Taking the pills too late in pregnancy decreases their effectiveness and increases the risk of life-threatening complications.

In addition, a misjudged gestational age may affect a woman’s decision to get an abortion. Some women are more opposed to the procedure later in pregnancy, and without an ultrasound, she will not have accurate information to make her decision.


So, Why Would Anybody Support This? 
Again, abortion advocates insist that they care deeply about women, but this latest step makes clear that safety is lower on their list of priorities than they imply. Furthermore, for people who tout their belief in choice for (and trust of) women, they seem remarkably unconcerned about making sure these women are making informed decisions. As they have so many times in the past, they have once again proven that their real goal is to protect their lucrative industry at any cost to others. And once again, both their unborn children and the women themselves will pay the price.

[Today’s guest post by Aubrey Wursten is part of our paid blogging program.]

Who needs an ultrasound? DIY chemical abortion is here.

In 1996, the Clintons used the phrase “safe, legal, and rare” to describe the supposed goal for abortions. Since then, many people have dropped the “rare” from their list of stated expectations, but they have continued to proclaim that they are concerned about the safety of women getting abortions. In fact, a primary purported reason for keeping abortion legal has always been the prevention of do-it-yourself, “back-alley” procedures.

In what could certainly be seen as a contradiction, some of these same people have petitioned to increasingly remove medical professionals from the abortions themselves. Not only have these activists dodged efforts to hold abortion centers to the same standards as other medical facilities, but in Canada, they have now legalized self-managed chemical abortions. Until now, patients were required to receive an ultrasound before being prescribed the abortion pills, but the government has done away with this mandate.

“Sexual health advocates” were quick to praise this action, noting that it would remove a possible barrier to abortion for women who had difficulty scheduling an ultrasound. But what it has also removed is a vital safety check that keeps women likely to be harmed by the medication from taking it. So… what could go wrong?

Undiagnosed Ectopic Pregnancy 
One of the main reasons for the ultrasound requirement (currently still in place for the United States) is to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. In this life-threatening condition, the zygote implants in an improper and dangerous place, such as a fallopian tube or the abdominal cavity. Just as an ultrasound is part of regular prenatal care, it’s essential even if a woman has chosen an abortion. Without an early ultrasound, she cannot be diagnosed, and she may experience the hemorrhaging and shock that can result from untreated ectopic pregnancy.

Miscalculated Gestational Age 
The abortion pills are contraindicated after a certain point of pregnancy (with the point depending on the type of pills), and without an ultrasound, women may easily miscalculate how far along they are. Taking the pills too late in pregnancy decreases their effectiveness and increases the risk of life-threatening complications.

In addition, a misjudged gestational age may affect a woman’s decision to get an abortion. Some women are more opposed to the procedure later in pregnancy, and without an ultrasound, she will not have accurate information to make her decision.


So, Why Would Anybody Support This? 
Again, abortion advocates insist that they care deeply about women, but this latest step makes clear that safety is lower on their list of priorities than they imply. Furthermore, for people who tout their belief in choice for (and trust of) women, they seem remarkably unconcerned about making sure these women are making informed decisions. As they have so many times in the past, they have once again proven that their real goal is to protect their lucrative industry at any cost to others. And once again, both their unborn children and the women themselves will pay the price.

[Today’s guest post by Aubrey Wursten is part of our paid blogging program.]