Questions and Answers on Abortion
False Claims vs. True Reality

Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice by Francis BeckwithQuestions and Answers on Abortion from American Life League

You've been told about abortion....

  • Abortion does not end the life of a human being.
  • Women have the right to control their bodies.
  • Abortion is a personal choice that doesn't affect anyone else.
  • Your life will go back to normal after your abortion.
  • Abortion is a simple, safe medical procedure.
  • You are too young to make a difference.

But did you know that....

  • Even when you were as small and as young as a single-cell, seconds-old human embryo, every detail of your development was already determined (your sex, hair and eye color, etc)
  • Your heart started beating when you were 21 days old
  • In the United States, over 3,000 babies are killed every day by surgical and medical abortion
  • When you were 8 weeks old, you had all the body parts that you have now
  • Most surgical abortions are performed at or after the 8th week of pregnancy
  • Chemical contraception, such as the pill, "emergency contraception," the patch and Depo-Provera, can kill babies in the womb
  • Most women taking chemical contraception are not aware of how it works
  • Every person is a unique creation of God and is part of His plan -- there is no one else like you!

CLAIM: Abortion does not end the life of a human being.

REALITY: According to physicians, biologists, human embryologists and scientists, the start of fertilization "marks the beginning of the life of a human being....There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological and scientific writings." (Testimony given to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the Human Life Bill (S.158), 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981, p. 7). Therefore, any abortion, whether it occurs when the mother is just a few minutes or a few months into gestation, kills a new human being.

CLAIM: Women have the right to control their bodies.

REALITY: All of us have the right to control our bodies. We decide how much food to eat, how often to work out and what clothes to wear. But, once a baby is created,  we are no longer talking about one person's body; we are talking about a baby and a mother. That little baby, no matter how small, has his or her own set of rights.

CLAIM: Abortion is a personal choice that doesn't affect anyone else.

REALITY: Look around you -- more than 1/4 of your generation is gone forever. These kids may have been your friends, classmates, husbands or wives. Abortion is destroying our nation -- a nation that you are very much a part of.

CLAIM: Your life will go back to normal after your abortion.

REALITY: After an abortion, the majority of relationships break up; over 50% of women experience nightmares, thoughts of suicide and an inability to communicate or develop healthy relationships -- and many women turn to alcohol and drugs.

CLAIM: You are too young to make a difference.

REALITY: You are never too young to spread God's truth. You can make a difference. "Let no one disregard you because you are young, but be an example to all the believers in the way you speak and behave, and in your love, your faith, and your purity" (1 Timothy 4:12).

CLAIM: Abortion is a simple, safe medical procedure.

REALITY: Complications from abortion include blood clots, hemorrhaging, infection, cut or torn cervix, perforated uterus, pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and even death.

Abortion: Is it really just a simple medical procedure?

Abortion advocates would like us to think so, but take a look at how abortions are actually performed, and what abortion doctors and clinic workers have to say.  Abortion in the United States is permitted through all 9 months of pregnancy. More than 3,000 surgical abortions are performed every day in this country. Millions more children are killed by contraceptive chemicals. The types of abortions performed at different times during the babies' development in utero differ greatly because as the child grows, she becomes harder to kill.

The Baby in the First 12 Weeks (First 3 Months)

At 18 days, a baby's heart starts beating. At 40 days, brain waves can be detected. By 8 weeks, when most abortions are performed, the major organs found in a fully-developed adult are present. In the first 3 months, the baby can suck his thumb, perform a somersault, respond to touch, hiccup and grasp an object. He's 2 and a half inches long and is already perfectly formed!

Types of abortions performed


The pill, mini-pill, Depo-Provera, IUD and emergency contraception ("morning-after" pill). It is well known that chemical contraceptives can act to prohibit ovulation and prevent fertilization. However, most women do not know that these chemicals also act to alter the lining of the womb (uterus), rendering it too thin so that the implantation of a newly created child cannot occur. If the child does not implant in the lining of the womb and receive nourishment, he or she will die.


Drugs that are designed to cause abortions 100% of the time include the RU-486 regimen (mifeprex and cytotec/misoprostol) and the MTX medical abortion (methotrexate and misoprostol). Women using these methods are usually aware that an abortion will result.


This procedure involves ultrasound technology and a handheld syringe that creates a powerful suction. An ultrasound machine is used to detect the exact location of the child. A catheter connected to a syringe is then inserted into the uterus and the baby is sucked out of her mother's womb.


In this most common abortion method, the cervix is dilated and a hollow tube with a knife-edged tip is inserted into the uterus. The suction machine, 29 times more powerful than a vacuum, rips the baby apart and sucks him into a bottle. An assistant to the doctor then puts the baby back together, like a puzzle, to make sure that nothing is left inside the womb.


In this rarely used method, a loop-shaped, steel knife is inserted into the uterus, slicing the baby to pieces. Both the baby and the placenta are then scraped out into a bowl.

The Baby at Four to Six Months in the Womb

During this time, the baby is 8-12 inches long and weighs about one pound. The baby can now hear sounds like his mother's heartbeat and voice. The mom can feel her baby moving. A baby born towards the end of the second trimester has a great chance of surviving.

Types of abortions performed


Because the bones of a baby are solidly formed by 12 weeks, the doctor must use an instrument that resembles pliers. He inserts the instrument and grabs hold of the baby's leg or another body part. He then uses a twisting motion to rip it from the baby's body. Later, the child's spine is snapped and the skull crushed to fit through the birth canal.

SALINE (used in second and third trimester abortions)

A 20% salt solution is injected into the sac and mixes with the amniotic fluid. The baby breathes and swallows this caustic fluid and dies painfully over a period of hours from salt poisoning, dehydration, brain hemorrhage and convulsions. The mother goes into labor about a day later and delivers a badly burned, dead baby.


Using ultrasound imagery, the doctor pinpoints the location of the baby's heart. A long needle, filled with fluid, is then injected into the heart causing an immediate heart attack. This method is primarily used in "pregnancy reduction," when the mother is carrying two or more babies, but doesn't want to give birth to all of them. It is also used in selective abortion when a woman is carrying twins, one of whom has an abnormality.


A hormone producing violent contractions is injected into the mother's uterine muscle. The baby is either crushed to death by the violent contractions or delivered barely alive and left to die.

The Baby at Seven Months to Birth

At the end of this time, the child has grown to an average of 21 inches and weighs between 6-9 lbs. She can use all 5 of her senses. Her heart pumps 300 gallons a day. During the third trimester, the child is fully capable of living outside the womb.

Types of abortions performed


After several days of forced dilation of the mouth of the womb, forceps are inserted and used to pull one of the child's legs through the birth canal. The body of the child is fully delivered, with the head remaining in the birth canal. The doctor then punctures the back of the baby's head with sharp scissors and spreads the blades, tearing a hole in the baby's skull. Finally, the baby's brain is vacuumed out and the now-dead child is completely delivered.


This is simply a Cesarean section performed late in pregnancy. The mother's abdomen and womb are surgically opened and the baby is lifted out. The child is either left to die or is killed by the doctor shortly after birth.

Abortion is not just a procedure -- abortion is a direct act that takes the life of a child and can seriously harm his mother. If a woman does not receive help and healing after an abortion, she may suffer the rest of her life from physical and emotional pain. If you or someone you know is facing pregnancy alone, please call Heartbeat International at 1-888-550-7577. For information on retreats for healing after abortion, call Rachel's Vineyard at 1-877-HOPE-4-ME.

American Life League, Inc. founded by Judie Brown in 1979, is the largest Catholic grassroots pro-life organization in the United States. The organization opposes abortion under any circumstance and opposes all forms of contraception, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia. It holds to the traditional, orthodox Catholic position on pro-life and moral issues.

American Life LeagueAmerican Life League
P.O. Box 1350
Stafford, VA 22555
Phone: (540) 659-4171
Fax: (540) 659-2586

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