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Abortion | What You Need to Know

  • Abortion stops a beating heart.

  • Considering an abortion is an extremely emotionally difficult decision.  That is why pregnant girls/women do not tell their friends on Facebook that they just got home from their abortion.
    When a girl is considering abortion, she knows it's a baby.  But...she's terrified. She's terrified of what people will think. She is terrified of how this will affect her career, her family, or her relationships.  She is terrified of what it will do to her financial situation.
    The motivation for choosing abortion is not ignorance of the fact that it is a baby. The motivation for choosing abortion is fear. The antidote to fear is hope, not a lecture about the fact that life begins at conception.   
    She needs to believe that her life will not be irreparably harmed.  She needs to believe that people will stand by her, and that they will support her rather than condemn her.  She needs to believe it won't lead to a life of poverty.   (Abortion and Fear, by Joseph Backholm, Executive Director, Family Policy Institute of Washington, January 30, 2013)  
  • Science confirms that new life begins when 2 special cells unite to become one cell.  Approximately 22 days after the two cells have united, a little heart begins to beat.  At 26 days the circulation of blood begins. 

  • When a fetus feels pain.  Not long ago, surgeons did not think of providing anesthesia to an unborn child during operations, or even to children who were newly born.  The belief was that these babies could not feel pain. 

    Groundbreaking research
    by Dr. Kawaljeet Anand, Dr. Ray Paschall and others, has presented compelling evidence to indicate fetuses at 20 weeks or younger feel pain intensely, even without any developed connection between the thalamus and the cortex, which has been thought necessary for pain to occur.  This is detected by measuring the heart rate of a fetus and other external indications of discomfort.  Dr. Anand believes unborn children or premature babies may even feel pain more intensely than older humans, because they lack the fibers that can dampen and modulate the experience of pain. 

    Research shows a fetus can feel pain as early as 8 weeks after conception, developing into a more mature perception by the 18th week, according to Maureen Condic, a neurobiologist at the University of Utah Medical School. 

    This research is important for public policy considerations.  When it established a right to abortion in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court set the age of viability at 28 weeks, which conformed roughly to the scientific knowledge of that era.  The court moved the age of viability to 24 weeks in 1992, thanks to advances that made it possible for babies to survive outside the womb at an earlier age.  Viability is one consideration, but the ability to feel pain ought to be just as important. 

    Science and public policy are not always on the same page.  Our nation sacrifices some of its humanity if it legally allows the inflicting of fetal pain on the most vulnerable of its people.  While the science remains indefinite on the subject, there is abundant evidence to suggest the courts ought to err on the side of caution.  The nation cannot afford to do otherwise.  (Feeling their pain, editorial, Deseret News, September 15, 2013) 
  • In rare situations an abortion may be deemed necessary, such as in cases of forcible rape, incest, or medical situations where the mother’s health is at risk.  However, most abortions are merely a form of birth control, performed on demand to deal with unwanted pregnancies.  
  • Some pregnancies are terminated because of fear that a child may not be formed perfectly.  Life has great value for all, including those born with disabilities.   To deny life to a baby who may be born with a possible handicap, is inconsistent with the love for and the remarkable lives of so many disabled children and adults, and the families and friends who love them. 

  • Men Start It.  Men Oppress with It.  Men Can End It.  The majority of abortions are paid for by men—because men do not want to accept responsibility for what they have created.  Courts and culture have made abortion all about a woman’s right to choose, thereby freeing men of any legal involvement in that choice. 

    Nearly 60% of women getting abortions say they were coerced or forced to make that choice.  Men who force abortion, 1) show the female in their life that they don’t care enough to protect either the woman or the child, and 2) threaten their child with a death sentence. 

    Women and men who regret their choice to have an abortion may find some comfort at The Abortion Memorial at http://www.AbortionMemorial.com where they can talk about their sorrow and regret. 
    (“Abortion – the Ultimate Exploitation of Women - Men Started It. Men Oppress with It.  Men Can End It.” by Brian Fisher, Online for Life President, 700 Club, June 14, 2013)  http://abortionexploitswomen.com/

  • As of July 1, 2008, South Dakota requires doctors to tell a woman seeking an abortion that the procedure “will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being.”  Doctors are also required to ask a woman seeking an abortion if she wants to see a sonogram of the fetus.  Under the law, doctors must say that the woman has “an existing relationship” with the fetus that is protected by the U.S. Constitution and that “her existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated.”  The doctor is required to say that “abortion increases the risk of suicide ideation (suicidal thoughts) and suicide.”  These messages must be delivered no earlier than 2 hours before the procedure; and the woman must say in writing that she understands.  ("Women Seeking Abortions in South Dakota to Get Anti-Abortion Advice," by A. G. Sulzberger, The New York Times, March 22, 2011) 

  • What would the world be like today, if the mothers of Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther, Christopher Columbus, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, Walt Disney, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Wright brothers, Louis Pasteur....had aborted those babies?  

    Many mothers have taken loving care of their babies and young children, and then gifted them to another family to love and raise.  These women blessed the world with Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple), Maya Angelou (poet and author), Moses (prophet), Augustus Caesar (Emperor of Rome), Helen Keller (blind and deaf teacher), Florence Nightingale (nurse and social reformer), Kristin Chenoweth (actress), President Bill Clinton, President Gerald Ford, Newt Gingrich (politician), Scott Hamilton (professional skater), John Hancock (U.S. Founding Father), Art Linkletter (TV personality), Nelson Mandela (human rights activist), Michael Oher (professional football, story inspired The Blind Side), First Lady Nancy Reagan, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Babe Ruth (professional baseball), Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy's, children's advocate), Faith Hill (singer), Leo Tolstoy (Russian author), Melissa Gilbert (actress), Dan O'Brien (Olympic decathlon champion), and countless others. 

    The lives of all children are valuable,
    not because of what they accomplish, but because their Creator has given their lives meaning and purpose.  It is with this in mind that caring for orphans in distress carries its proper significance. 

    "Perhaps there is no greater miracle
    than finding a loving home for a child who needs one."  - President Bill Clinton

    "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul
    than the way in which it treats its children."  - Nelsons Mandela

    "It's true that we can't help the circumstances we're born into
    and some of us start out in a much tougher place than other people.  But just because we started there doesn't mean we have to end there."  - Michael Oher

    "I have a lot of respect for my birth mother...I know she must have had a lot of love for me to want to give me what she felt was a better chance."  - Faith Hill

    "Love recognizes no barriers. 
    It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, and penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."  - Maya Angelou

    "Everyone's got to be for a child, to have a home and love.  I mean, I don't know anyone who would be against that."  - Dave Thomas  

    (Source: "30 Famous People who were Adopted," Show Hope, a Movement to Care for Orphans, March 2014.

  • You are alive and reading this sentence, because your mother was probably pro-life.

  • Children  killed during the Holocaust.  In Jerusalem, there is a Children’s Memorial Museum which is part of the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.  As you move through the Children’s Memorial, the first names of the children and their age at death are announced one after another with a background of music that portrays this terrible atrocity. It is believed that over one million Jewish children were killed during the Holocaust.  That was truly a tragedy of monumental proportions.  Although the motive and intent was to kill Jewish children, because they were Jews, the loss of those children is devastating.  One cannot help reflecting on the horror of that experience without realizing that in the United States alone, there are as many abortions every two years as the number of Jewish children killed in the Holocaust during the Second World War.  (source:  http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?Moduleld=10006124)

  • "The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development."  (Pope Francis' address to Congress, September 24, 2015)

  • The abortion rate has dropped to the lowest level since the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.  The Alan Guttmacher Institute reports the annual number of abortions has fallen below 1 million.  Researchers say increased contraceptive use and statewide limits on abortions led to the decline. Carol Tobias, President of the National right to Life said that "Though we still have a long way to go, hitting this historic low is a critical milestone as we work to restore full legal protection to unborn children."  She  added that more women are moving away from abortions, because they can see their unborn babies moving in the womb with ultrasounds and hear their heartbeats. CBN, Jan 18, 2017)

  • In 2014, there were 1,038 "reported" abortions and 5,892 live births in Spokane County.  
    (Center for Health Statistics, Washington State Department of Health, July 2015,

  • In 2013, 14% of Spokane County pregnancies ended in abortion, which is a significantly lower proportion than in Washington state (17%). From 2009 to 2013 in Spokane County, the abortion rate significantly decreased. The proportion of pregnancies ending in abortion decreased as maternal age increased and was higher among nonwhites.   (Spokane Counts 2015 report, Spokane Regional Health District)  

    The State of Washington's 2013 percentages were different:  979 reported abortions, and 6,059 live births.  
    (Source:  "Washington abortions and live births by county of residence, 1997-2013,"
    Center for Health Statistics, Washington State Department of Health, July 2015)

  • In Spokane, 2,000 abortions take place each year (5 abortions each day).  (Life Services of Spokane, 2012)

  • Many state legislatures have banned abortions after 20 weeks, due to evidence of fetal pain - Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas.  Abortions are banned at 12 weeks of gestation in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Poland.  (British Broadcasting Corporation and the Guttmacher Institute, 2013) 

  • More than 400 women have died getting abortions since the Supreme Court legalized the procedure nationwide in 1973, and thousands have been injured and permanently injured.  A new report from Americans United for Life (AUL) shows years of documented abuse within the abortion industry. (Source:  "Abortion more dangerous than Clinics Claim," Paul Strand, CBN News, Dec. 29, 2016)

  • The Elliot Institute research reveals -  
    • 64% of women having abortions felt pressured by others.
    • 52% felt rushed, and 54% were not sure about the decision at the time; yet 67% received no counseling beforehand.  
    • 84% reported that they did not receive adequate counseling.
    • 79% were not informed about available alternatives.
    • 31% of women suffered health complications after an abortion.  10% suffer immediate complications, one-fifth of which are life-threatening.
    • Women have a 65% higher risk of clinical depression after abortion compared to women who give birth.
    • 65% suffer multiple symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after abortion.
    • Death rates from all causes are 3.5 times higher among women who abort, compared to women who give birth.
    • 60% of women who aborted said, “Part of me died.”
  • A single induced abortion increases the risk of maternal death by 45 percent compared to women with no history of abortion, according to a new study of all women of reproductive age in Denmark over a 25 year period.  In addition, each additional abortion is associated with an even higher death rate.

    Women who had two abortions were 114 percent more likely to die during the period examined, and women had three or more abortions had a 192 percent increased risk of death. 

    Women with a history of successful deliveries were the least likely to die during the 25 years examined. Women who had never been pregnant had the highest mortality rate.

    Elevated rates of death were also observed among women who experienced miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies or other natural losses.  Among women with a history of multiple pregnancies, women with a history of both abortions and natural losses, but no live births, had the highest mortality rate.    (Source:  "Abortions Increase Risk of Maternal Death:  New Study," Elliot Institute, 2012, http://afterabortion.org/2012/multiple-abortions-increase-risk-of-maternal-death-new-study/)
8 million military fatalities occurred in WWI
22 million servicemen and women died in WWII
40 million abortions are performed every year worldwide

  • Abortion clinics are closing their doors at an unprecedented rate.  The closings come as state legislatures across the country are putting out tighter regulations on abortion centers. 
    2011 - 30 closed
    2012 - 25 closed
    2013 - 44 closed (as of September)       (CBN News, Sept. 18, 2013)

  • Evidence-based Information about unwanted, coerced or violently forced abortion in America.  http://www.theunchoice.com/coerced.htm

What You Can Do
  • Do not judge women who have had an abortion, or who are pro-choice.  "Do not judge a ship or men or women without understanding the length of the voyage and the storms they have encountered."   (sometimes attributed to Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881).  Abortion needs to be approached very carefully. Opposing views will probably not be solved by personal condemnation or judgmental accusations.

  • Guide pregnant girls and women who are afraid, to people in our community who can give them counsel and hope. 
  • Become a mentor to a teen mother who is pregnant.
  • Prepare blankets, prenatal kits, or “Welcome Baby” kits for low-income mothers.
  • Attend a Natural Family Planning Class which teaches the natural methods of family planning—achieving or preventing pregnancy.  This is completely natural and highly effective.   For more information, call Providence Women's Services at (509) 474-2400 or 474-2214.
  • Donate maternity and baby supplies to an expectant mother.
  • Women who feel sadness for previous abortions, may be able to help relieve their sadness by doing something specific in memory of that baby.

  • Women and men who regret their choice to have an abortion may find some comfort at The Abortion Memorial at http://www.AbortionMemorial.com

  • If you need to talk, contact one of the organizations listed below.

This information is intended for general education purposes only
and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical advice.
Local Organizations
Additional Resources
  • Childbirth and Parenting Assistance Program (CAPA)
    CAPA, a program of Catholic Charities, offers post-abortion counseling, provided by a licensed Mental Health therapist.  Call us at (509) 455-4986.     http://www.catholiccharitiesspokane.org/capa-2
  • Life Services of Spokane has a team that ministers to men and women troubled by abortions in their past.  If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms of emotional and psychological impact of an abortion, our pregnancy center offers confidential, compassionate support designed to help women and men work through these feelings. You are not alone.

    If you wish to begin the healing process from a past abortion or abortions, we offer one-on-one and group classes and workshops, free of charge. Deciding to seek help may be one of the toughest decisions you have to make, but it may be one of the best.  To talk to someone about issues from a past abortion, please call us.  All calls are confidential.  Call our confidential phone number at (509) 444-9035, or email path@lifeservices.org