Is it really a baby?
You may wonder if the fetus actually qualifies as a baby. YES! By 18-25 days of gestational age1 (that means between one-two weeks after conception), the baby has a heartbeat. This heartbeat can often be detected on an ultrasound at around 42 days of gestational age. By the time the fetus is 11-12 weeks gestational age, he/she can swallow, has fingerprints, has nerve endings, sucks his thumb, has all body systems at work, and can fit in the palm of your hand.2 A fetus is a real, living human who has a right to live.
Different abortion procedures are used as “birth control” once a baby has been formed in the womb. Abortion laws vary by state, but the ones mentioned here are based on North Carolina law.
Plan B. Also known as the Morning After Pill or “emergency contraception,” Plan B is a high dose of hormone given to the mother shortly after having sex. The pill may prevent ovulation or prevent the sperm from reaching the egg if fertilization has not yet occurred. However, if fertilization/conception has occurred, Plan B prevents the baby from implanting in the mother’s uterus. If the baby cannot implant in the uterus, it cannot develop, and the body will flush out the embryo. During the time after sex when Plan B is effective, there is no way to determine if conception has occurred. People often refer to Plan B as preventative, but it may actually be killing the life that was just created in the mother.3
RU-486/Mifepristone. “This medical abortion is used for women who are within 30 to 49 days after their last menstrual period. This procedure usually requires three office visits. The RU 486 or mifepristone pills are given to the woman who returns two days later for a second medication called misprostol. The combination of these medications causes the uterus to expel the fetus.”4 By 30 to 49 days, this baby already has a heartbeat. By using RU486, the mother is killing her baby.
Suction Curettage and Dilation & Evacuation. In North Carolina, once a woman reaches 8 weeks gestation, surgical abortions are legal. Procedures such as Suction Curettage and Dilation & Evacuation are used. In these procedures, the doctor either uses a suction machine or forceps to pull the baby’s body apart and remove the body parts from the uterus. During Dilation & Evacuation, the baby’s head is so large that the doctor must crush the head in order to remove it. These are truly human body parts like arms, legs, torsos, and heads. There is no doubt that these procedures destroy the fetus’s life.4
In North Carolina, abortions cannot legally be performed after 20 weeks gestational age.
“For men and women alike, the feeling of emptiness may last a lifetime, for parents are parents forever, even of a dead child.”5
1Gestational age is the number of days, weeks, or months since the mother’s last period. We begin counting gestational age before sex, conception, and implantation ever occur.
2From The “Young One.” A registered trademark of Project “Young One,” Inc.
3 “Plan B. The Morning After Pill.” (2007). Focus on the Family.
4 “Before You Decide: An Abortion Education Resource.” (2003). Care Net.
5 Rue, V. (2002). “Forgotten Fathers: Men and Abortion.” Life Cycle Books: Toronto, ON.