These Photos of Early Pregnancy Tissue Challenge Common Myths About Abortion

Do you actually know what tissue from a terminated pregnancy looks like? A new op-ed from The New York Times is proving once and for all that abortions look nothing like what we’ve been told.

In honor of what should have been Roe v. Wade‘s 50th anniversary, primary care doctors Erika Bliss, Joan Fleischman, and Michele Gomez — co-founders of the organization MYAbortion Network and abortion providers themselves — authored an op-ed with real images of early pregnancy tissue. The photos depict fragments of a patient’s uterine lining and gestational sacs from five through nine weeks of pregnancy, when the vast majority of abortions in America are performed.

Surprise, surprise: Contrary to what anti-abortion activists would have you believe, the tissue does not resemble a human fetus at all.

In the piece, Fleischman, a New York-based provider, recalled showing one of her patients, Jewel, the early pregnancy tissue from her procedure. “I thought you were going to bring in something that was shaped like a little fetus or something, and it was not that at all,” Jewel told her.

This type of reaction is all too common, the trio of doctors explained. Last October, The Guardian also published images of early pregnancy tissue from MYAbortion Network. “Many people, even those who support abortion rights, did not believe the photos were accurate,” Bliss, Fleishman, and Gomez wrote. “A Stanford gynecologic pathologist has validated our photos, but many people could not believe the pictures were presented unaltered.

“It’s important to us to counter medical misinformation related to early pregnancy because about 80 percent of abortions in the United States occur at nine weeks or earlier,” they continued. “So much of the imagery that people see about abortion comes from abortion opponents who have spent decades spreading misleading fetal imagery to further their cause.”

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