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What Planned Parenthood’s New Abortion Videos Leave Out of the Conversation

By Marissa Mayer posted on:
October 17, 2017

Did you hear that Planned Parenthood released a set of videos professing to explain the abortion process? But if you were expecting something like Live Action’s abortion video series featuring former abortionist Dr. Anthony Levatino, you would be mistaken.

Where Live Action didn’t gloss over the realities of abortion, the Planned Parenthood videos seemed more like one of those unbearably awkward blood pressure drug commercials. You know, the ones with people walking through fields of flowers as the voiceover calmly explains that taking the drug could cause death and such (although Planned Parenthood conveniently leaves that part out of their videos).

Surprised? I didn’t think so.

I encourage you to watch the Planned Parenthood videos here and here, and then watch Live Action’s videos. But for time’s sake, here are some key differences between the two video series, which highlight just how misleading and vague Planned Parenthood chooses to be about the realities of abortion.


How do abortion pills work?

“Mifepristone works by blocking the hormone progesterone, which stops your pregnancy from developing,” Planned Parenthood’s abortion pill video states.

You already know you’re not getting the whole story when Planned Parenthood vaguely refers to a baby that can be as old as ten weeks—with hair, toenails, and his vital organs in place—as a “pregnancy.” The Live Action version of an abortion pill video does a much better job at describing what exactly happens to the baby in the womb to stop it from developing.

“When [Mifepristone] blocks progesterone, the lining of the mother’s uterus breaks down, cutting off blood and nourishment to the baby, who then dies inside the mother’s womb,” the Live Action video explains. 

The video goes on to detail the intense and painful bleeding, contractions, and cramping that can occur from a few hours to several days as the dead baby is expelled from the womb.

While the Planned Parenthood video lists similar symptoms and possible side effects, they also confusingly downplay the existence of the baby in the womb.   

“The abortion pill process is very similar to an early miscarriage. It’s normal to have lots of cramping and bleeding, and to pass clots and tissue—like a really heavy period,” the video asserts.

By whitewashing the reality of abortion and equating it to a miscarriage, Planned Parenthood is negating the experiences of millions of women who have miscarried. While both a miscarriage and an abortion are tragedies that involve the loss of life, in one of those cases, the loss could have been avoided.  


How does an aspiration abortion work?


Unfortunately, Planned Parenthood lumps together all abortions after 10 weeks under an “in-clinic abortion” banner. No mention of dismemberment or D&E abortions, and certainly no third trimester abortions that involve a lethal dose of digoxin to the baby’s heart and induced labor.

 Planned Parenthood appears to be mainly describing aspiration abortions.

“During an in-clinic abortion, a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider empties your uterus using gentle suction and sometimes other medical tools,” the Planned Parenthood video declares.

There is so many things wrong with that statement it’s unbelievable. Live Action puts the “gentle suction” myth to rest in their video.

“The [suction catheter] is inserted through the cervix and into the uterus. The suction machine is then turned on, with a force 10-20 times more powerful than your household vacuum cleaner,” says Dr. Levatino. “The baby is rapidly torn apart by the force of the suction and squeezed through this tubing down into the suction machine, followed by the placenta.”

If you’ve ever been in a fight with a vacuum hose and lost, you know what Dr. Levatino is talking about. It’s horrific to think of a baby being killed in this way, and it much more graphic than Planned Parenthood portrays it to be.


What about other surgical abortions?


The only evidence Planned Parenthood gives of any other kind of second or third trimester surgical abortion is a mention of “other tools,” when the video talks about how the unborn baby is killed and removed from the womb.

By “other tools” they must mean a sopher clamp. You know, the metal tool that looks like salad tongs with teeth at the end that are handy dandy for tearing apart baby arms and legs and crushing the baby’s head so each part can be removed from the womb.

Or maybe by “other tools”, Planned Parenthood meant the curette, which takes on the role of scraper in a dismemberment abortion.

“[The abortionist] removes the placenta and any leftover parts of the baby with a curette, scraping the lining of the uterus for any remaining tissue.”

Obviously, sharp metal tools moving around inside one’s body can cause some dangerous complications if the abortionist makes one wrong move. But Planned Parenthood can’t be bothered to discuss this very real possibility.

“Abortion is very common and it’s also very safe,” says the Planned Parenthood video. “And serious problems are extremely rare.”

That’s it—that’s all the video says about the potential for disaster.

In contrast, Live Action takes the time to outline the risks of abortion to the mother. And while severe injury and death may be rare, they do happen and need to be discussed openly.

Media outlets like Teen Vogue have praised Planned Parenthood’s video series, claiming that they are educational. But considering everything that Planned Parenthood leaves out of the conversation in these two videos, teenage girls will not watch these videos and have the complete picture of what they are doing to their bodies—let alone the body of the innocent baby that is growing inside of their wombs. 

Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer

Senior Copywriter & Editor

Marissa Mayer is an Arizona native who fell in love with the written word at a young age.

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