Emily Letts is a young abortion counselor who decided to made a video of her own abortion to show that it wasn’t some scary thing. I don’t know exactly what she was thinking, but it seems to me that a lot of people in the anti-choice movement think that abortion involves doctors going inside the vagina with scalpels to cut full growth babies to pieces like something out of a slasher horror film. Given the size of fetuses during early term abortions, the procedures is more like hair electrolysis.
Amanda Marcotte over at RH Reality Check summed up the typical anti-choice reaction, Anti-Choicers Desperately Insist You See Things That Are Clearly Not There. Mostly, it is like Breitbart‘s William Bigelow who noted, “Of course, it wasn’t so pain-free and safe for the baby, but there is no mention of the baby in the entire article—or, for that matter, his or her father.” That one’s delicious! Not only does he (It’s always a he!) focus on it being a “baby” but he’s also concerned that the father’s rights are somehow being denied. That’s the first thing that I think about when a woman decides to have an abortion, “Is this okay with the father?!”
I don’t know how far along Letts’ pregnancy is. But I do know it is well within the first trimester. I also know that it is only in the fifth week that the brain starts to develop. It is not until well into the third trimester that what we think of as an actual human brain begins to develop. Pain is something that we experiment because of our brains. The nerve impulses are not themselves pain.
I have to admit, though: abortion does bother me. I don’t like it when things are killed. I try to get house flies to leave my room rather than kill them. Just the same, if they don’t, I have no problem killing them. I place my comfort above the life of a house fly. I am not a Jain. (Although I greatly respect them!) Of course, I’m not suggesting that a house fly is a fetus. Just the same, the annoyance of a fly buzzing me is not the same as a fetus growing inside me that might kill me. And note: women die during childbirth at a much greater rate in the United States than they do in other advanced countries. But I don’t hear anyone in the Breitbart empire upset about that.
Don’t misunderstand, I know that the real reason that people are against abortion is because they claim that the fetus has a soul. How do they know that? No one knows. It’s just a commonly held opinion in the religious community. But it’s funny how when these people, who supposedly only care about the souls of fetuses, start talking about killing “babies” when they are trying to make a political argument. And that’s especially interesting because, as I noted above, they don’t seem to care about mothers dying as a result of childbirth. And they don’t much seem to care about the babies dying after they’re born. Get ’em born; get ’em baptized; and let ’em die!
But Emily Letts shows in her short, not at all graphic video, first trimester abortions are simple, painless, and quick medical procedures. There are no babies involved. And if you ask Thomas Aquinas, there are no souls involved either.