To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Photos showing what early abortions actually look like go viral
Featured Image Credit: MYA Network

Photos showing what early abortions actually look like go viral

A group of clinicians have received a divided response after sharing images of what pregnancy tissue looks like from abortions

A group of clinicians have received a divided response after sharing images of what pregnancy tissue looks like from abortions carried out within nine weeks.

Earlier in June, millions of women lost the legal right to an abortion when the United States Supreme Court overturned the 50-year-old Roe v Wade ruling.

The decision resulted in it being possible for individual states across North America to introduce bans on abortion, later leading to 14 states in the US banning or severely restricting the procedure.

On Wednesday 19 October, a group of clinicians at the MYA Network released images of what pregnancy tissue looks like when someone receives an abortion within the first nine weeks of pregnancy.

*Warning: Contains images some may find upsetting.*

The images have since gone viral and caused conflicting responses.

The images – shared via an article by The Guardian as part of MYA Network's #IssueWithTissue project – show what the tissue extracted from the womb looks like when an abortion is carried out within the first nine weeks of pregnancy.

On Instagram, MYA Network states: "We strongly believe that the misinformation used by anti-abortion advocates, to shame, stigmatize, and criminalize people seeking care, must be combatted.

"Join us in sharing accurate medical information—repost and tag your friends!"

Dr Joan Fleischman, who co-founded MYA Network, told The Guardian how some patients are 'stunned' after seeing the tissue from their abortion and 'what it actually looks like'.

She continued: "That’s when I realised how much the imagery on the internet and on placards – showing human-like qualities at this early stage of development – has really permeated the culture.

"People almost don’t believe this is what comes out."

Dr Joan Fleischman reflected on how shocked people are when they see what the tissue really looks like.
MYA Network

Many images shown by anti-abortion protesters outside clinics are also incorrect, Dr Fleischman explained - particularly when it comes to protest images surrounding the six-week abortion ban called the 'heartbeat' bill, a form of abortion restriction legislation exemplified in Texas.

Dr Fleischman said: "Clinicians date pregnancy from the first day of your last period, to help predict the due date. But you’re not pregnant for those first two weeks. So someone with a six-week pregnancy may have very little time after a missed period to get abortion care in states with a six-week limit."

Even images at seven weeks are deceiving, with the doctor explaining how many people expect to 'see a little fetus with hands – a developed, miniature baby' but, in reality, it's still just tissue.

"A lot of early pregnancy images are driven by people who are against abortion and feel that life begins at conception, or by prenatal enthusiasts who want women to be excited about their pregnancy. What about people who aren’t?" Dr Fleischman questioned.

MYA Network's images have since gone viral online, and have sparked - as anticipated - controversy.

Some social media users - and anti-abortionists - have spoken out against the images and accused the clinicians of lying.

One wrote: "Considering that we know scientifically that a human life starts from the moment of conception as a single cell, what is this supposed to prove?"

"It's still a life," another wrote.

However, others applauded the images.

One Twitter user argued: "In the 80s I terminated an 8 week pregnancy. You had to wait until 8 weeks. I requested the doctor show me what was in the bowl that he extracted. It was a blood clot about the size of a half dollar, maybe smaller. That’s not personhood."

A final resolved: "I’m a well educated 26yo. And I had NO IDEA this was the reality (pro choice regardless!) … Thank you so much for sharing actually facts."

For help, support and advice about abortion, contact the National Abortion Federation on 1-800-772-9100, EST 8am-7pm EST Monday to Friday or EST 8am-4pm EST Saturday to Sunday

Topics: Science, Twitter, Social Media, Viral, Sex and Relationships