The picture illustrates the point that so-called "simple" early
surgical abortion involves the dismemberment of the fetus, who by 9-10
weeks is well developed enough to curl his toes or bend his hips and
knees in response to a touch on the sole of the foot (What the fetus
feels, Valman and Pearson, British Medical Journal, 26 Jan 1980).
By this stage, most women realise they are pregnant, and hormonal
changes often cause sickness, depression and other symptons. Most
decisions about abortion are made at around 10 weeks, often under
pressure from partners, doctors, relatives or others. Without positive
support an abortion can seem unavoidable - but may be bitterly
regretted later on.
From the 1980s onwards literature on post-abortion syndrome has been accumulating.