Feet of a baby aborted at 10 weeks


A young pathologist working in a hospital where abortions were done took this photograph. He wanted to show people what abortion involved.

He photographed these human feet at about 10 weeks after conception. A life-size replica of these feet in the form of a badge is worn by many pro-life supporters. It has become an international symbol of the movement. See how completely formed the feet are, even though tiny in comparison to the pathologist's fingers.


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.