Recently, Emily Letts, a 25-year-old abortion counselor at the Cherry Hill Women’s Center in New Jersey, filmed herself undergoing an abortion at the facility where she works.
Filmed showing Letts from the face up, the video gained national attention after it won the Abortion Care Network’s Stigma Busting video competition. Letts also recently penned an article for Cosmopolitan magazine titled, ‘Why I Filmed My Abortion,’ explaining her decision to make the video.
Letts wrote that she was inspired to film her abortion after seeing a YouTube video of another woman who filmed herself after taking the abortion pill RU 486, in order “to show everyone she was fine, that it’s not scary, it doesn’t hurt, and that she was confident in her decision to do it.”
Letts noted that the “the misinformation is amazing” among women she’s counseled in the clinic, and that by making her own video, she sought to dispel some common misconceptions about abortions.
I don’t criticize this woman for wanting to tell her story; it’s her prerogative to exercise her freedom of speech.
But if this video was being made with the purpose of being informative about the procedure itself, it failed miserably.
If so many women are misinformed about abortion, why not make a video that goes over this misinformation step-by-step? That way, women can really gain a better understanding of how abortions work.
I’m not upset with Letts. I’m more upset with the Cherry Hill Women’s Center – and with the doctor who performed this procedure and agreed to have it filmed. This video brings nothing to the table in terms of correcting real misconceptions about abortions.
Yes, a first trimester termination, like the one Letts had, can be done safely under the proper supervision of a doctor. Nonetheless, there are always potential complications, and in this video, I saw none of those complications listed. I saw no interaction between the patient and a doctor – or the patient and a counselor – explaining the procedure.
This doctor grossly fails to bring forward any pertinent information concerning facts women should be aware of when it comes to terminating a pregnancy.
Making a video for the sake of publicity during such a charged, emotional procedure is irresponsible, and this video does not move the discussion about abortions forward one single frame.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny's work, visit AskDrManny.com.