On its radio broadcast Thursday morning, NPR played audio of a woman undergoing an abortion, complete with disturbing sounds of machinery vacuuming out the unborn child and the mother crying and moaning.
The Michigan woman, whose identity was not revealed, received the procedure at eleven-weeks gestation, the outlet reported. In the audio, a vacuum can be heard suctioning out the unborn child, as well as the woman’s cries and moans. The segment concludes with a doctor telling the patient that the abortion had been completed. Laughter, sighs of relief, and words of moral support followed from the people in the room.
I almost didn’t want to tweet this but it’s something everyone needs to know. NPR on the radio this morning played audio of a woman getting an abortion. You can hear the vacuum turning on, crying, moaning, and the doctor telling her it’s done.
Warning: It’s tough to listen to. pic.twitter.com/nlSNz0m5Ka
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 3, 2022
NPR reporter Kate Wells did a voiceover while the abortion was occurring, so listeners were unable to make out conversation between the woman and medical staff.
For nine days in October, ahead of the midterm elections, Wells shadowed the staff at an abortion clinic, Northland Family Planning in metro Detroit, Mich., and reported her findings in an extensive article. She told the stories of multiple women who came through the doors and left after their babies had been removed from their wombs.
Wells relayed heartbreaking stories, such as that of a young woman who is already a mother to two toddlers, who she said had an abusive father. The woman, who was pregnant with twins, had an abortion performed the week she spoke to Wells. According to Wells, the woman told her existing children that she was carrying their siblings in her womb but would not be giving birth to them.
“My daughter was so cute. She said, ‘OK, well, maybe another time, maybe later,’” the woman told Wells. “I was like, ‘Yes, maybe later.’ Because she doesn’t know that at the end of the day I can’t physically, financially or mentally handle two more kids.”
After Wells posted the story on Twitter, she received angry replies from commenters claiming that it was highly skewed to favor the pro-abortion argument. NPR is publicly funded.
Wells retorted: “I have to disagree that doing a story inside an abortion clinic is somehow ‘pro-abortion.’ Abortion is on the ballot in Nov. I’d argue that getting to see what’s actually happening in clinics right now isn’t biased, it’s factual.”
Amid projections of a red wave in next week’s midterm elections, Democrats are trying to capitalize on the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade to turnout pro-choice voters. While some constituencies consider abortion access a major concern, most Americans do not rank it as their top issue. In most polling, abortion ranks below skyrocketing inflation, the economy, crime, and homelessness in terms of voters’ concerns.