REVEALED: Planned Parenthood watered-down its fetal heartbeat guidance from saying a baby's heart DOES develop at six weeks to calling it 'embryotic cardiac activity'... a month before Stacey Abrams' incendiary comments
- The old Planned Parenthood advice from this year said a 'basic heart' develops at weeks five and six of a pregnancy
- That changed sometime before August to say it was in fact 'cardiac activity that sounds like a heartbeat on an ultrasound'
- Scientists tweeted in August that they saw the old advice only weeks prior
- The change came at a time of raging debate over Roe v. Wade and whether it was humane to terminate a pregnancy when a heartbeat could be detected
- Earlier this week, Stacy Abrams claimed that a fetal heartbeat at six weeks was a 'manufactured sound'
Planned Parenthood quietly changes its guidance for pregnant mothers at the height of the Roe v. Wade debate earlier this year from telling them a baby's heartbeat could be detected at six weeks, to instead describing it as 'activity that sounds like a heartbeat'.
The advice changed sometime before August this year and was picked up on by scientists at the time, when the country and the world was debating America's position on abortion.
The change gains new relevance today in the context of the controversy surrounding Stacey Abrams, a Democrat who said earlier this week that a six-week fetal heartbeat was a 'manufactured sound' invented by men to control women and prevent abortions.
The old Planned Parenthood advice contradicted her explicitly.
It told mothers that 'a very basic beating heart and circulatory system develop' in weeks five and six of a pregnancy.
The new advice offers this more watered-down version: 'A part of the embryo starts to show cardiac activity. It sounds like a heartbeat on an ultrasound, but it's not a fully-formed heart - it's the earliest stage of the heart developing.'
Neither supports her assertion that the sound is 'manufactured'.
OLD ADVICE FROM EARLIER THIS YEAR: The old Planned Parenthood advice told mothers that a 'very basic beating heart' develops at weeks five-six in a pregnancy. The website changed its advice before Stacy Abrams made her claims this week that a six-week fetal heartbeat is made-up
NEW ADVICE FIRST SPOTTED IN AUGUST: The new advice offers a more watered-down version that what can be detected is part of the embryo showing cardiac activity. That is what is picked up by the ultrasound and it is a real sound
British scientists picked up on the change in the Planned Parenthood advice in August this year wen the country and the world were debating America's abortion laws
CAN A FETAL HEARTBEAT BE DETECTED AT SIX WEEKS? YES... BUT IT'S NOT A FULLY-FORMED HEART (AND IT DEPENDS ON YOUR DEFINITION OF HEARTBEAT)
A fetal heartbeat can be detected by a vaginal ultrasound between 5 ½ and 6 ½ weeks, when the fetal pole can be seen.
It does not represent a fully formed heart within the embryo.
Instead, the ultrasound detects what is described by scientists as a 'flutter' in the area where the heart will form.
At 6 to 7 weeks, the baby's heart 'continues to grow and now beats at a regular rhythm', which can be seen by vaginal ultrasound.
An abdominal ultrasound can also be conducted from around 7 ½ weeks, but many don't take place until 11 weeks, and can try to confirm a baby's heartbeat from 10 weeks.
The technical definition of the heartbeat is electrical activity caught on a vaginal ultrasound and then used to mimic a heartbeat.
It can only be detected through invasive transvaginal scan before six weeks, and a fetus' heart is often not fully developed until the 10th week of pregnancy – when an abdominal ultrasound can be used pick it up.
While it's unclear exactly when Planned Parenthood changed the guidance, British doctor Calum Miller tweeted about the shift on August 22.
At the time, Roe v. Wade had been overturned and the whole world was up in arms over the decision. Other scientists chimed in to say they had screenshots of the old advice from 'just a few weeks ago'. Roe v. Wade was overturned on June 24.
The change in the advice has galvanized pro-lifers' into claiming that the liberal left will abandon science to support pro-choice arguments.
Many took aim at Abrams' claim that a fetal heartbeat at six weeks couldn't be detected, pointing to scientific evidence that it can.
'There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks. It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body.' she said.
Representative Buddy Carter of Georgia tweeted 'Stacey Abrams claims there's 'no such thing as a heartbeat' at six weeks. NIH says a fetal heartbeat begins at week 4 - What happened to following the science?'
US Senator Lindsey Graham also slammed her comments, saying she is trying to 'change science' by 'denying that the baby has a heartbeat'.
Daily Caller reporter Laurel Duggan said When pro-aborts deny that fetal heartbeats can be detected at 6 weeks, they argue it's not *technically* a heartbeat... No one is saying heartbeats picked up by sonograms are literally just fake (except Stacey Abrams).'
Abrams appeared to be talking about the technical definition of the heartbeat, which is electrical activity caught on a vaginal ultrasound.
Stacey Abrams (second from the left), Georgia's Democratic gubernatorial candidate, said she believes fetal heartbeats are a 'manufactured sound' used to restrict abortion rights
'Does she think some doctor is hiding behind the Doppler beatboxing into a microphone in perfect imitation of a heartbeat? Stacey Abrams is so deranged,' podcast host Liz Wheeler wrote.
It can only be detected through invasive transvaginal scan before six weeks, and a fetus' heart is often not fully developed until the 10th week of pregnancy.
It is at that point of a pregnancy that an abdominal ultrasound can be used pick up the sound of a fetus's heartbeat can be picked up.
Addressing the audience at the event she said: 'There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks. It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman's body.'
DailyMail.com columnist Meghan McCain also hit out at Abrams, saying: 'Hearing my babies heartbeats at 6 weeks is hands down one of the most exciting, liberating and most beautiful moments of my entire life.
'Hands down. Stacey Abrams is a very sick person to say this and somehow accuse doctors of faking fetal heartbeats. Full stop.'
Senator Adams added: 'Stacey Abrams perfectly encapsulates the belief and direction of the Democratic Party when it comes to the unborn -- deny science and support abortion on demand up until the moment of birth.
'This extreme position only works if you deny science. Today's outrageous statement fits a pattern.
'Abrams is a socialist on economic matters, soft on crime, and now wants to deny even the most basic protections to the unborn by claiming they do not have a heartbeat at six weeks. She is wrong on so many levels.'
Dr. Kelli Ward, chairwoman of the Arizona GOP, said: 'This woman not only again proves she is a total idiot or a liar (or both), but also shows how gullible her supporters are.'
Sports commentator Michele Tafoya added: 'So, Stacey Abrams… When my (male) doctors told me they could no longer hear my baby's heartbeat… as I lost pregnancy after pregnancy… Was that fake, too?
'Did they manufacture the absence of my baby's heartbeat in order to force me to terminate the pregnancy?'
The 'Heartbeat Law', which has been passed in nine states, bans women from getting an abortion from six weeks - except in exceptional circumstances - with only some states having exceptions for rape, incest or abuse.
The laws were reinstated over the summer after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year, sparking outrage and protest across the country.
A spokesman for Abrams' campaign said she supports the guidelines established in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which justices found a fetus was viable at about 23 weeks.
In a statement they said: 'Stacey Abrams has already stated her support for limits in line with Roe and Casey — and doctors have been clear that the so-called 'heartbeat law' is not medically accurate.'
Abrams was pro-life until she turned 30, and has now made an aggressive switch to speak out in support of the pro-abortion movement.
Her comments come less than a week after she told The View that she supports abortions 'until the time of birth' in some cases.
However OBGYN Dr. Nisha Verma, of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, agreed with Abrams comments, saying that the term 'fetal heartbeat' was misleading.
She told NPR : 'At six weeks of gestation, those valves don't exist.
'The flickering that we're seeing on the ultrasound that early in the development of the pregnancy is actually electrical activity, and the sound that you 'hear' is actually manufactured by the ultrasound machine.'
A new poll shows Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp with an eight-point lead over Democrat Stacey Abrams with less than 50 days until the midterm elections
She added that while she wouldn't consider any embryo as having a heartbeat at six weeks, doctors use a language that patients can connect with.
Abrams, who said she was raised pro-life, presented her new views on abortion while on The View last week.
When asked by the show's new conservative host, Alyssa Farah Griffin, if she believed there should be any limitation on abortion, Abrams said: 'Viability is the metric and that if a woman's health or life is in danger then viability extends until the time of birth.'
Abrams added that abortion is a 'medical decision not a political one' and called various state-imposed limitations on the practice 'arbitrary.'
The stance is a far shift from Abrams' previous views on the issue, as she criticized a friend in college who considered getting an abortion.
Her views shifted, however, once she began to consider running for office, according to a New York Times profile of Abrams.
She admitted as much on CNN's State of the Union in August, saying she began to reevaluate her religious upbringing and her pro-life position in college.
'I was anti-abortion until I went to college. And, there, I met a friend who has my shared faith values, but we started having conversations about what reproductive care and abortion care really is,' she said.
Earlier this week, Abrams made abortion rights the focus of her campaign bid against Gov. Brian Kemp, who she lost to in 2018 despite insisting that the election was stolen.
'Women deserve full citizenship in the United States and certainly in the state of Georgia, and they are being denied that because of Brian Kemp's 6-week ban,' she told CNN.
Kemp has repeatedly defended the six-week ban and said he would not allow the election to be focused on abortion, but rather on the economy.
According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, Kemp is leading the race with 50 percent of voters supporting the Republican governor compared to the 48 percent backing Abrams.
The poll is slightly favorable to the one released by the local Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which had Abrams down to 42 percent while Kemp still led with 50 percent of voters backing him.
The poll found that while 57 percent of voters wanted to know the candidate's views on abortion, an overwhelming 41 percent said inflation was the number one issue facing Georgia, while only 12 said the same about abortion.