The Silent Scream (1984 film)

The Silent Scream is a video showing the completion of an abortion through an ultrasound , filmed and directed by Dr. Bernard Nathanson . 1 The description of the video asserts that the fetus seems to move with gestures of pain and discomfort during the process. The name of the film comes from one of the scenes in which the fetus apparently opens the mouth, giving the appearance of shouting, but without making noise.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson was considered the “king of abortion” and founded in 1969 the National Association for the Revocation of Abortion Laws (later called the National League for Action for the Right to Abortion ). But in the late 1970s (thanks to the development of ultrasound) he reconsidered his point of view, and became one of the main advocates of the right to life of the unborn.

The video has been a popular tool used in campaigns against the decriminalization of abortion by the Pro-life movement , 2 being reproduced even in the White House by President Ronald Reagan . 3


In 1985, the Planned Parenthood Federation of the United States ( PPFA) worried that the film would be used to “disseminate harmful myths that could affect women’s health and rights, ” convened a team of Medical experts to produce a document in response to the claims made in the film. The document was titled Facts speak louder than “The Silent Scream” and includes answers and clarifications to what Planned Parenthood perceives as medical inaccuracies (including fetal pain, voluntary fetal movements, crying, the need for the method used) ; To the alleged “misleading, exaggerations” and allusions (brain waves and fetal heart rate, doll size, psychological damage of women) that were detected in the film; And questions and other problems that are not mentioned (the time it takes the procedure, the lack of allusion to the situation of the woman who aborts, the dead fetuses that are shown) 4


  1. Back to top↑ «Silent Scream» .
  2. Back to top↑ Roiphe, Katie (January 1, 2008). Choice of words . Guardian Unlimited (Guardian News and Media) . Accessed January 1, 2008 .
  3. Back to top↑ DeParle, Jason (April 1989). «Beyond the legal right; Why liberals and feminists do not like to talk about the morality of abortion . ” The Washington Monthly . Accessed January 1, 2008 .
  4. Back to top↑ «The Facts Speak Louder than” The Silent Scream ” » . Planned Parenthood (Katherine Dexter