NPR shocked social media on Thursday when it aired audio of a Michigan woman having an abortion.
The 11-minute segment noted that women have been traveling to Michigan in “record numbers” in search of abortions since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year. The polarizing issue is on the ballot when Michiganders head out to vote on Election Day, and NPR dispatched journalist Kate Wells to an abortion clinic outside Detroit to observe procedures and talk to patients.
Along the way, Wells met a woman who decided to terminate a pregnancy and allowed NPR to record the audio. The woman had her abortion at “about 11 weeks,” according to Wells, who put a spotlight on the dim lighting and “soothing music” that she claimed makes it feel “a lot like a childbirth.”
Listeners were told the woman would be “partially awake,” and the sound of a machine could be heard terminating her pregnancy as a staffer named Brandy consoled the distraught woman. At one point, the woman says the cramps as it’s happening are too painful.
“Within just a couple of minutes, it’s over,” Wells told listeners as the woman moaned.
“You did it,” Brandy said. “You did great.”
Conservative strategist Greg Price hesitantly shared a clip of NPR’s audio, which quickly went viral and outraged conservatives.
“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,” Price wrote with the accompanying audio.
“The left always talks in euphemisms when it comes to abortion. ‘Choice,’ ‘reproductive care,’ etc. But this clip puts on full display what an abortion actually is: violence and full on dehumanization of the unborn. That’s why it’s important to share. To show reality,” Price wrote in a follow-up tweet.
“So listen to that audio. It’s incredibly tough but it’s important,” he added. “Listen to it and then think to yourself about how the only pitch the Democrat Party is making to the voters in the midterm election is more of that.”
Many on the right questioned NPR’s decision and whether it would backfire, while others were simply disgusted.
“Hard to imagine what NPR was thinking with this. But pro-life ads have often been taken down or rejected for showing how horrific an abortion process is. If NPR’s goal was to normalize abortions, it seems like this chilling segment might have the opposite impact,” GOP communications flack Matt Whitlock wrote.
NPR did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“This is disturbing and evil on every level,” the conservative Media Research Center tweeted.
“I couldn’t bring myself to listen to it. This is not mercy,” author Helen Raleigh wrote.
“So disturbing,” author Chadwich Moore responded, while the Young America’s Foundation responded simply, “Gross.”
Popular Twitter account Libs of TikTok called it “demonic,” and journalist Bethany Mandel refused to listen.
“I’m going to caveat this tweet with the fact that I am have not and will not listen to it. But this kind of tactic, showing Americans the reality of abortion, might really backfire,” Mandel responded.
Fox News Radio’s Guy Benson called it “stomach-turning” and Daily Caller’s Nicole Silverio called it “heart wrenching.”