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I found this picture from a reply to Kamala Harris' tweet.

Warning, graphic and possibly disturbing image of a man handling what appear to be human fetuses: Click to view.

It has the following text:

This man went behind an abortion clinic dumpster to take these poor aborted babies, wash them and bury them bc they are not trash, they are human beings!! You libs better never lecture me on children's rights bc I will lose my shit! You libs are animals!

Is the caption of this picture accurate?

  • 46
    “This man went behind an abortion clinic dumpster to take these poor aborted babies…” The first giveaway that this claim is inaccurate is that medical waste is simply not just dumped into a dumpster like this. You could debate whether this practice is specific too a country or region, but if what that caption claims is true then—for example—why aren’t there random pics showing up all over of kids rummaging through a dumpster and finding other body parts. Like a hand or an arm? – JakeGould Jul 4 '18 at 20:37
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    Wouldn't dumping that much organic material result in a huge vermin infestation? Who'd attend an abortion clinic swarming in rats? Not to mention the smell! – GordonM Jul 5 '18 at 10:56
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    @GordonM That never stopped people from eating at their favorite restaurant. The dumpster in the alley behind your favorite restaurant probably has 10 times the amount of organic material. – fredsbend Jul 6 '18 at 1:31
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    Should we include the image here, hidden behind a spoiler tag? – SQB Jul 6 '18 at 9:49
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    @SQB I was thinking of doing that myself, but the image takes up a lot of vertical real estate on the screen. Still, the image is hosted via stack.imgur.com so no risk of it disappearing. – JakeGould Jul 6 '18 at 15:28
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No

The caption is mostly accurate but makes assumptions. This picture has been posted multiple times attributing it it multiple different countries. The photo is actually from Vietnam where they have a fetuses cemetery.

This is either a picture of some fetuses that have been taken from private abortion clinics or found elsewhere, to be cleaned and buried (Not specified from a dumpster), it is also inaccurate to associate this with America.

Here is a Snopes article on the picture, a Vietnam news article talking about it and some pictures of the cemetery.

“This same photograph had earlier been distributed as part of a larger set published by the Vietnamese news site Emdep. The text accompanying that set of photographs described a volunteer who ritually washes the remains of aborted fetuses, stillborn births, and/or premature or abandoned infants (the translation is ambiguous) in preparation for burial.”

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    If it is what you say it is then your answer should be "NO". – matt_black Jul 4 '18 at 16:31
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    Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't abortion involve crushing the fetus and sucking them out? The ones in the picture look fully formed like they were removed by other means. – randomskeptic Jul 4 '18 at 21:12
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    @randomskeptic (All this information is accurate in the United States, not 100% sure about elsewhere.) It depends on the stage of the abortion. 1st trimester (abortions most common) the fetus is too small to see; 2nd trimester (less common) you're basically correct. Only in the 3rd trimester (exceedingly rare, but happens occasionally) would this situation occur. Doctors kill the fetus in the womb and then induce labor. The baby is effectively stillborn. More: americanpregnancy.org/unplanned-pregnancy/abortion-procedures – No don't shown my real name Jul 4 '18 at 21:48
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    @Nodon'tshownmyrealname That would be useful in an answer. – user3067860 Jul 5 '18 at 19:21
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    @matt_black Unless I'm missing something, the answer ought to be "probably not" rather than "no". The Snopes link confirms that at least some of these fetuses were aborted and then abandoned, and were picked up from the street by the cemetery employees. The details that the particular babies in the photo were aborted (and not e.g. stillborn), that they were found by the same volunteer shown washing them in the photo, and that he found them "behind an abortion clinic dumpster", aren't substantiated by the sources linked here - but equally don't seem to be contradicted by those sources either. – Mark Amery Jul 7 '18 at 14:38
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No, it is not.

As pointed out by Jon.G’s answer the picture is from "elsewhere" and is part of "something else".

But in the U.S. at least there are two main problems (though I suppose you could argue that a clinic is breaking the law).

I don't support these ideas I am just listing them, so please no flamewars. Also, it's very hard to find data on abortions in the US as it's a controversial topic

  1. Medical waste has to be disposed of in a "correct" manner. Failing to do so could cost you huge fines. You could lose your medical license, and in some extreme cases, you could go to jail. *
  2. At the very least what's left after an abortion would be considered "tissue" and would need to be treated as medical waste.
  3. BUT Fetal tissue is extremely valuable. * It is used for many things and is generally collected (donated, though not always).
  4. Most states have laws that specifically state how remains are to be handled (Example).
  5. Some states require that the remains be handled just like you would a birthed human. *

In short, there is no incentive to throw away aborted fetuses in the U.S. There are laws against it, and economic incentive to use the tissue in other ways. That doesn't mean that some places don't break the laws, or are in areas where the laws are less pointed. But even in those situations, the tissue would generally be sold (or "donated") for large sums of money.

  • There is a valuable fetal tissue, but it is not necessarily so that all fetal tissue is valuable. Of primary value are stem cells and certain organs. – Brythan Jul 7 '18 at 3:36
  • Nothing in the original claim says this occurred in the United States. The claim is essentially true, the aborted babies are primarily from abortion clinic dumpsters in Vietnam. – DavePhD Jul 12 '18 at 19:02

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