Alveda King: MTV Mom Told Same Abortion Lie Decades Later


Stephanie Samuel - Washington, DC

Dr. Alveda King sympathized with the star of MTV’s abortion special, saying that abortionists told her the same “a little ball of cells” lie too.

King and the post-abortive women’s group, Silent No More Awareness Campaign, said the MTV television special chronicling the abortion of young Florida mom Markai Durham shows that abortion counselors are still telling the same lines to persuade women that abortion does not harm babies.

“I ached for Markai,” King shared in a statement about the show. “Before one of my abortions, Planned Parenthood told me that my baby was ‘just a clump of cells.’ Decades later, this beautiful young mother was told the same lie.”

Georgette Forney, the co-founder of SNMAC, commented, “My heart broke for Markai, not just for her difficult situation, but for the lack of counseling she received.”

On the Tuesday airing of the episode “No Easy Decision,” Durham, an alumna of the MTV show “16 and Pregnant,” agonized with her mom, boyfriend and friends whether or not she should seek an abortion after discovering she is pregnant for the second time as a young, unmarried woman.

“I knew abortion was out there, I just never thought it would be an option for me,” deliberated Durham with the father, James Worsham.

The show depicts Durham making the call to a clinic for information. The clinic counselor told her about the two types of abortion – medication-induced and surgical. She described surgical abortion as “using gentle suction to remove the pregnancy.”

When Durham asks about how she will feel afterwards, the counselor said, “A lot of women after an abortion feel a mixture of many different emotions. You might feel relieved. You might feel sad. It kinda depends [on where] you are before the procedure. If you’re really stressed out about it, it might be a relief to have it over with.”

The counselor did not mention feelings of guilt, depression, and suicidal thoughts – all feelings and emotion post-abortive women report feeling. Also the counselor did not mention possible physical injury that could result from the surgical abortion.

Durham, who received a surgical abortion, cried several times throughout the documentary. She expressed she ultimately chose an abortion because a second child would pose a financial strain on the quality of life her first child, Za'Kari, would have.

After the abortion, Durham was visible shaken. She got upset and cried when Worsham called their unborn child a thing. “We made the decision but, like, I wonder if we could have made a better [one],” she said later.

Forney expressed sadness for Durham situation and also her lack of information.

“This abortion decision was driven by economics, but no one told Markai about the help available to her from pregnancy resource centers,” said Forney.

According to, pregnancy centers offer expecting mother resources and referrals for abortion alternatives, parenting help and housing assistance. The centers also provide counseling for those who have already received an abortion.

SNMAC also offers resources and referrals to post-abortive counseling and retreats for men and women.

“I pray that Markai and all women like her will seek true healing and restoration from a caring post-abortion program,” said King.