New Report on Lorena Bobbit Case Focuses on Forced Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 15, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Report on Lorena Bobbitt Case Focuses on Forced Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 15, 2004

Springfield, IL ( — Just over ten years ago, the world’s attention was focused on the bizarre case of John and Lorena Bobbitt. Lorena stood trial for the "malicious wounding" of her husband’s manhood with an eight-inch long kitchen knife. Following an eleven-day trial, Lorena was acquitted on grounds of temporary insanity.

Now, an organization that monitors the physical and psychological effects of abortion is releasing a new report explaining that Lorena wasn’t simply an abused wife striking back at her husband.

Instead, according to the Elliot Institute, Lorena was suffering post-traumatic stress from a forced abortion.

"All the evidence presented at Lorena’s trial supports the view that her psychiatric symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder were precipitated by a coerced abortion three days before their first wedding anniversary," explains David Reardon, author of the report.

"Lorena pleaded to keep her child and gave in to the abortion only because she was pressured into it by John," Reardon said. "Like other women before her, Lorena experienced the unwanted abortion as an attack on both her maternity and her sexuality. That is the key to understanding her subsequent attack on John."

Dr. Reardon, a well-known expert on the abortion experiences of women, believes guilt, shame, and resentment over the abortion fueled the rapid rise in violence and sexual abuse in the Bobbitt household. This atmosphere of violence culminated in Lorena’s attack on John’s manhood on almost exactly the third anniversary of the abortion.

"The timing of the cutting incident was not coincidental," says Reardon. "Between 30 and 40 percent of women who report post-abortion problems experience more intense symptoms around the anniversary date of the abortion. For these women, the anniversary is a connector back to unresolved grief, which can exhibit itself in the guise of psychosomatic illnesses, increased depression, and uncontrollable fits of rage, all of which Lorena experienced."

The 14,000-word report says that Lorena had the abortion on June 15, 1990. Three years and three days later, she visited her physician complaining of hyperventilation, cramping and anxiety.

Reardon said such problems are common anniversary experiences following an abortion.

"The cutting incident occurred five days later, only minutes after she experienced flashbacks to the abortion, another common post-abortion reaction," Reardon said.

Reardon assisted Lorena’s legal defense team in identifying and explaining the anniversary reactions and helped Lorena find post-abortion counseling prior to the trial.

According to research cited in the report, nearly 60 percent of women who have problems following abortions report they lost their tempers more easily and were more likely to become violent. That John forced Lorena to have an abortion she didn’t want exacerbated the problem.

Reardon also said the way in which Lorena attacked John relates back to the coerced abortion in terms of both the timing of the attack and the manner in which Lorena attacked John.

"Lorena felt as though her abortion had left her sexually mutilated," Reardon says, "and she blamed John for making her have it. That she chose to attack John’s sexuality, not his life, indicates that Lorena was subconsciously choosing to retaliate in kind."

A copy of the Elliot Institute’s Special Report, "The John and Lorena Bobbittt Mystery, Unraveled," can be downloaded at