Abortion Hurts Women’s Lives, Post-Abortion Group’s Poll Shows
by Steven Ertelt
January 28, 2004
Springfield, IL (LifeNews.com) — A leading post-abortion research organization has released a new booklet that helps pro-life candidates and elected officials better understand how abortion adversely affects women. The booklet discusses of a new poll that shows a majority of Americans believe abortion hurts women’s lives.
According to the poll, only 16 percent believe abortion generally makes women’s lives better while 52 percent of Americans believe abortion makes a woman’s life worse. Even among those who describe themselves as "pro-choice," less than 30 percent believe abortion generally improves women’s lives.
In addition, 67 percent of "pro-choice" women stated they would be "more likely to vote for a candidate who calls for government support for grief counseling programs to assist women who experience emotional problems after an abortion."
David C. Reardon, Ph.D., director of the Elliot Institute, believes women voters are increasingly looking at candidates with their painful past abortion experiences in mind.
"At least one of every four women voters has had an abortion, and most of these women consider it to be an ugly, painful memory," Reardon said. "Most have many regrets about their abortions, even if they believe it to have been their ‘only choice.’ This is why they don’t support the radical agenda of pro-abortion special interest groups. They’ve been there, done that, and hated it."
Commissioned by the Elliott Institute, the poll reveals that "pro-choice" women were 43 percent less likely than "pro-choice" men to believe that abortion improves a woman’s life, one of many indicators in the poll that women across all ideological groups have a more negative view of abortion’s impact than men.
The poll also found that Americans believe negative abortion effects are more common than generally led to believe by the media.
Asked how many women suffer emotional problems after an abortion, only 15 percent stated that emotional problems were rare or uncommon, 27 percent stated it was moderately common, and 59 percent stated it was very common.
Based on his studies of post-abortive women and the national polling data, Reardon believes that most post-abortive women would be glad to see abortion go away — but only if it can be done in a way that helps women.
"Post-abortive women are deeply concerned about, and protective of, other women who face the same problems and pressures," Reardon said. "They’re also turned off by people who don’t understand the pressures women face."
The Elliot Institute booklet, "Reversing the Gender Gap," says pro-life candidates will make great gains at the polls if they show understanding and compassion for women who have been hurt by abortion.
Reardon believes pro-life politicians need to move beyond explaining why they are against abortion to a platform that emphasizes proposals for helping women both to avoid abortions and to recover from past abortions.
"This message will not only neutralize the gender gap, it will reverse it," he said. "Post-abortive women are yearning to have their pain, loss, and regrets understood and respected. While they recoil from judgment, they are attracted to authentic
concern and compassion."
Reardon calls this alternative to the traditional pro-life message a "pro-woman/pro-life" approach. He believes this message will also help pro-life politicians to break down the stereotype that pro-lifers are judgmental and condemning.
Related web sites:
Elliot Institute – https://www.afterabortion.info