Congressional Hearing Focuses on How Abortion Hurts Women

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

Congressional Hearing Focuses on How Abortion Hurts Women

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 9, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Though polls consistently show a majority of women in the U.S. are pro-life, members of Congress are told by abortion advocates that women support abortion and keeping abortion legal is beneficial to women.

A Senate panel heard the other side of the debate last week when two women who regret their abortions discussed their experiences and a doctor who presented compelling information about the link between abortion and breast cancer.

Georgette Forney, is the director of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, an effort to encourage women to speak about about their abortion experience, the regrets they have, and the problems they’ve faced as a result.

Forney shared her own abortion story with the Senate committee.

Forney had an abortion in Michigan in 1976 and "afterwards, I went to my sister’s house to recover because my parents didn’t know about my pregnancy. That night as I lay in bed, I cried until I fell asleep."

"As I dressed the next morning, I was struggling to make sense of the day before, and it hit me ‘I’ll pretend yesterday never happened.’ And that’s how I lived for nineteen years, in total denial," Forney explained.

But in 1994, Forney met a woman who was having troubles bonding with her son because of a past abortion. "I told her I had an abortion when I was 16, and it was no big deal. I said she simply needed to get over it."

Six months later, Forney pulled out an old high school yearbook to reminisce about good times. Instead, she was filled with pain and regret.

"Instead of opening the book and seeing the kids’ faces, I felt my baby in my arms. I knew instantly it was my child that I had aborted. I knew she was a little girl. I could feel her little bum in my right hand and her back and neck in my left. And I knew that I had missed out on parenting a wonderful person, who would have brought a lot of joy into my life," Forney says.

While abortion presents a host of emotional and psychological issues for women to confront, it also causes a myriad of physical and health problems for women.

Elizabeth Shadigian, M.D., Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics at the University of Michigan, testified about the increased risks of breast cancer, placenta previa, maternal mortality and suicide associated with induced abortions.

Dr. Shadigian confirmed that a link between abortion and breast cancer exists. She explained that women who have abortions are left with more cancer-vulnerable cells than what they had before they became pregnant.

She identified groups of women who are at especially high risk for the disease if they
have abortions and said that women who carry their first pregnancy to term, rather than having an abortion, reduce their risk for contracting the deadly disease.

"[H]aving an abortion instead of a full-term pregnancy at age 18 can almost double her five-year and lifetime risk of breast cancer at age 50, regardless of race," Shadigian said.

Dr. Shadigian slammed the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for censoring this life-saving information from women.

"I am deeply troubled that ACOG makes assurances to their membership, and to women everywhere, claiming a lack of long-term health consequences of induced abortion," Shadigian said. "Instead, ACOG should be insisting that these long-term health consequences appear on abortion consent forms."

Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, praised Dr. Shadigian for her testimony.

"The abortion industry and their sales ladies at left-leaning women’s groups don’t want you or your children to know about the risks associated with induced abortion," Malec said.

The Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space hearing was titled, "The Impact of Abortion on Women."

Related web sites:
Links to testimony from the witnesses –

Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer –