Petition: Democrats, Republicans Should Acknowledge Abortion Hurts Women

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

Petition: Democrats, Republicans Should Acknowledge Abortion Hurts Women

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
July 15, 2004

Washington, DC ( — A coalition of groups that help women who suffer from post-abortion problems has drawn up a petition for Republican and Democratic leaders imploring them to recognize the negative effects of abortion.

They want both political parties to adopt language in their platforms that encourages post-abortion counseling programs and research of abortion-related complications.

"Approximately 30 million American women have had one or more abortions," states the petition. "But neither major political party has acknowledged their unique experiences and concerns. These 30 million women, and millions more who empathize with them, represent a growing contingency of disenfranchised voters."

The petition is addressed to Republican party chairman Edward Gillespie and Democratic party chairman Terry McAuliffe.

Citing the "Forced Abortions in America" report by the Elliot Institute, the petition states that 30 to 60 percent of women who have an abortion felt pressured to do so, and most women who undergo an abortion procedure are faced with at least one negative physical or psychological reaction.

The petition says most Americans support the idea of government involvement in providing post-abortion counseling programs and research into abortion complications.

Even among women who described themselves as pro-choice, 63 percent said that they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who would support counseling programs for post-abortive women.

"Despite this high degree of empathy from the American people toward these key concerns of women who have abortions, these issues continue to be ignored by both major political parties," states the petition.

"Certainly, people on both sides of the political controversy surrounding legal abortions should be able to agree that women should not be subjected to coerced or dangerous abortions," the petition concludes. "People on both sides should also be able to agree that those women, men, and families that are negatively affected by grief, guilt, or other psychological or physical injuries following abortion should receive competent and compassionate care."

The petition is supported by several public figures involved with post-abortive outreach programs, including David Reardon of the Elliot Institute, Georgette Forney of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Vickie Thorn of the National Office Post-Abortion Healing and Reconciliation, and Theresa Burke, Ph.D., of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries.

The groups encourage people who are concern about how abortion affects women to sign on to the petition.

This isn’t the first time abortion’s aftereffects have come up in the political arena.

Florida director of Operation Outcry Silent No More, Rebecca Porter, tried to voice her regret over an abortion she had.

She attended a Florida campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in March and held a sign, which simply said "My abortion hurt me." Not long after a "surprised" Kerry saw the sign, it was torn up by a campaign staff member.

"I hope [Kerry will] remember my sign and my pain in my eyes," Porter told following the incident. "I know there were many people laying in their beds that night thinking about their abortions."

The Kerry campaign has refused repeated requests from to comment on the incident.

Related Sites:
Post-Abortion Petition –