by Steven Ertelt
April 19, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The battle over the ban on abortions in South Dakota is placing a renewed focus on the fact that women are increasingly leading the fight to stop abortions. While abortion advocates have always tried to paint the pro-life movement as one dominated by men, women, especially those who have suffered from the pain of an abortion, are leading the way.
Before the South Dakota legislature approved the ban abortion ban, a state task force lawmakers convened to study abortion heard from thousands of women across the country who have had abortions.
In all but a handful of cases, the women told lawmakers and others on the panel that they regretted abortions.
They heard from women like Karen Bodle of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who said the voice of women who regret their abortions is not popular "but it’s one that needs to get out."
Bodle had an abortion at 18 and she tells the Washington Times that years later "she "suffered from chronic depression, feelings of shame and worthlessness." She also suffered from miscarriages and problem pregnancies as a result of the abortion.
"I was in denial over the truth of abortion for over 20 years," she told the Times, adding that she was "lied to and deceived" by the abortion facility when she was told her baby wasn’t really a baby and that abortion would allow to have the life she wanted.
"I believe that information still is denied to women," she explained.
Leslee Unruh, president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse and a leader in the effort to ban abortions in South Dakota, says she’s not surprised to see women leading the way against abortion.
"The women are coming forward. They’re feeling like there’s hope," Unruh, who had an abortion herself, told the Washington newspaper. "It’s very new for these women to stand up."
For other women, who head up the nation’s prominent pro-life organizations, the battle has been going on for years.
Since the late 1980s, Dr. Wanda Franz, a clinical psychologist and professor at West Virginia University, has been the president of National Right to Life. Wendy Wright leads the Concerned Women for America, and the Susan B. Anthony List and Feminists for Life of America have put women at the forefront of the abortion battle.
On Capitol Hill, the Family Research Council, the Christian Coalition and other key groups have women at the forefront of their lobbying efforts. Meanwhile thousands of women who regret their abortions have joined several post-abrotion groups and are making their voices heard as well.
The women’s leadership effort within the pro-life movement culminates in an event next week, where women from around the nation will head to the halls of Congress to lobby on abortion and stem cell research.
Karen Cross, NRLC’s political director, says the April 26th event — called Real Women’s Voices — gives women a chance to counter the pro-abortion myth that women back abortion.
"The abortion lobby continues to peddle the myth that they represent most women, despite the fact that poll after poll shows that Americans – including women — are more pro-life than pro-abortion," Cross explained.
In fact, a September 2003 survey conducted by the Polling Company found 54 percent of women selected one of three different pro-life views opposing all or almost all abortions. Only 39 percent backed abortion.
A June 2003 poll conducted by the pro-abortion Center for the Advancement of Women found 51% of women took a pro-life position opposing most or all abortions while only 30 percent said it should be generally available.
Related web sites:
Real Women’s Voices –