The Elliot Institute News

From the Leader in Post-Abortion Research




Vol. 11, No. 4 -- April 13, 2012


Special Report:
The Real War on Women


This special issue of the Elliot Institute News considers the collective toll of nearly four decades of abortion on demand. In response to media rhetoric about an alleged "war on women," this report lets the evidence speak for itself. As disturbing as this evidence is, it represents just the tip of the iceberg. As the body of evidence grows, it is increasingly clear that those who promote or profit from abortion are -- ironically -- the ones who are really at war with women.

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From the Editor


In media and political rhetoric, abortion advocates have claimed that there is a "war on women" waged by Americans who defend traditional family values and fundamental, God-given rights. Yet evidence from nearly four decades of abortion on demand makes it clear that dismissing or marginalizing these fundamental values and rights has only opened a Pandora's box of exploitation and heartbreak.

This heartbreak includes not only the lives of babies at risk or lost, but also the lives of mothers subjected to untold exploitation, abuse, coercion or force, and post-abortion trauma, heartbreak, injury or death.

The Terrible Triad -- Pre-Abortion, Abortion and Post-Abortion

This special issue illustrates a "perfect storm" ironically working against -- not for -- women and their children. It involves a sequence of unthinkable pre-abortion, abortion and post-abortion abuses outlined in this issue.

This evidence -- taken as a whole -- exposes the real "war on women." It is under-reported in major media yet it is highly pertinent to civic and policy-making debates.

While abortion on demand is often cloaked in rhetoric about "choice," research indicates that most abortions involve coercion. There are also nightmarish incidents of forced abortion in America, seldom reported and acknowledged by leaders who allege a "war on women." (To help those being coerced, visit the Center Against Forced Abortions. For legislative initiatives concerning coercion and forced abortions, see

Furthermore, there is gendercide and sex-selection abortion in America ... another disturbing example of abortion as a tool for coercion, abuse and discrimination against mothers and girls. (See link below.)

Abortion remains at the forefront of many of the "war on women" arguments today. A closer look at the evidence will challenge "pro-woman" leaders while showing fence-sitters and apologists that abortion endangers the rights and lives of babies and mothers, plus fathers and families, with ripple-effects that hurt others and affect all of us.

Most people still don't know about evidence that most abortions are unwanted or coerced, or other abortion-related issues documented by the Elliot Institute and others. You can help open hearts and minds by sharing this newsletter with them through email or social networking sites. And don't forget that you can leave comments and feedback at the end of each linked article!


Wantedness and Coercion

Key Factors in Understanding
Women's Mental Health After Abortion 

by Martha Shuping, M.D.

Dr. Shuping presented this article at a United Nations workshop in March 2011, and at the June 2011 meeting of the Association for Interdisciplinary Research on Values and Social Change.

In 1973, as a 19-year-old undergraduate student, I worked as a volunteer at a clinic that helped women to access abortion services. I received one evening of training in which I was taught that abortion was a safe, simple procedure, and there were no side effects.

I was incorrectly taught that the developing baby was nothing more than a clump of cells. After that, I was considered to be a qualified pregnancy counselor, and I helped some women to obtain abortions.

Thirty-eight years later, many abortion counselors are still giving women that same misinformation. But today I know that many women have adverse psychological reactions following abortion.

I have known more than one thousand post-abortive women who have been unhappy about their abortions. Much of my professional life has been spent in helping women to deal with the emotional impact of abortion. continued

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Coercion and the Abortion Industry
  Conflicted "Counseling" and Pressure Not "Choice"

This Special Report from the Elliot Institute explores the abortion industry's coercion of women as detailed by former abortion business workers. Other information in the report discusses deceptive and sales-driven counseling practices and more from women speaking out about "counseling" from an insider's perspective. go to special report

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The Scope and Synergy of Coercion
  Research Reveals Direct, Indirect, Multi-Faceted and Simultaneous Nature of Coercion

Coercion can come from trusted experts, gatekeepers and guides during narrow but pivotal windows of time where individuals and families in crisis may be seeking answers, referrals or a helping hand. As other reports indicate, coercion can come from sales-savvy, agenda- or profit-driven abortion clinic "counselors" who are wolves in sheep's clothing.

Coercion can also come in the form of negligent or false information presented as fact by authority figures or trusted professionals in the helping professions and elsewhere. 

At the same time, a woman's support network may be non-existent or she may experience yet another form of coercion in the form of emotional, financial or physical blackmail. Coercion takes many forms and can escalate to violence from employers, authorities, family or partners. Horrific examples of this are detailed in "Forced Abortion in America," and elsewhere.

A study published in a major medical journal also helps shed light on the synergistic nature of coercion. Citations and a user-friendly summary of the statistics below can be found on the "What Every American Needs to Know" web page, including handy postcard or flyer formats at the

The statistics, taken together, show a portrait of systemic coercion, not "choice" as most Americans understand it. Research surveying women who had abortions indicates that:

  • 52% felt rushed and 54% uncertain beforehand, 

  • 64% said they felt pressured by others,

  • 67% received no counseling beforehand,

  • 79% were not informed about alternatives,

  • 84% said they did not receive adequate counseling to make an informed decision,

  • 60% said "part of me died,"

  • 65% suffered multiple symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The aftermath of abortion, including a litany of psychological and physical effects and Forbidden Grief often denied by experts, only adds to their trauma. 

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Forced Abortion in America

  Coercion in its Many Forms, Including Unthinkable Abuse, Violence or Even Homicide, the Leading Killer of Pregnant Women.


This downloadable, 26-page report (in pdf form) summarizes research, information and news reports of pregnancy-related discrimination, exploitation, abuse, coercion, violence and homicide when women try to resist unwanted abortions. 

From deceptive or coercive counseling to job and housing discrimination,
pregnancy- or abortion-related violence or murder, abortion on demand has put the rights and lives of both babies and mothers at risk. download pdf

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Expert Says Sex-Selection Abortions Happening in the U.S., Many Coerced

  Researchers Found Evidence of Sex-Selective Abortions in What They Called "Son-Biased" Sex Ratios

In an article in National Review, population control expert Steve Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, offers some shocking information on sex-selection abortions in the United States: 

[Dr. Sunita Puri], who practices in the Bay Area, wanted to find out why so many immigrant Indian women in the United States were so eager to find out the sex of their unborn children, and why so many of them choose abortion when they found out they were carrying a girl.

What she discovered over the course of 65 interviews conducted over several years profoundly shocked her. Fully 89 percent of the women carrying girls opted for an abortion, and nearly half had previously aborted girls....

They also made it clear that they were not free actors when it came to reproductive “choice.” Many, when it was learned that they were carrying girls, became the victims of family violence. Some — in an effort to make them miscarry — had been slapped and shoved around by angry husbands and in-laws, or even kicked in the stomach. Others were denied food, water, and rest in order to coerce them into aborting their unwanted girl babies. continued

See also:

  • Stop Sex-Selective Abortions UN statistics indicate that there are 100 million girls missing around the world. Many of them are abandoned, maimed, killed or discarded in trash bins and elsewhere. But even more of them have been aborted because they were girls. Sex-selective abortion or gendercide is a major problem across Asia and a growing problem elsewhere. A preference for sons, along with strict population control measures, has led to the destruction of baby girls in China and elsewhere. With immigration, the problem is growing in America, too. Learn more about this issue and about efforts to ban sex-selective abortion in America.

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Abortion, Not Conscience Protections,
Is Killing Women


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently claimed that a bill that would prohibit federal funding for healthcare plans that cover abortions and protect the right of health care workers not to be involved in performing abortions would lead to the deaths of women:

Under this bill, when the Republicans vote for this bill today, they will be voting to say that women can die on the floor and health care providers do not have to intervene if this bill is passed. It’s just appalling.

Pro-life advocates argue that Pelosi misrepresented the bill, saying that it doesn’t infringe on life-saving treatment. But it is also worth pointing out that abortion is linked to higher death rates among women. Studies of maternal death rates in both the U.S. and Finland have found that women who had abortions were more likely to die in the years following compared to women who gave birth.

The U.S. record-based study, published in the Southern Medical Journal, found that compared to women who gave birth, women who had abortions had a 62 percent higher risk of death from all causes for at least eight years after their pregnancies. Deaths from suicides and accidents were most prominent, with deaths from suicides being 2.5 times higher. Projected on the national population, this effect may contribute to 2,000 – 5,000 more deaths among women each year. continued

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The Truth About "Back Alley" Abortions
5 Myths About "Back Alley" Abortions

Legal Abortion Has Increased, Rather than Prevented,
the Pain, Suffering and Exploitation of Women 

With the arrest of Dr. Kermit Gossnell and his associates for running an abortion “house of horrors” in Philadelphia, and legislative proposals to strip Planned Parenthood of government funding at the state and federal levels, abortion advocates are falling back on the claim that any effort to regulate the abortion industry will lead to the closing of clinics and a rise in dangerous “back alley” abortions.

But these claims are based on myths. The truth is that legal abortion has increased, rather than prevented, the pain, suffering and exploitation of women.1

5 Myths About “Back Alley” Abortions

Myth #1. Illegal abortions were performed by unlicensed, unskilled hacks. Prior to legalization, 90 percent of illegal abortions were done by physicians.2 Most of the remainder were done by nurses, midwives or others with at least some medical training. The term “back alley” referred not to where abortions were performed, but to how women were instructed to enter the doctor’s office after hours, through the back alley, to avoid arousing neighbors’ suspicions.

Myth #2. Tens of thousands of women died from illegal abortions every year. This pseudo-fact was much repeated by the media. continued

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Abortion Safety Claim Rehash
Ignores All Evidence to the Contrary

Evidence Refutes Current Claims
that Abortion Is "Safer than Childbirth" 

CDC officials have admitted that maternal mortality rates and abortion mortality rates “are conceptually different and are used by the CDC for different public health purposes.” ...

But fortunately we are not stuck with only the CDC’s haphazard yardstick for measuring abortion-related deaths. In the last 15 years, a number of record-based studies have been conducted that do provide an objective, identical standard for comparing abortion-associated deaths with natural pregnancy-associated deaths.

Hundreds of news articles appeared this year claiming, once again, that the best medical evidence shows that abortion is safer than childbirth.  The rash of articles were all tied to a blatant piece of propaganda published in Obstetrics and Gynecology by Dr. David Grimes, an abortion provider and chief propagandist for “medical proof” of abortion’s safety.

The new study repeats the same discredited practice of simply comparing nationally reported maternal mortality rates with Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported deaths associated with abortion.  Sounds reasonable, until you learn that there is no accurate or formal mechanism for reporting abortion-related deaths. Indeed, the rules regarding completion of death certificates specifically exclude identifying abortion as a cause of death.

At least in part, this is why CDC officials have admitted that maternal mortality rates and abortion mortality rates “are conceptually different and are used by the CDC for different public health purposes.”

In other words, the CDC numbers on abortion-related deaths cannot be meaningfully compared to maternal mortality rates.  CDC methods simply do not rely on a uniform method of collecting data on abortion related deaths.

In short, Grimes used a very incomplete record of abortion-associated deaths and compared it to a complete record of deaths associated with non-aborted pregnancies, and found that the death rate is lower. Therefore, he concludes, abortion is safer than childbirth.

As they say: junk in, junk out.

But fortunately we are not stuck with only the CDC’s haphazard yardstick for measuring abortion-related deaths.  In the last 15 years, a number of record-based studies have been conducted that do provide an objective, identical standard for comparing abortion-associated deaths with natural pregnancy-associated deaths.

Using this method, the National Research and Development Center for Welfare and Health in Finland reported that 94 percent of deaths associated with abortion (in the first year alone) are being missed in national data reports on abortion.  The same researchers found that women are four times more likely to die in the year following abortion than women who give birth.  Similar findings were reported in a record-based study of California women.

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