Vol. 11, No. 5 -- May 4, 2012
IN THIS ISSUE:
It has been 25 years since the classic "Aborted Women, Silent No More," was published. Its message helped to redefine the abortion debate with a pro-woman/pro-life perspective. Over the years, the voices of women and others, plus a growing body of published evidence, have worked in concert to speak not only of abortion's profound heartbreak and exploitation and the lives lost, but also of help, hope, healing and a new, more pro-woman/pro-life perspective.
After nearly four decades of abortion on demand, the role of coercion is evident, and this is slowly but surely being publicly recognized. This is an important part of the "big picture" evidence that challenges one of the fundamental pillars of abortion on demand -- that it is about "choice" and "safety" rather than coercion, exploitation, unethical medical and professional practices, and human rights abuses that endanger both mother and child.
This issue of the Elliot Institute includes excerpts from the book that redefined the abortion debate and introduced an authentically pro-woman/pro-life approach. Read on for excerpts from Aborted Women, Silent No More by Elliot Institute Director David C. Reardon. These excerpts include profiles from women who have had abortions and more about the role that coercion frequently plays in the abortion experience.
We have also provided links to updates about current information
regarding the larger landscape of coercion and other
abortion-related research, education and outreach initiatives
since this book was published.
The Book That Started It All
The following is excerpted from
Aborted Women, Silent No More: Twenty Women Share Their Personal
Journeys from the Tragedy of Abortion to Restored Wholeness
by David C. Reardon.
Since the mid-1960s, abortion has been a major national issue, the subject of state and Congressional investigations, thousands of articles, and hundreds of books. But most of this attention has been focused on the ideological aspects of abortion: “freedom of choice” versus the “right to life.”
While those on either side of the issue have published reams of material investigating whether or not the aborted fetus is a person, comparatively little has been done to identify and understand the women who have abortions.
To provide a complete picture of the abortion experience, this book provides both quantitative data, which is helpful in drawing general conclusions and personal testimonies reflecting the individual experiences and lending more depth and perspective.
The stories mentioned in books such as Aborted Women, Silent No More, Forbidden Grief and Giving Sorrow Words are part of a larger picture and an emerging body of evidence about abortion's impact on women. Both qualitative and quantitative evidence indicate that unwanted and coerced abortions are common, and that coercion can take many direct and indirect forms, often working in concert with each other.
This "pre-abortion" coercion -- coerced abortion is internationally recognized as a human rights abuse -- adds an important new dimension to existing evidence about abortion itself and about post-abortion exploitation, abuse of women and maternal deaths.
When looking at the larger perspective, we can see the synergistic, multidimensional aspects of coercion. Evidence indicates that coercion can include not only pressure from a woman's partner or family, but also deceptive, false or highly conflicted counseling (often from agenda- or profit-driven businesses); and abuse of power, authority and influence from authorities in various sectors of society, including trusted experts, guides and gatekeepers in the helping professions.
The National Network of Abortion Funds -- representing over 100 grassroots groups -- once again took aim at bowling pins, babies and mothers in yet another misguided attempt to "help" women.
Advocates of legal abortion are once again "helping" women by tuning out a growing body of evidence about unwanted abortions and other exploitation, the abuse and scars that legal abortion has inflicted on women, and the lives of unborn babies and mothers lost as a result of abortion.
This includes evidence that most abortions involve coercion, plus further evidence of negligent, unsafe and profit-driven medical practices, followed by a long list of heartbreaking emotional and physical risks, including infertility, trauma and maternal death. In light of this growing body of evidence that is now challenging presumptions in medical, legal, judicial and other arenas, the word "help" is ironic at best.
Links to Important Information and Resources
Pregnancy and After-Abortion Help
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