Dr. David Reardon on post-abortion women who work in clinics

A number of former clinic workers have reported that most of the women who worked at abortion clinics had had abortions themselves. David Reardon describes the reasons why aborted women might be drawn to working in clinics and what this means for women who go in for abortions.

“Aborted women who work as counselors are almost invariably victims of a disturbing abortion experience themselves. On one level, they choose to work in clinics in the hope of preventing other women from experiencing the traumas which they had faced and may still be facing. But on a deeper level, they returned to the abortion clinic in the hope of easing the gilts and traumas which they themselves are still experiencing.

For many women who have been deeply disturbed by their own abortion experiences, working as an abortion counselors away of hardening themselves to the wrong unforgettable experiences. By “returning to the scene of the crime,” some women seek to reenact their own abortion decisions through the decisions of others. In this sense, the aborted counselor has a high stake in the final decision of her clients. By watching others choose abortion for the same reasons that she did, she is able to reaffirm the “rightness” of her own decision. In contrast, however, when an aborted counselor witnesses a client suddenly choose against abortion and boldly accept the challenges of an unplanned pregnancy, the counselor may become cynical, ashamed, and envious.

In fact, one abortionist wrote about how the women who worked as abortion counselors in this clinic HAD TO have had abortions. All the better to sell them! Could this explain why some clinic workers pressure women into having abortions? Reardon goes on to say:

Two WEBA women who had worked in counseling or hospital situations that brought them into contact with women seeking abortions have described how immersion in abortion can be soothing to troubled conscience. According to one, “I found that in talking to other women about abortion, their decisions to abort satisfied something in me. It made me feel better about what I had done… [It] strengthened my own decisions to abort.”

Another woman found comfort in being surrounded by people costly repeating pro-abortion rhetoric as justification for their work: “there’s safety in numbers. I didn’t really feel awful about my abortion as long as everyone where I worked was patting me on the back.”

He also says:

“The importance of denying the reality of abortion sheds additional light on why abortion clinics consistently oppose informed consent requirements, especially requirements for discussing the relevant stage of fetal development. In refusing to provide informed consent, abortion providers are obstensibly “protecting” the woman seeking abortion from disturbing and “confusing” facts. But it may also be true that abortion personnel are seeking to protect themselves from the same disturbing facts. The requirement to tell women the facts about fetal development, day after day, would destroy the wall of denial, which holds clinics together. By focusing attention on the unborn, informed consent requirements were not only compel women to consider the moral consequences of their acts, they would also force abortion counselors to face their own moral doubts about abortion.”

David C Reardon Aborted Women: Silent No More (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway books, 1987) 256-257


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Author: Sarah

Sarah Terzo is a writer for Live Action and a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians and Consistent Life. She lives in NJ.

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