David C Reardon conducted one of the most extensive interviews of postabortion women ever done. He asked them questions about their abortion experiences. The women he interviewed were involved in pro-life ministries that help postabortion women, and most of them, at some level at least, regretted their abortions. Here are the ways that many of the women answered his questions.
24% took a week to make the decision to have an abortion, 12% 2 to 3 weeks, 6% 4 to 6 weeks , 7% seven weeks or more
81% felt rushed
82% said there abortion decision was “not at all” “thought out.” Only 9% felt that it was moderately well thought out and only 8% believe the decision had been well thought out.
“Do you feel you had all the necessary information to make a decision?” 93% said no.
At the time of the abortion, only 24% were happy with their decision, secure in their choice
The rest were ambivalent
At the clinic, only 39% felt very firm in their decision to abort – 41% felt very uncertain, even at the clinic. 44% said they were still very actively looking for another option up to the final moments before their abortions.
75% said they would not have had an illegal abortion. Only 6% said they were very likely to have sought one
89% said they would’ve rejected a self-induced abortion, and only 5% said self abortion would’ve been strongly considered.
40 – 50% of women surveyed were wavering in their choice and were actually hoping for another option when they first went to speak with a counselor.
91% reported that their abortion counselors offer little or no help in exploring her decision and options.
Only 4% of the women gave their abortion counselors high grades for being informative and helpful.
66% believe that there abortion counselors are strongly biased toward selling them on abortion is the best solution.
Only 9% believe that their counselors had been free of pro-choice bias
90% of women surveyed felt they did not have enough information to make an informed choice.
76% complained they were not given an accurate description of the procedure.
For example, there was no mention of the physical pain involved.
Only 16% felt the counseling session had adequately informed them about the technical aspects of the abortion procedure
over 80% remarked that there were little or no discussion of risks
only 8% believe their counselors had adequately discuss the surgical risks of the procedure.
Over 90% of women stated that the biological nature of the fetus had not been discussed during a counseling session.
Only 2% said that the fetal development had been thoroughly or even moderately discussed
asked whether they felt “well-informed about the procedure and fetus through other sources before seeking an abortion.” 90% claimed they had little or no prior knowledge and 5% stated that they had only moderate prior knowledge. Only 4% claim to have been well informed about abortion, fetal development, through prior knowledge.
80% felt their counselors had not encouraged – or even attempt to discourage – questions about the abortion. only 5 to 13% believe that their counselors were open and willing to answer their questions. When questions were asked, only 8% thought the questions were thoroughly answered. 8% believe they receive moderately complete answers and 52 to 71% said the questions were trivialized or avoided
21% were at a Planned Parenthood facility for their counseling and/or abortions. 60% stated that there Planned Parenthood counselor had very strongly encouraged them to choose abortion as the “best solution to their problems. Over 90% of those encouraged to abort by their planned parenthood counselor said there was a strong chance they would’ve chosen against the abortion if they had not been so strongly encouraged to abort by others, including a counselor
Of the Planned Parenthood patients, over 60% were still hoping to find an alternative to abortion when they went for counseling. Only 25% were already firm in their abortion choice. All felt their Planned Parenthood counselor did little or nothing to help them explore their decision. 89% said the Planned Parenthood counselor was strongly biased in favor of abortion.
95% of Planned Parenthood counselors gave “little or no biological information about the fetus which the abortion would destroy.” And over 80% of the Planned Parenthood counselors gave little or no information about the potential health risks
Only 13% felt “adequately prepared” by Planned Parenthood counselors
56% were dissatisfied with Planned Parenthood’s abortion services.
Of the women surveyed, 94% said they’d experience negative psychological effects, over 70% said that there was a time when they would’ve denied the existence of any negative reactions for their abortions. For some this denial stage lasted only a few months, for others it lasted over 10 or 15 years
if they had known what their lives would be today, over 95% said they would not have chosen abortion
66% said they about their lives are worse because of their abortions, 8% said their lives were about the same
David C Reardon Aborted Women: Silent No More (Westchester, Illinois: Crossway books, 1987)
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