New poll finds Americans aware of negative effects of abortion


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Family Research Council held an Oct. 9 panel in response to the Elliot Institute poll on the harmful effects of abortion. The poll found that 85 percent of American adults believe that an abortion causes significant emotional problems.

Six panelists highlighted the findings of the poll and also mentioned the refusal of America's mental health care organizations to acknowledge these emotional problems. Vincent M. Rue, of the Institute for Pregnancy Loss, said that the topic "continues to be politically incorrect in the USA."

Panelists cited studies indicating that 35 percent of women in the U.S. have had at least one abortion by age 45. David Reardon, the director of the Elliot Institute, said the large number of women having abortions means there is a significant gap in  treatment.

"Politicians who ignore the issue of post-abortion complications are ignoring an important concern of the American people," the director said.

Though grassroots organizations provide some support for post-abortive women, most clinical psychiatric and psychological health professionals do not recognize or help with the emotional loss that people feel from abortions, Reardon said.

Reardon also emphasized the need for politicians to demonstrate that they are "deeply concerned" and that they want to "protect and help" the 30 million men and women touched by abortion. A message of hope—instead of judgment—will speak volumes to those impacted by the negative effects of abortion, Reardon said.

Only 15 percent of the people surveyed believe that abortion generally makes women's lives better. Seventy-one percent of participants across the ideological spectrum said that conducting research on these post-abortion complications should be a moderate to high priority.

All the panelists agreed that the survey is a breakthrough in abortion research and shows that the American people are aware of the health effects of abortion and are looking for answers in how to deal with them.

In addition to Reardon, panelists included Vincent M. Rue of the Institute for Pregnancy Loss; Priscilla Coleman, a professor at Bowling Green State University; psychiatrist Martha Shuping; Catherine Coyle of the Alliance for Post Abortion Research and Training nd Tom McClusky, vice president of government affairs at the Family Research Council.

For more information on the poll, visit