David C. Reardon, Ph.D.
David C. Reardon, Ph.D., director of the Elliot Institute, is widely recognized as one of the leading experts on the aftereffects of abortion on women, a field in which he has specialized since 1983. He is the author of numerous books and popular and scholarly articles on this topic.
His studies have been published in such prestigious medical journals as the British Medical Journal and the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and have proven that abortion compared to childbirth is associated with higher rates of maternal death, psychiatric hospitalization, subsequent substance abuse, clinical depression, and numerous other complications.
Articles about Dr. Reardon and his work have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Newsweek and the New York Times. He is a frequent guest on Christian radio and Christian television talk shows and has been a key note speaker at many state and national conventions for crisis pregnancy centers and pro-life organizations.
The emphasis of his work has been on promoting a “pro-woman / pro-life” approach to the abortion issue which emphasizes efforts to prevent coerced and unsafe abortions and efforts to create a more healing environment for women, men and families hurting because of a past abortion.
These efforts have led to the development of model legislation called Prevention from Coerced and Unsafe Abortion Act which is being promoted by the Stop Forced Abortions Alliance. This legislation would make it easier for women to hold abortionists liable for psychological injuries associated with abortion, especially when they fail to screen for coercion and other known risk factors that are strongly associated with increased risk of negative abortion reactions. Versions of this legislation have recently been passed in Nebraska and South Dakota.
This approach has proven to be controversial. In general, some pro-life leaders have argued Reardon’s effort to focus on how abortion hurts women, men, and family distracts people from the unborn victims. More specifically, some pro-life legislative strategists have actively opposed passage of the Prevention of Coerced and Unsafe Abortion Act insisting that all political resources should be focused on efforts which emphasize the humanity of the unborn child (ultrasound, fetal development) and the cruelty of abortion to the unborn (partial birth abortions, fetal pain).
Dr. Reardon was propelled to center stage of the pro-life movement after the publication of his first book Aborted Women, Silent No More, in 1987. It has become the best-selling book on abortion’s impact on women and has been called “the most powerful book ever written on abortion.”
Another of his books, Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion, co-authored with Dr. Theresa Burke, is the most comprehensive review of the impact of abortion on women available. It is a compelling revelation of the secrets post-abortive women tell only their therapists but everyone should know.
Dr. Reardon is also the author of Making Abortion Rare: A Healing Strategy for a Divided Nation (Acorn Books, 1996). Pro-life leaders have recommended it as compulsory reading for every pro-lifer who wants to know how abortion can be stopped in a way that is “practical and realistic, but free of moral compromise.” Dr. Reardon’s three-pronged strategy for ending abortion has already been adopted by many pro-life organizations at the local, state, and national levels. It appears certain that the popularity of this new compassionate approach to the abortion conflict will continue to grow and become a permanent part of pro-life activities.
As part of this strategy to end abortion, Dr. Reardon has also authored The Jericho Plan: Breaking Down the Walls That Prevent Post-Abortion Healing. This is a resource book for post-abortion healing. It also serves as a sermon guide that helps ministers and clergy to address the abortion issue in a manner that reduces hostilities and promotes post-abortion healing. Most importantly, The Jericho Plan is helping pastors to overcome the fear of preaching on abortion. It is helping many pastors to break their silence and boldly preach a compassionate message that is truly both pro-life and pro-healing.
In Victims and Victors: Speaking Out About Their Pregnancies, Abortions, and Children Resulting from Sexual Assault with Julie Makimaa and Amy Sobie, he compiled the witness and testimonies of 194 women who became pregnant following sexual assault. The nearly universal opinion of these women demonstrates that abortion is neither helpful nor necessary in cases of rape and incest, and in fact does far greater harm than good to these victims of sexual assault.
To learn more about Dr. Reardon, we suggest reading The Elliot Institute: Passionate Advocate For Abortion’s Other Victims.
Speaking engagements may be arranged by calling the Elliot Institute at 217.525.8202.
Dr. Reardon’s most popular hour long presentation, “Ending Abortion With Compassion” examines:
- why women really have abortions,
- the emotional complications that follow abortion,
- the obstacles in the way of post-abortion healing,
- how we can all help to promote the conversion and healing of those who have been involved in abortions, and
- how a simple legal reform can dramatically reduce abortion rates by protecting women from unwanted, unsafe, and unnecessary abortions.