“Kinder and Gentler” Pro-Life Leader Calls for More Compassionate Political Approach to Abortion

“Kinder and Gentler” Pro-Life Leader Calls for Pro-Woman/Pro-Life Republican Platform

Springfield, IL (March 20, 1996)  An article in this week’s edition of NEWSWEEK magazine (March 25) reports that a new book by post-abortion expert Dr. David Reardon, director of the Springfield-based Elliot Institute, is helping to fashion a “kinder and gentler” anti-abortion movement. In his book Making Abortion Rare: A Healing Strategy for a Divided Nation, Reardon is asking the pro-life movement to place greater emphasis on post-abortion healing, to support more research and education regarding abortion-related injuries to women, and to concentrate its political energy on an effort to expand the right of women to sue abortionists for abortion-related injuries.

In an effort to implement the third prong of this strategy, Dr. Reardon has asked the National Republican Committee to develop a platform position on abortion which places concern for protecting women on an equal level with concern for protecting the unborn. While he supports the long range goal of passing a Human Life Amendment which would give legal recognition to the personhood of the unborn children, Reardon believes Republicans can be more effective in the short-term by focusing their efforts on protecting the rights of women.

Specifically, Reardon is asking Republicans to support the passage of a simple Abortion Choice Act, which would codify a woman’s civil right to full disclosure of abortion’s risks and alternatives. The proposed bill would also ensure that abortion providers could be held fully liable for abortion related injuries. “Only full liability,” Reardon argues, “will push the abortion industry toward higher standards of care. Present state statutes make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for injured women to successfully sue the abortion industry. If this is not changed, there will never be any guarantee that legal abortions are even remotely safe.”

Reardon believes his platform proposal will allow Republicans to capture the support of the “middle majority” of Americans who are uncomfortable with abortion but would prefer to protect women rather than implement an outright ban on abortion. He claims his suggested platform will allow Republicans to better position themselves as protectors of both the rights of the unborn and the rights of women.

The complete text of Reardon’s proposed Abortion Choice Act is as follows: “Women have a civil right to full disclosure of all risks, alternatives, or other information which a patient might reasonably consider relevant to a decision to refuse a recommendation for abortion. Full disclosure must be given to the woman, or in the case of a minor, to the parents or legal guardian. The State may not limit a woman’s right to seek recovery in civil court for any injuries related to induced abortion.”

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