New Poor-Choice Rhetoric Exposes Abortion’s Dangers
Substitute “Poor-Choice” for “Pro-Choice,” Expert Advises
Springfield, IL (Feb. 15, 2005)–“Pro-choice” rhetoric implies that abortion and childbirth are equal options. But research shows that women who choose abortion suffer significantly more physical and psychological health problems than those who give birth. Moreover, there is no research showing that abortion produces any significant benefits for women compared to giving birth, according to one of the nation’s leading experts on post-abortion complications, David C. Reardon, Ph.D.
In order to challenge the assumption that abortion is a good choice, the Elliot Institute, directed by Dr. Reardon, has launched a new web site at www.PoorChoice.org. The site offers comprehensive post-abortion educational and healing resources, personal testimonies and original research showing why the “pro-choice” position should more accurately be referred to as the “poor-choice” position.
If Dr. Reardon has his way, opponents of abortion will soon be substituting the phrase “poor choice” in every context where abortion supporters would use the word “pro-choice.”
“They call themselves ‘pro-choice’ advocates,” says Dr. Reardon, “but in fact, as our research over the past 20 years has shown, what they are really selling women is a ‘poor choice.’ Women who choose abortion face an elevated risk of death from all causes, especially suicide. They experience more depression, more substance abuse, more delivery problems in later pregnancies, lower levels of general health, more divorces, more breast cancer and countless other physical and psychological problems.”
Abortion advocates’ consistent appeal for “choice” suggests that choice, in and of itself, is the highest ideal of free people. At the home page of PoorChoice.org, Dr. Reardon argues that this is nonsense if the choice, as in the case of abortion, is almost always uninformed, dangerous, and regrettable. He maintains that by inserting the phrase “poor-choice” into the abortion debate at every opportunity, abortion opponents can underscore the fact that abortion is anything but a good choice.
“There is no evidence that abortion is ever a good choice,” writes Dr. Reardon. “Specifically, there is not a single known statistically validated study that demonstrates that abortion generally makes women’s lives better. The only claims of benefits are anecdotal; and, even in these cases, the women often say that while they don’t regret having chosen abortion, they have struggled with it, or at best, have not had any major problems ‘yet.’ Given the fact that women who suffer emotional reactions to abortion often suppress these emotions, this anecdotal evidence is very weak indeed.”
Dr. Reardon believes that the similarity in sound between “pro-choice” and “poor-choice” makes this an especially powerful rhetorical tool. Consistent use of this new rhetoric, he believes, will quickly dilute the paralyzing power of the “pro-choice” message. While everyone likes choice, he says, no one likes making bad choices. He believes this new poor-choice rhetoric will quickly expose abortion advocates’ superficial appeals to “choice” without reference to results.
PoorChoice.org provides a complete analysis of why and how the poor-choice rhetoric should be implemented along with free posters and poor-choice fact sheets that can be displayed on bulletin boards in churches, college campuses, laundromats and other outlets, or distributed via email, or through published newsletters.
The Elliot Institute was founded in 1988 to promote research and education regarding the negative impact of abortion on women, men, families and society.