Women Who Abort: Their Reflections on the Unborn
- David C. Reardon, Ph.D.
Sit with me for a moment in the waiting room of an abortion clinic. Here you will find women who, in general, are neither philosophers nor fools--categories which admittedly include substantial overlap. Very few of these women have engaged in arcane debates about the meaning of "personhood." Fewer still are so foolish as to believe the claim that having an abortion is no worse than having a tooth pulled.
Look about and you will see women from a wide cross-section of American culture. Bright and dull, conservative and liberal, religious and irreligious. All are represented. There is significant overrepresentation by adolescents, unmarried women, and racial minorities, but still, they are a cross-section of America. And like all Americans, these women are uneasy and deeply divided over abortion, more so today than ever before in their lives.
Many of these women, even now, while waiting to be escorted to the operating room, bury their heads in the sands of denial. "It will be over soon. I just won't think about it. I'll just go on with my life like before.... It wouldn't be legal if it wasn't right; it wouldn't be legal if it wasn't safe. I just won't think about it."
Others, who at best consider their pending abortions to be an evil necessity, are saying goodbye: "Forgive me. Mommy doesn't want to do this, but I really don't have any choice. If only I could have you, I would love you so much."
For some their wait is unemotional, but they are intellectually tortured by the metaphysical question: "Am I doing the right thing?" Others are carefully focused on their answers to this same question: "This is the right thing, the only thing to do. I can always have a baby later, when the time is right, when I can be a good mother. It wouldn't be fair to me, to Jim, or even to the baby, to have it now."
These women, joylessly seated around the waiting room, are just typical Americans. They share the same spectrum of American beliefs and angst over the abortion question. Polls show that roughly 70 percent of Americans believe that abortion should be legal. Yet 75 percent (which obviously requires substantial overlap) also believe it is immoral. There is clearly a tension in our hearts between what should be legal and what is actually moral.
This tension is especially visible in abortion clinic waiting rooms. Interviews at clinics confirm that at least 70 percent of the women having abortions view abortion as immoral, or at least deviant, behavior. Rather than choosing according to their own moral beliefs, most women are acting against their belief systems. They feel "forced" by circumstances, or loved ones, to violate their consciences for the sake of some "other good."
Why, after over twenty years of legal abortion, do Americans--including young women for whom abortion has always been legal--still have a negative moral view of abortion?
The answer to this question is the same at it was two decades ago. In 1971, the editors of California Medicine wrote in support of legalized abortion, but noted that the moral view underlying this change would only slowly be adopted.
Since the old [Judeo-Christian] ethic [of the sanctity of life] has not yet been fully displaced [by the new ethic which places relative rather than absolute value on human lives] it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death. The very considerable semantic gymnastics which are required to rationalize abortion as anything but taking a human life would be ludicrous if they were not often put forth under socially impeccable auspices. It is suggested that this schizophrenic sort of subterfuge is necessary because while a new ethic is being accepted the old one has not yet been rejected. [Italics added]
With an honesty often missing from the current abortion debate, the pro-choice editors of California Medicine affirm that "everyone really knows" that human life begins at conception. Everyone knows it. Every denial is simply "semantic gymnastics" offered by "socially impeccable auspices" to ease our way.
Sitting in the abortion clinic waiting room, this truth rides uneasily beneath the surface of silent submission. No one dares to speak it, but all know it. Even young children can understand this simple truth. It lies at the heart of the question that all children eventually ask: "Where do babies come from?" While a child might be temporarily diverted from the answer to this question, no child's curiosity is completely satisfied until the full truth is revealed. Life begins at conception. Babies are created by an act of conception, the uniting (hopefully in an act of love) of a man and woman, sharing the substance of their very selves, two becoming one in the flesh--both symbolically in the uniting of the sexual act and most truly in the conception of a new life which unites the flesh of man and woman to create a new human being, their child.
The knowledge that the human fetus, the human embryo, or even the human zygote, is in fact a human being is as undeniable as the answer to the child's question: "Where do babies come from?" The women in the waiting room remember when they once asked that question. They remember the answer. They remember the truth. And it is this truth--no matter how much they try to ignore it, forget it, or bury it beneath slogans or philosophical quibbles--that demands their attention.
In interviews with 40 women shortly after their abortions, sociologist Mary Zimmerman avoided any questions regarding the woman's view of the nature of the human fetus in order to avoid upsetting the women. Yet even when this question was left unasked, it was clearly on the minds of the women since most of them chose to reveal at least some hint of their opinion during the interview. Nearly 25 percent explicitly stated that the aborted fetus was a life, a person, or a human being. In many of these cases, they admitted a sense of having killed or murdered another being. Another 25 percent expressed confusion about the nature of the fetus. In these cases, the women generally believed the fetus was human but denied that abortion was killing. Zimmerman suggests that this contradictory stance was taken in order maintain their self-images as moral persons. Finally, only 15 percent maintained that the fetus was not a person or human life, but even these women expressed themselves in terms of denial rather than with arguments to support their beliefs, stating, for example, "I feel that it's something there, but I don't really feel that it's a life yet."
The feeling of a life being killed is a common thread throughout the testimonies of women before, during, and after an abortion. According to one woman, interviewed in a clinic's waiting room: "It's killing. But it is justifiable homicide." Another, shortly after her abortion, says: "Like when you have an abortion you're just destroying a part of yourself. That's the way I feel anyhow. I just feel bad inside, that's all. I didn't really want to do it. It's a sin." Still another woman, describes her feelings after an abortion, saying: "I hated myself. I felt abandoned and lost. There was no one's shoulder to cry on, and I wanted to cry like hell. And I felt guilty about killing something. I couldn't get it out of my head that I'd just killed a baby."
For some the anticipation of guilt itself moves them toward acts of self-punishment. An example of this is reported in a New York Times interview with American women who have traveled to England for RU-486 abortions. A woman from Pennsylvania explained that for her there were "psychological advantages" to the harrowing experience of repeated clinic visits for RU- 486 and prostaglandin injections and in the six hours or more of labor pains to expel a dead human fetus. "I didn't want to just zip in and be put to sleep and zip out in two hours with it all done," she explains. "In a way, that would have been too easy. This was a big painful decision for me. I would have felt irresponsible if it had just been over with like that. I wanted to remember this all my life. I never want to do it again." For this woman the price for an abortion must be measured in something more than negotiable currency. The act must be etched in one's memory with proper solemnity. Physical and emotional pain are the only fitting tributes which can be made to a life denied.
Even for those who deny the humanity of their unborn child, there is a often an admission that this denial can be maintained only by a conscious effort. For example, one woman writes: "I didn't think of it as a baby. I just didn't want to think of it that way." Another insists that denial is the only way to deal with it: "I made up my mind to do it, and like I could let it drive me crazy, any woman could, but you can't, because you've got to live with it and there's really no sense in letting it drive you right off the edge."
For others, even the process of discussing their experience threatens their precarious equilibrium. For example, one woman interviewed in a clinic as she awaited her third abortion at first insisted she had adjusted well to her first two abortions, but then she went on to describe experiencing symptoms which are now identified as part of post-abortion syndrome. She found herself confessing that she had developed a compulsive fascination with other people's children, outbursts of rage, and periods of depression and substance abuse. As she heard herself describing these problems, which she herself attributed to her previous abortions, she began to doubt what she should believe, finally concluding: "Maybe I should go to a psychiatrist, but I really don't have the money or the interest. Truth is hard to take, and I just don't know if I'm ready for it."
What is the truth, which she already knows, but is too "hard to take?" Abortion destroys a human life. Moreover, this life is her own child. This human life is also the progeny of her male partner. And their parents. And their grandparents. In this way, abortion is even more than a profound moral issue; it is a familial issue. The abortion experience not only defines how she sees herself, it also defines how she sees her family.
No One is Safe
Even the most ardent defenders of abortion rights are not immune to these issues. Linda Bird Francke, a professional journalist, feminist, and pro-choice activist, describes how when faced with an unplanned pregnancy which would have interfered with her and her husband's rising careers, the couple decided "It was time for us," not another child. It was a relatively easy decision. Without any emotional hand wringing, the logical and practical choice was made.
It was not until Francke and her husband were actually sitting in the waiting room, that an unexpected ambivalence arose. "Suddenly the rhetoric, the abortion marches I'd walked in, the telegrams sent to Albany to counteract the Friends of the Fetus, the Zero Population Growth buttons I'd worn, peeled away, and I was all alone with my microscopic baby." Intellectually, she tried to concentrate on how small the fetus was, and therefore how impossible it was for it to be human, but she had borne children before and the feel of her own body kept telling her that there was real life growing within her. "Though I would march myself into blisters for a woman's right to exercise the option of motherhood," she writes, "I discovered there in the waiting room that I was not the modern woman I thought I was."
By the time the she entered the operating room, Francke was desperately hoping for some release from her predetermined course. She longed for her husband to valiantly "burst" through the door and stop it from happening. When he failed to do so, and the doctor began to dilate her for the surgery, she herself begged him to stop. But the doctor told her it was too late and completed the surgery anyway. At that point she gave in: "What good sports we women are. And how obedient. Physically the pain passed even before the hum of the machine signaled that the vacuuming of my uterus was completed, my baby sucked up like ashes after a cocktail party."
Afterwards, her ambivalence continued. During times of relaxation when she had time to reflect on the beauty of the world, she experienced the common reaction of "visitations" from her aborted child. Her benign "little ghost" would come to her and wave. And she would tearfully wave back to reassure her lost baby that if only he could return, now they would make room for him in their busy lives.
Five years after her abortion, Francke was drawn to reinvestigate her own mixed feelings about abortion and wrote a book entitled The Ambivalence of Abortion, in which she transcribed reactions to the abortion experience of almost 70 women, couples, parents, and men. What she found, as the title suggests, is universal ambivalence, and often frank admissions of guilt and remorse. Over 70 percent of those she interviewed expressed some type of negative feelings about the abortion. Most saw that abortion involves a "baby." Those who denied the human fetus's humanity did so in curt assertions which belied an edge of uncertainty. Few were as well prepared for the abortion decision as was Francke, who at least had the advantage of having been a pro- choice activist who had confronted the issues and argued for the principles used to justify abortion. Instead, few had ever participated in the abortion debate. Most had deep moral reservations about abortion, yet they were aborting because they felt they had no other choice.
Francke's interviews are consistent with the findings of other researchers. These findings suggest that for most women, abortion is at best a marginal choice. Between 30 and 60 percent of women having abortions initially have a positive desire to carry the pregnancy to term and keep their babies. Many of these women still desire their babies even at the time of the abortion, but are aborting only because they feel forced to do so by others or by circumstances. Indeed, of women who experience post-abortion problems, over 80 percent say they would have carried to term under better circumstances or with the support of loved ones, over 60 percent report having felt "forced" to have the abortion by others or circumstances, and approximately 40 percent were still hoping to discover some alternative to abortion when going for counseling at the abortion clinic.
Such data suggest that rather than "choosing" abortion, many women, perhaps most, are instead "submitting" to abortion. The rhetoric of "choice" may actually be obscuring the national problem of unwanted abortions--abortions on women who would prefer to keep their babies if only they could receive the love and support they need to empower them as mothers.
No one can reasonably deny the testimonies of women who describe how their unwanting lovers, parents, and others have pressured, badgered, blackmailed, and even physically forced them into accepting unwanted abortions because it would be "best for everyone." Even pro-choice ethicist Daniel Callahan, director of the Hastings Center, writes: "That men have long coerced women into unwanted abortion when it suits their purposes is well-known but rarely mentioned. Data reported by the Alan Guttmacher Institute indicate that some 30 percent of women have an abortion because someone else, not the woman, wants it."
Everyone is Changed
This data, combined with over a thousand case studies in my own files alone, demonstrate that the decision to abort is often a tentative one, or even one accepted solely to please others. For many it is nothing more than an act of despair. For all, it is an intensely emotional issue which irreversibly changes the course of their lives and touches the very depths of their sexuality and self- image. It is a life-marking event. Just as after a marriage one becomes a wife, or after the birth of a child one becomes a mother, so after abortion one becomes--well, "another"--somehow different than before.
As with all life-marking events, it is human nature to look back and wonder, "How would my life be different if I hadn't married Jim? How would it be different if I had never had the twins?" So the woman who has had an abortion is inevitably confronted with the question, "How would my life be different if I'd had that baby?"
For many women, the abortion becomes a key point in their lives around which all other events take reference. In their minds, everything can be clearly placed as having occurred either "before the abortion" or "after the abortion." They may even see themselves as being two completely different people before and after this defining event. In a retrospective study of 260 women, an average of nearly eleven years after their abortions, 51 percent report having undergone a "dramatic personality change" following their abortions, of which 79 percent say the change was a negative one.
Abortion is such a profound event in one's life, that one must either thoughtfully integrate it into one's life, or fearfully suppress it. Neither is easy. The former requires great fortitude and honesty. The latter is simply unhealthy. It is a fundamental principle of psychiatry that suppression of emotions is the cause of numerous psychological and physical ailments. Suppressed feelings create their own internal pressures, sap emotional energy, and cause turmoil in one's life until they burst forth in a way which can no longer be ignored.
These observations are substantiated by the testimony of Dr. Julius Fogel, a psychiatrist and obstetrician who has been a long-time advocate of abortion and has personally performed 20,000 abortions. Although he approaches abortion from a pro-abortion perspective, Dr. Fogel is deeply concerned about the "psychological effects of abortion on the mother's mind." According to Dr. Fogel:
Abortion is an impassioned subject.... Every woman--whatever her age, background or sexuality--has a trauma at destroying a pregnancy. A level of humanness is touched. This is a part of her own life. She destroys a pregnancy, she is destroying herself. There is no way it can be innocuous. One is dealing with the life force. It is totally beside the point whether or not you think a life is there. You cannot deny that something is being created and that this creation is physically happening.... Often the trauma may sink into the unconscious and never surface in the woman's lifetime. But it is not as harmless and casual an event as many in the pro-abortion crowd insist. A psychological price is paid. It may be alienation; it may be a pushing away from human warmth, perhaps a hardening of the maternal instinct. Something happens on the deeper levels of a woman's consciousness when she destroys a pregnancy. I know that as a psychiatrist.
Other investigators, on both sides of the abortion issue, share Fogel's concern. Researchers have reported over 100 psychological sequelae connected to abortion stress. These include sexual dysfunction, depression, flashbacks, sleep disorders, anxiety attacks, eating disorders, impacted grieving, a diminished capacity for bonding with later children, increased tendency toward violent outbursts, chronic problems in maintaining intimate relationships, difficulty concentrating, and a loss of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities and people. One five year retrospective study in two Canadian provinces found that 25 percent of women who had abortions subsequently sought psychiatric care compared to 3 percent of the control group.
Perhaps most disturbing is the increase of self-destructive behavior among post-aborted women. Women with a history of abortions are significantly more likely to smoke, drink, and use drugs. A study of 700 women found that drug and alcohol abuse subsequent to a first pregnancy was approximately four times higher for those who aborted compared to those who carried to term. Another study of 260 women who had abortions found that 37 percent described themselves as being self-destructive, with 28 percent admitting having made one or more suicide attempts.
The Necessity of Denial
Suppression and denial are the most common means of coping with abortion. Between 60 and 70 percent of women who eventually confronted negative feelings about their abortions admit that there was a period of time during which they would have denied to others and themselves any regrets or negative feelings. On average, this period of denial was about five years, with a low of one month and a high of twenty years.
In general, denial and avoidance behavior is readily apparent. Participants in our own case study project who claim that their post-abortion adjustment was easy almost always give only short, concealing responses which at the same time reveal volumes. Consider the following response, which arrived just today, and is typical of the pattern I have described.
Why did you have an abortion? "I wasn't carrying the baby right and I had knots in my stomach"
How would you describe the abortion? "I didn't like it, but I did what was best."
How did the abortion affect you? "It made me feel sad because I took another's life."
What have you done to deal with the abortion, and did it help? "Nothing really. I got over it."
How do you think the abortion changed your life? "I take better care of myself."
Notably, this woman describes that what she aborted was a "baby," not a "fetus" or a "pregnancy." She further states, very matter of factly, that in having the abortion she "took another's life." These statements suggest that this woman is not engaging in any sophisticated rationalizations. To her it was not a "potential life," it was a baby, whose death warrants sadness. In the same simple and straightforward way, she copes with this death simply by "getting over it." One hopes that she has indeed gotten over it, but one fears that in actuality she may simply be engaging in avoidance behavior which prevents true resolution and integration of the experience into her life.
But then, denial and avoidance are integral to abortion. Don't take my word for it. Look at In Necessity and Sorrow, a book by Dr. Magda Denes, a pro-choice feminist psychologist.
Shortly after her own abortion, Denes, like Francke, felt drawn to spend months at an abortion facility to observe how others experienced abortion. Unlike Francke, Denes is a trained psychologist and knows to look beyond the words of those she interviews. She sees that words of bravery are used to disguise fears, words of calm to hide doubts. For example, when introducing the interview of one patient, she writes: "All that she says sounds honest and straightforward. It is only when she refers to the abortion that she lies, not so much to me as to herself."
But seeing through these self-deceptions does not mean that Denes criticizes them. Instead, she justifies denial as necessary to protect ourselves from the worst in us: "Oh yes," she writes, "these people lie, they kid themselves, testify falsely, confess in bad faith, shirk responsibility, only pretend to honor, bracket the past, and invent their lives. And who among us does differently? Especially in times of crisis. Especially in times of irreversible choice."
Self-preservation is the name of the game, and Denes clearly sees that sanity in the abortion clinic can be achieved only by a strict adherence to the rules of the game. Both patients and staff collaborate in this conspiracy of self-deceptions. Describing her interviews with both staff and patients, she writes, "Above all, this a document on the evasions, multifaceted, clever, and shameful, by which we all live and die."
In the abortion clinic, she adds, "Reality is a matter of courtesy. A matter of agreement not to rock the tempest-torn boat."
Though Denes is personally committed to the pro-choice philosophy, her book, like Francke's, was never embraced by the pro-choice movement. It is too dark, too questioning, too disturbing. In fact, despite the opposite leanings of their authors, both Denes' and Francke's books show that abortion is at best an ugly experience, at worst a heart wrenching nightmare. Neither is able to find any substance in the stories they tell to support the pro-choice rhetoric about "salvaged lives" in which they themselves earnestly hope. This failure is due to the fact that when one studies the effects of abortion on women in an intimate and personal way, it is never an encouraging story. What emerges is always much more sorrow than joy, much more guilt than relief.
The philosophy of "choice" is admirable only when stripped of its reality, only when worshipped as an ideal, believed in its abstract. When examined from the viewpoint of women filled with despair, dread, guilt, and denial, this pro-choice rhetoric is cold and uncomforting. When examined from the viewpoint of the aftermath of breast cancer, miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, substance abuse, suicidal tendencies, sexual dysfunctions, impacted grieving, and Mother's Day depression, it is a mockery.
In sum, speaking as one who has been there, Denes favors abortion on demand purely on the grounds that women should be given a choice. Yet she is discomforted with that choice, for even under the most ideal circumstances, even if abortion on demand were "provided free by the state, [and] supported with mercy by the church," she believes that such a pure freedom would only accentuate the horrors, doubts, guilts, and other problems which are inherent to abortion. "For if we remove abortions from the realm of defiance of authority," she writes:
...if we permit them to be acts of freedom as they should be, their meaning, private and collective, will inescapably emerge in the consciousness of every person....I think it is a far, far lighter task to regard oneself as a martyr and to battle the world than to know the private sorrows of unique commitments and the heartache of self-chosen destiny. I wish, therefore, to be taken for what I am. A pro-abortionist with a bad secular conscience."
No One Forgets
Denes is not unique. Because "everyone really knows" that life begins at conception, everyone who has ever been involved in abortions, at some level, has a bad conscience--or at least a nagging one. This is true of all those involved: the father, the parents, siblings, friends, counselors, doctors. But it is especially true for the mother because her body has been desecrated; her body has been used by another as the actual killing ground for the child her womb was designed to protect.
Like many others, Denes is compelled to admit that abortion, though justifiable, is "a type of murder" because its victim is "alive and human." For women who allow themselves to reflect on their abortions, no other conclusion is possible.
Still, those women who possess sophisticated philosophies, strong coping resources, and semantic agility, can keep this aborted life at a distance. They remind themselves that it was just a "potential" life whose time for fulfillment had not yet come. They can lessen the impact by sanitizing the terms with which they think about it. But for the majority of women, who lack the sophistication, the coping skills, and the verbal dexterity, this aborted life is quite simply their "baby"--a person they would have cuddled and loved if only things had been different.
For this latter group of women, their abortions were an "evil necessity." Many of them feel an immediate sense of guilt, self-condemnation, and feelings of having betrayed both themselves and their child. Others try to block out their feelings through denial, suppression, and focusing on the future. But for these women who know that what they aborted was "my baby," the past will inevitably demand its tribute. The need to grieve will relentlessly pursue and overtake them, and this need must be compassionately acknowledged by society and shared by their loved ones.
The future of the "sophisticated" woman, who holds to a more dehumanized view of the life lost during her abortion, is less certain. If she has integrated these beliefs into her life before her abortion, then there is a congruency between what she believed and how she acted. In such a case, it may be plausible that she has not been changed or affected by her abortion experience.
But if there was not a congruency between a woman's pre-abortion beliefs and her sophisticated post-abortion mindset, her prospects for peace of mind are not good. In this case, her more "mature" and "experienced" views are likely to be nothing more than a veneer of rationalizations which conceal, but have not obliterated, the person who once knew that abortion means the destruction of a human life. Because the modernity of this woman is just a veneer, she lacks the confidence and security of those for whom this modernity runs deep and was an integrated part of their personalities long before their abortions. This woman, with only the veneer of modernity, is easily identified by the angry energy with which she feverishly defends the abortion liberty. She is not calmly confident of her belief system, or even capable of respecting the contrary beliefs of others. Instead, she sees every challenge to her new ethic as a personal insult precisely because these challenges reverberate through the veneer of her new ethic to disturb the slumber of an old ethic which still lays claim to her heart.
Such a woman will know no true peace until there is an accord between the person above and below this veneer. And this peace, I suggest, can only be found when the person below is freed to grieve and repent according to the old ethic, precisely because it was this old ethic which had a claim on her conscience at the time of the abortion. It is to this old ethic which she must still provide an answer. Until she does, her "new ethic," like every ethic adopted to justify past acts, is polluted with rationalization. Her new self is unstable, built upon a discordant self--a self with an un-reconciled past. Such a woman is a psychological time bomb. She has unresolved pressures contained within a veneer. If that veneer is ever shattered, the emotional explosion which occurs may cause irreparable damage both to her life and the lives of loved ones.
The Journey Begins
So it is, when I look around the clinic's waiting room, I see lives driven by despair, not hope. I see women inwardly crying, saying goodbye. And I see women whose clenched teeth and fixed eyes are determinedly set on the future because they dare not look at the present which will forever be their past.
As I look into their many faces, the philosophical debate over when a human becomes a "person" dissolves into nothing more than ethereal elevator music. Whether these waiting women listen to it or ignore it, it has no real effect on the living of their lives. For beneath the lyric of excuses and jargon, on the level of a little girl who once asked, "Where do babies come from?", every woman here knows that life begins at conception. It is a human life. It is a familial life. It is a part of her and a part of another; it is their child. The only question which remains is how well will she be able to live with this truth...or how long will she be able to run from it?
This article was originally published in The Post-Abortion Review, 4(1), Winter 1996. Copyright 1996, The Elliot Institute.
This article is adapted from an essay which will appear in The Silent Subject: Reflections on the Unborn in American Culture, edited by Brad Stetson. It will be published by Praeger Publishers in 1996.
- Mary K. Zimmerman, Passage Through Abortion (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1977), 69.
- "A New Ethic for Medicine and Society," California Medicine, Sept. 1970, 113(3):67-68.
- Zimmerman, Passage Through Abortion, 194-195.
- Magda Denes, In Necessity and Sorrow, (New York: Basic Books, 1976), 94.
- Linda Bird Francke, The Ambivalence of Abortion (New York: Random House, 1978), 61.
- New York Times, March 23, 1994 cited in "The Public Square," First Things, June/July 1994, p.79.
- Francke, Ambivalence, 201.
- Denes, In Necessity and Sorrow, 97-98.
- Francke, Ambivalence, 63.
- Jane Doe [pseud. Linda Bird Francke], "There Just Wasn't Room in Our Lives Now for Another Baby," New York Times, May 14, 1976, Op-Ed Section.
- Zimmerman, Passages, 110-111. Reardon, Aborted Women, 12.
- Reardon, Aborted Women, 14-15.
- Daniel Callahan, "An Ethical Challenge to Pro-choice Advocates," Commonweal, Nov. 23, 1990, 681-687, 684.
- Reardon, "Psychological Reactions Reported After Abortion" The Post-Abortion Review, Fall 1994, 2(3):4-8.
- From an interview with columnist Colman McCarthy, "A Psychological View of Abortion," St. Paul Sunday Pioneer Press, March 7, 1971. Dr. Fogel, who continued to do abortions for the next two decades, reiterated the same view in a subsequent interview with McCarthy, "The Real Anguish of Abortions" The Washington Post, Feb. 5, 1989.
- R.F. Badgley, et al., Report of the Committee on the Abortion Law, Supply and Services, Ottawa, Canada, 1977:313-319.
- "New Study Confirms Link Between Abortion and Substance Abuse," The Post-Abortion Review, Fall 1993, 1(3):1-2.
- Reardon, "Psychological Reactions Reported After Abortion" The Post-Abortion Review, Fall 1994, 2(3):4-8.
- Denes, In Necessity, 101.
- Ibid., 122.
- Ibid., xvii.
- Ibid., 6.
- Ibid., xv-xvi.