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Associated Press/Photo by Paul Ruhter (Billings Gazette)

Increased awareness

Abortion | A new poll finds that a vast majority of Americans are aware of the harmful emotional effects of abortion

WASHINGTON-A recent Elliot Institute poll is being heralded as a breakthrough in abortion research, with its findings indicating that Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the harmful effects of abortion and are looking for answers in how to deal with them.

On Thursday the Family Research Council held a panel discussion on the poll, which found that 85 percent of American adults believe that an abortion causes significant emotional problems.

The six panelists highlighted the findings of the poll and discussed the refusal of mental health care organizations to acknowledge these health effects of abortion. Vincent M. Rue of the Institute for Pregnancy Loss said that this topic "continues to be politically incorrect in the U.S.A."

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The panel cited studies indicating that 35 percent of women in the United States have had at least one abortion by age 45. Because this number is so large, David Reardon, director of the Elliot Institute, said, "politicians who ignore the issue of post-abortion complications are ignoring an important concern of the American people."

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

Reardon also emphasized the need for politicians to understand this issue, saying that their best approach would be to reassure these 30 million men and women that as their leaders they are "deeply concerned" and that they want to "protect and help them." A message of hope instead of judgment will speak volumes to those impacted by the negative effects of abortion, he added.

In other findings from the poll, 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 post-abortion complications should be a moderate to high priority.

In addition to Rue and Reardon, the FRC panel was made up of Priscilla Coleman, a professor at Bowling Green State University; psychiatrist Martha Shuping; Catherine Coyle of the Alliance for Post Abortion Research and Training; and Tom McClusky, vice president of government affairs at the Family Research Council.

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