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  • THE ESSENTIAL GUIDEFOR PRO-LIFE CANDIDATES

    30 MILLION

    POST-ABORTIVE WOMEN

    n TOUCH THE HEARTS n EARN THE TRUST n WIN THE VOTES OF

    u

    ReversingtheGender Gap This message will get womens votes.

    Weve been waiting for this for a long time! I and count-less other post-abortive women have been longing forsomeone to speak up for us. Pro-life politicians havenever really understood how to talk about abortionsdevastation. This approach reaches out to post-abortivewomen and the millions who care about them. Theresa Bonopartis

    Lumina Post-Abortion Referral Ministry

    Being a pro-life politician just got easier. Leaders whochampion the rights of both women and the unborn areno longer playing defense. Instead, theyre making theiropponents defend the indefensible. Congressman Steve King (R - IA)

    This brilliant strategy will break decades of verbal dead-lock and help us all understand what women really want.It teaches public figures how to speak confidently andwith sensitivity to post-abortive women. Its an incred-ible guide to being radically pro-woman and pro-life. Theresa Burke, Ph.D.

    Rachel’s Vineyard Post-Abortion Ministries

    Coerced abortion is common. Side-effects are serious.Death rates are high . . . Understanding womens pain,and ending the dual carnage of abortion isnt a moralcompromise, its a moral mandate. Fr. Frank Pavone

    Priests for Life

    As a woman whos had an abortion, its not a legal orpolitical issue for me; its a personal one. This little bookprovides the first real honest approach to the abortionissue. It moves past the tired cliches and addresseswomens real concerns. This will get womens votes. Georgette Forney

    Silent No More Awareness Campaign

    Post Office Box 7348Springfield, IL 62791www.afterabortion.org INSTITUTE

  • ReversingtheGender Gap

    THE ESSENTIAL GUIDEFOR PRO-LIFE CANDIDATES

    30 MILLION POST-ABORTIVE WOMEN

    n TOUCH THE HEARTS n EARN THE TRUST n WIN THE VOTES OF

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    IntroductionWhat You Must Know to Reversethe Gender Gap ........................................... v Background Polls & PsychologyWomen Dislike Abortion ....................................9Women Know AbortionDoesnt Improve Their Lives ..................... 10Americans Suspect Negative Abortion EffectsAre More Common and Severe Than WeAre Generally Told ..................................... 11Americans Know AbortionIs Wreaking Havoc on Womens Lives ...... 12Coerced Abortions AreThe Neglected Tragedy ......................... 13Americans Are Primed to Recognize theProblem of Coerced Abortion .................... 14Helping Women Is Americans Top PriorityWhen Voting .............................................. 15ConclusionsThe Desire for Pro-Woman /Pro-Life Champions ................................... 16 The Pro-Woman / Pro-Life StrategyProperly Framing the Issue ............................... 19A Two-Phased Campaign .................................. 20Phase OneFor Women, Against Abuse,For Responsible Doctors ........................... 21Phase TwoAbortion Hurts Women, Women DeserveBetter, Lets Create a Healing Environment . 22What Post-Abortive Women Hearin What You Dont Say .............................. 23The Danger of Silence ....................................... 24A Political Case StudyThe Compassionate ConservativeWho Wavered ........................................... 24

    Reversing the Gender Gap: Touch the Hearts, Win theTrust, Earn the Votes of 30 Million Post-AbortiveWomen: The Essential Guide for Pro-Life Candidates Copyright © 2004 Elliot Institute All rights reserved.No part of this book may be reproduced or transmittedin any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,including photocopying, recording, or by any informa-tion storage and retrieval system, without prior writtenpermission from the publisher, except for the inclusionof brief quotations in a review. Printed in Canada Published by Acorn BooksAn imprint ofElliot InstituteP.O. Box 7348Springfield, IL 62791-7348(217) 525-8202 www.afterabortion.orgwww.makingabortionrare.com Poor-Choice is a trademark of the Elliot Institute.Liberal use policies are posted at www.poorchoice.org Women Deserve Better is a registered trademark ofFeminists for Life.

  • INTRODUCTION

    What You Must Know to Reverse the Gender Gap

    At least one of every four women voters has hadan abortion. For most, this is an ugly, painful mem-ory. Theyve been there, done that, and hated it.They know, first-hand, that the abortion indus-try has failed women.This is why, contrary to popular misconceptions,the vast majority of post-abortive women dontsupport the radical agenda of pro-abortion specialinterest groups. Instead, most would be glad to seeabortion go away but only if it can be done in away that helps women. (Remember, theyve beenthere. And they are deeply concerned about, andprotective of, other women who face the same prob-lems and pressures.)Even more important, you must understand atleast a few basic facts about post-abortionpsychology. Since the Elliot Institute is the leadingsource of research and outreach materials on post-abortion issues, we can help you.Here is perhaps the most important point to keepin mind:Post-abortive women and men are keenlyafraid of judgment and condemnation.Unless told otherwise, perhaps repeatedly, post-abortive women are inclined to assume that if youknew their secret, you would shun or condemn them.Therefore, the most important message you need toconvey to post-abortive women and men is that youtruly do understand, accept, and care about them.If you fail to neutralize this fear of judgment,post-abortive women and men, especially women,are more likely to lean toward the pro-choicecandidate. Why? Because they hear in the Impro-choice rhetoric, I dont judge you, but myopponent does.That, in a nutshell, is the real source and causeof the gender gap. v

    Powerful Positions, Tactics, & Talking PointsCoerced Abortions = Domestic Violence .......... 29Unwanted Abortions ........................................ 31A Typical Example of ForcedAbortion Incest ..................................... 31Always Come Back to the Hard Cases .............. 33Dealing With Women Who Do NotRegret Their Abortions .............................. 33Dealing With the Claim That AbortionClinics Are Doing a Good Job ................... 35Confidently Affirm That AbortionIs Harmful to Women ................................. 35Share What Youve Learned FromPost-Abortive Women You Know ............. 36Link Pro-Choice with Poor-Choice ............. 37Notes on When and How to Usethe Poor-Choice Label ............................... 39You Debate Your Opponent .............................. 39A Legislative Agenda ....................................... 41Sample Speech Segments .................................. 42A Sample of Questions and Answers ............... 46 Staying Informed .................................... 50

    References Cited ..................................... 51

    For More Information .............................. 52

  • the one you dread. At the same time, as you areable to boldly, confidently, and compassionatelyaddress the real concerns of post-abortive women,your opponent will be left sounding evasive, in-sensitive, or confused.Please read on, and you will see how pollingdata and human psychology confirm that this ap-proach is the best way to align public sentimentsaround your pro-woman/pro-life message.

    All other variables being the same, post-abortive women are more sensitive to the abortionissue than are post-abortive men. They are lesslikely to vote for a pro-life candidate because pro-life politicians have traditionally failed to addresspost-abortive womens fears and needs and haveallowed themselves to be portrayed as judgmental.In this booklet, you will learn not only how toneutralize the fear that has created the gender gap,but also how to connect on a strong emotionallevel with the real concerns of post-abortive women.If you follow this strategy, you, the pro-woman/pro-life candidate, will become the much preferredchoice over your poor-choice opponent.If you follow this approach, there is no need fora political trade-off.This approach will not lose your support frompro-life voters. It will actually strengthen it.It will also strengthen your support from peoplewho are fence-sitters on the abortion issue. Theywaffle between concern about the morality of abor-tion and a pragmatic desire to help women. Theytoo will appreciate the morally sound, sensitive,and women-serving position you will be takingbecause this position clearly puts you on thedouble high groundon the side of both unbornchildren and women.There is one more advantage to this approach.Youll have more fun. You will no longer feel defen-sive when the abortion issue comes up.Instead, your compassionate, common-senseapproach to the abortion controversy will revealthat you are the one who truly cares about women,both before and after they have had abortions. Youropponent, by contrast, will be exposed as beingless concerned about protecting women fromcoerced or dangerous abortions than he or she isabout protecting the abortion industrys profits.Bottom line: You are about to learn anapproach to the abortion issue that makes youfar more attractive to voters regardless of howoften or in what circumstances they believe abor-tion should be legal or not.This new pro-woman/pro-life position will be ofsuch strong appeal to voters, that it will becomeone of your favorite issues to address rather than viivi

  • BACKGROUND POLLS ANDPSYCHOLOGY

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