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Surveys Show “Counseling” In Abortion Clinics Is Biased and Dishonest

by | Jun 3, 2024

All the surveys found the same results

By Sarah Terzo

There are many, many accounts of biased and dishonest “counseling” in abortion facilities. Some come from post-abortive women, others from former abortion workers.

Pro-life regulations in some states require abortion facilities to give accurate medical information about abortion’s risks and fetal development. So-called “pro-choice” advocacy groups fight these laws tooth and nail, and abortion facilities do everything they can to undermine them.

There hasn’t been a great deal of research done on abortion “counseling,” and its effect on pregnant people’s decisions, but there have been some surveys done over the years.

Surveys of Post-Abortive Women

The Center for Bioethical Reform conducted a survey of post-abortive women, which I can no longer find on their website but which I’ve copied here.

Women were asked:

Were you given information about the biological nature of the fetus?

no (93%)
yes (2%)

Do you feel their opinions were biased?

no (6%)
yes (72%)

If so, for abortion?

yes (89%)
no (0%)

The numbers don’t add up to 100% because some women were undecided, said they didn’t know, or didn’t answer the question.

The survey also found that while only 26% believed the fetus was “human” at the time of their abortions, 97% came to believe this afterward. Since some pro-choice people will admit that the fetus is biologically human but maintain he/she is not a person, it’s not clear exactly what these women believed.

It’s possible, though, that many didn’t believe they were killing their baby before the abortion, but came to believe this later, which could cause guilt and emotional trauma.

Researcher David Reardon surveyed 252 post-abortive women for his book Aborted Women: Silent No More He found that:

  • 66% said their counselor’s advice was biased.
  • 40 to 60% described themselves as not having been certain of their decision before counseling.
  • 44% stated they were actively hoping to find an option other than abortion during counseling.
  • 5% reported that they were encouraged to ask questions.
  • 52 to 71% felt the questions were inadequately answered, sidestepped, or trivialized.
  • 90% said they were not given enough information to make an informed decision.
  • 83% said it was very likely that they would’ve chosen differently if they had not been so strongly encouraged to abort by others, including their abortion counselors.
  • 95% of women who had abortions at Planned Parenthood said that their Planned Parenthood counselors gave “little or no biological information about the fetus which the abortion would destroy.”

In her study, Katherine Speckhard, PhD, of the University of Minnesota, found that 81% of the post-abortive women she surveyed said they felt “victimized” by the abortion process.

The women felt “either that they were coerced into the abortion or that important information about the pregnancy resolution and abortion procedure had been withheld.”1

I conducted a survey of my own back in 2007 when I asked post-abortive women questions about the counseling they received an abortion facilities. Half of the thirty or so women I interviewed received no counseling whatsoever. As for the rest, all but two of them said the counseling was inadequate and/or biased.

I plan to write more about my survey in the future.

How Many Show Up Undecided?

When pregnant people show up at abortion facilities, have they already made up their minds? Reardon found that up to 60% hadn’t. A pro-abortion source gives a similar statistic.

book that instructs abortion workers in how to counsel women before their abortions cites a study that found:

  • 48% of pregnant people who showed up at abortion facilities had already made up their minds and were sure of their choice to abort.
  • 32% were ambivalent about having an abortion.
  • 20% were unprepared to make a decision and needed more time.2

The authors conclude, “This leaves an estimated 52% that could benefit from counseling.”3

The book also quotes a study of abortion facilities that found 90% of pregnant people had abortions after “counseling” and only about 8% continued their pregnancies.(Others came to the facilities too late to have abortions.) However, this is a very old study.

Testimonies from Post-Abortive People

There have been many, many testimonies from post-abortive women about biased counseling and lies from abortion workers. If I cited every example, I would have enough material to fill not one book, but a whole series.

Here is just one example.

book of post-abortive women’s stories quoted ‘Nadine’ who wrote:

I was so naïve. I had no idea what an abortion actually was. They made it all sound so safe, so easy, so simple. They promised an abortion would take care of my problem and I’d be back to my old self, and I could continue with whatever I wanted in my life. The counselor even said, “If you were my daughter, I’d tell you the same thing. It’s the right thing to do.”


Everyone assured me not to worry, that there was nothing to be afraid of. The counseling I received was like, yes, you can do this; yes, it’s safe; and don’t worry, you won’t have any problems.5

She says, “I have been emotionally tortured by this experience for the past 24 years.”6

Abortion facilities have a vested interest in selling abortions – they make money when a pregnant person consents to an abortion, not when she walks away.

Unfortunately, with the backlash against the overturn of Roe, more and more states are enshrining abortion in their constitutions. Pro-life laws are being eliminated, leaving pregnant people with no protection against lies and biased counseling.


1.     Dorinda C Bordlee, ESQ “Abortion Alternative Legislation and the Law of the Gift” in Erika Bachiochi. The Cost of “Choice”: Women Evaluate the Impact of Abortion (San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books, 2004) 136

2.     MJ Hare and J. Hayward “Counselling of women seeking abortion” Journal of Biological Science (1981) 13: 269-271

3.     Joanna Brien, Ida Fairbairn Pregnancy and Abortion Counseling (London: Routledge, 1996) 55

4.     Ibid., 54-55; cites Birth Control Trust Model Specification for Abortion (London: Birth Control Trust, 1994) 5.4

5.     Teresa Burke, David C Reardon Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 2002) 37

6.     Ibid

Editor’s note. This appeared on Sarah’s outstanding substack and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Abortion Clinic