The Democrats for Life town hall meeting on Wednesday in Denver, in addition to policy proposals and cultural analysis, examined the consequences of abortion, naming the abortion-related risks of domestic violence, infertility, and cancer as reasons to advocate abortion reduction programs.
Colorado State Senator Debbie Stafford, a former Republican with a background in religious ministry and domestic violence counseling, discussed the relation of domestic violence to abortion while Rev. Clenard Childress, pastor of the New Calvary Baptist Church in Montclair, New Jersey and president of the Life Education and Resource Network (LEARN), discussed abortion’s devastating effects in the African-American community.
“No woman will abort unless she has a sense of abandonment and rejection,” Stafford said. Domestic violence doesn’t “just happen,” and pregnant women are 25 to 50 percent more likely to be abused than a non-pregnant woman, she explained.
Stafford added that sometimes a woman undergoes an abortion just to please her partner.
“When a pregnant woman involved in an abusive or destructive relationship finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy, one of the ways that she believes she can maintain what we call the ‘traumatic-emotional bond’ with her abuser is to allow her baby to be aborted.”
Further, she has discovered that “men hurt too,” and can come “literally unglued” because their pregnant partner used the possible abortion of the baby as a “wedge” between them or as a way to punish the man.
“It took two people to create that child,” she said, noting that both men and women in abusive relationships need support.
Rev. Childress discussed the negative consequences of abortion especially as related to the African-American community, claiming abortion affects African-Americans “more than any other ethnic group in the country.” He cited CDC statistics showing that one in two pregnant African-American women choose to abort.
The African-American birth rate, he said, is at 1.97 children per women, less than the 2.1 replacement rate. African-American women now lead the country in miscarriages due to “using abortion as a contraceptive,” which weakens the uterine lining.
“When they want to have a child, they cannot,” Rev. Childress explained with sadness.
Turning to other health problems, he asserted: “Nobody talks about the 21 conclusive studies that show that abortion and breast cancer are linked.”
He also said he was “totally disgusted” at the medical community for not acknowledging post-partum depression occurs among women who have had abortions.
“You need to be a pastor, and talk to the women who are still hearing heartbeats, who are still traumatized.”
He also claimed 58 percent of African-Americans say they are pro-life, even though they are heavily favorable to the Democratic Party.
He also voiced concerns about the political manipulation surrounding the abortion issue.
“One side uses it for grassroots, the other side uses it monetarily, and it’s very sad,” Rev. Childress lamented.
“There’s too many women hurting,” he said, focusing upon the pro-life Democrats in the audience. “And the ethnic group that is hurting the most is the one that supports your party the most.”