When Abortion Isn’t “Chosen”

Even though abortion is marketed as a woman’s choice, studies and surveys indicate that a large number of women are coerced…

Even though abortion is marketed as a woman’s choice, studies and surveys indicate that a large number of women are coerced or deceived into having abortions. Coercion comes in many forms. It can come from parents, husbands, boyfriends or others. It can come from circumstances.

Often, women in abortion clinics are denied access to the true facts surrounding abortion. Information on fetal development is denied to them. The physical and psychological risks of abortion are glossed over. Alternatives are not discussed, or are presented as being terrible. Many women are not allowed to make an informed choice.

Intimidation, coercion, and threats often compel women to choose abortions that they would never have contemplated had the situation been different.

An Overview: Forced Abortion in America

Most involve coercion, which can become violent, even deadly.

The Un-Choice:

– 64% involve coercion.(1)
– Pressure can become violent.(2)
– 67% not counseled.(1)
– 65% suffer trauma.(1)
– Suicide 6-7 times higher.(3)

Forced Non-Choice … .I’ll blow her brains out..

Intense pressure to abort can come from husbands, parents, doctors, partners, counselors, or close friends and family. They may threaten or blackmail a woman into abortion. These are not idle threats. Coercion can escalate to violence. Women who resist abortion have been beaten, tortured and killed. One husband jumped on his wife’s stomach to force an abortion. A mother forced her daughter at gunpoint to go to the abortion clinic. A woman was forcibly injected by the baby’s father with an abortifacient drug.(2)

Unwanted Non-Choice … Their Choice, Not Hers.

Reasons women give for having abortions:

– Forced by mother
– Father opposed
– Husband or boyfriend persuaded me
– No other option given
– Would have been kicked out
– Loss of family’s support
– Lack of support from society
– Clinic persuaded me

In 95% of all cases, the male partner played a central role in the decision.(5)

45% of men interviewed at abortion clinics recalled urging abortion, including 37% of married men.(6)

In the above study, men justified being the primary decision maker, regarding the abortion.(6)

64% of women who aborted felt pressured by others.(1)

Coerced Choice … Taken to the Clinic to Make Sure She Keeps the Appointment

A former abortion clinic security guard testified before the Massachusetts legislature that women were routinely threatened and abused by the boyfriends or husbands who took them to the clinics to make sure they underwent their scheduled abortions.(7) Many women are also pressured by clinic staff financially rewarded for selling abortions.(8)

Note: See Abortion Counseling Section

Forced Choice … Threats Can Escalate to Violence or Murder -the Leading Killer of Pregnant Women

The pressure can escalate. Many pregnant women have been killed by partners trying to prevent the birth, and being pregnant places women at higher risk of being attacked.(9) Murder is the leading cause of death among pregnant women.(10)

92% of women surveyed list domestic violence and assault as the women’s issue that is of highest concern to them.(11)

Uninformed Non-Choice … .When I learned the truth, I can’t tell you how betrayed I felt..

54% were unsure of their decision, yet 67% received no counseling beforehand.(1)

84% received inadequate counseling beforehand.(1) 79% were not told about alternatives.(1)

Many were misinformed by experts about fetal development, abortion alternatives or risks.(12)

Many were denied essential personal, family, societal or economic support.(12)

Unsafe Choice … American Voters Concerned About Coercion and Risks; Support Research and Screening.

Nearly half of voters believe coerced abortion is common. They will support candidates who advocate legislation holding abortionists liable for failing to screen for evidence of coercion.(13) Nearly 80% of abortions take place in non-hospital facilities, ill-equipped for emergency care.(14) Americans are kept in the dark about unwanted abortions, risks and risk factors.

The Aftermath. Women Pay a High Price.

Trauma.(1) Injury.(1) Grief. Death from All Causes.(17) 6-7 Times Higher Suicide.(3)

– 31% had health complications afterwards.(1)
– 65% suffer multiple symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.(1)
– 65% higher risk of clinical depression.(15)
– 10% have immediate complications, some are life-threatening.(16)
– 3.5x higher risk of death from all causes.(17)

The suicide rates are 6-7x higher if women abort vs. giving birth.(3)


1. VM Rue et. al., “Induced abortion and traumatic stress: A preliminary comparison of American and Russian women,” Medical Science Monitor 10(10): SR5-16 (2004).
2. See the special report, “Forced Abortion in America” at www.unchoice.info/resources.htm.
3. M Gissler et. al., “Pregnancy Associated Deaths in Finland 1987-1994 — definition problems and benefits of record linkage” Acta Obsetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 76:651-657 (1997); and M. Gissler, “Injury deaths, suicides and homicides associated with pregnancy, Finland 1987-2000,” European J. Public Health 15(5):459-63 (2005).
4. Frederica Mathewes-Green, Real Choices (Ben Lomond, CA: Conciliar Press, 1997).
5. Mary K. Zimmerman, Passage Through Abortion (New York, Prager Publishers, 1977).
6. Arthur Shostak and Gary McLouth, Men and Abortion: Lessons, Losses, and Love (New York: Preager Publishers, 1984).
7. Brian McQuarrie, “Guard, clinic at odds at abortion hearing” Boston Globe, April 16, 1999.
8. Carol Everett with Jack Shaw, Blood Money (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 1992). See also Pamela Zekman and Pamela Warwick, “The Abortion Profiteers” Chicago Sun Times special reprint, Dec. 3, 1978 (originally published Nov. 12, 1978), p. 2-3, 33.
9. Julie A. Gazmararian et al., “The Relationship Between Pregnancy Intendedness and Physical Violence in Mothers of Newborns” Obstetrics & Gynecology, 85 :1031 (1995); Hortensia Amaro et al., “Violence During Pregnancy and Substance Use” American Journal of Public Health, 80: 575 (1990); and J. McFarlane et al., “Abuse During Pregnancy and Femicide: Urgent Implications for Women’s Health” Obstetrics & Gynecology, 100: 27, 27-36 (2002).
10. I.L. Horton and D. Cheng, “Enhanced Surveillance for Pregnancy-Associated Mortality-Maryland, 1993-1998″ JAMA 285(11): 1455-1459(2001); see also J. Mcfarlane et. al., “Abuse During Pregnancy and Femicide: Urgent Implications for Women’s Health,” Obstetrics & Gynecology 100: 27-36 (2002).
11. “Is Your Mother’s Feminism Dead? New Agenda for Women Revealed in Landmark Two-Year Study” press release from the Center for the Advancement of Women (www.advancewomen.org), June 24, 2003; and Steve Ertelt, “Pro-Abortion Poll Shows Majority of Women Are Pro-Life” LifeNews.com (www.lifenews.com/nat13.html), June 25, 2003.
12. See Theresa Burke, Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 2000) and www.unchoice.info.
13. “National Opinion Survey of 600 Adults Regarding Attitudes Toward a Pro-Woman/Pro-Life Agenda” proprietary poll commissioned by the Elliot Institute, conducted in Dec. 2002.
14. D. Reardon, Abortion Malpractice (Denton, TX: Life Dynamics, 1993)
15. JR Cougle, DC Reardon & PK Coleman, “Depression Associated With Abortion and Childbirth: A Long-Term Analysis of the NLSY Cohort” Medical Science Monitor 9(4):CR105-112, 2003.
16. Frank, et.al., “Induced Abortion Operations and Their Early Sequelae,” Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 35(73):175-180, April 1985; Grimes and Cates, “Abortion: Methods and Complications”, in Human Reproduction, 2nd ed., 796-813; M.A. Freedman, “Comparison of complication rates in first trimester abortions performed by physician assistants and physicians,” Am. J. Public Health 76(5):550-554, 1986).
17. DC Reardon et. al., “Deaths Associated With Pregnancy Outcome: A Record Linkage Study of Low Income Women” Southern Medical Journal 95(8):834-41, (2002).

From www.unchoice.info

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