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Monday, October 5, 2020

A Portrait of a Coerced Abortion

In a collection of women's abortion stories, one woman wrote about how she was pressured into abortion by her husband and abortion workers. 

The woman's husband had been demanding that she get an abortion. She decided to go to the abortion facility and back out at the last-minute. Then she could say she at least tried to get an abortion, which might appease her husband. She says, "Looking back, I realize I was afraid of my husband." 

A smiling woman met her at the abortion facility, and she told the woman immediately that she did not want an abortion. The post-abortive woman recalls the conversation: 

We were led into a counseling room by a woman with a pleasant smile. After we sat down, I told her, "Deep inside my heart, I know there is no justification for an abortion." Ralph glared at me. He said, "She thinks she is carrying a baby and not just a blob of cells." The counselor assured me that my baby was "just a pinhead." Both she and my husband argued with me. She said, "You can do this. You don’t have to want it or like it. It’s best to make this sacrifice for the well-being of your two boys." My husband begged me, "Please do it!"… "Wouldn't you remove a tumor?" As she shoved the papers at me to sign, she told me, "You can stop the abortion at any time." 

Under pressure, she signed the papers, still intending to change her mind: 

When it was time to go into the operating room, I crouched down outside the door and whimpered, "I can’t do this." Two smiling women, one on each side of me, lifted me up and pushed me into the room. The doctor was upset with me because I was crying. Many times, I told him, "I don't want to. I don't want to!" 

They gave her anesthesia, knocked her out, and did the abortion. 

This woman made it very clear to the abortion workers and the abortionist that she didn’t want to have an abortion. However, they gave her drugs to incapacitate her and then committed the abortion on her against her will. Their actions make a mockery of the pro-abortion claim that abortion providers are selfless heroes who just want to help women. Obviously, these "pro-choice" abortion providers did not respect her choice. 

That night, the woman cried bitterly, only to have her husband yell at her: 

That night when my crying kept Ralph awake, he yelled at me, "What's wrong with you? We got rid of the problem!" The next morning, after a night without sleep, I urged Ralph to look on the Internet for what happened to women after an abortion. He searched WebMD and found only one article. He showed it to me and pointed to one sentence: "Most women do not regret abortion." He grinned knowingly and said, "You see? You’re crazy, you’re creating this problem. You’ll be okay." I cried. 

The abortion industry and abortion supporters have released studies that purport to show only a small fraction of women regret their abortions. However, the studies contain methodological flaws. For one thing, few studies follow the women longer than a few months to a year. They therefore miss emotional trauma that surfaces later. 

If you listen to the testimonies of women who regret their abortions, many of them came to experience regret after a triggering incident in their lives. This could mean giving birth to a baby, which led them to wonder about the one that was aborted; finding out information they didn't know about fetal development; seeing an ultrasound, or losing a child through miscarriage. These events may happen many years after the abortion and trigger long-lasting abortion regret. 

Also, large numbers of women dropped out of the studies after initially agreeing to take part. These women filled out the first questionnaire but refused to fill out future questionnaires. There was no follow-up with these women – they were simply removed from the studies. Every study I have read that was based on questionnaires and came to the conclusion that women don't suffer after abortion had a high attrition rate – with up to 50% or more of the women dropping out. Some of these women may have dropped out because they found it traumatic to think about their abortions. 

Therefore, these studies are unreliable. Studies that do show that women regret their abortions or that the suicide rate of women is higher after abortion have been published. But pro-abortion medical societies and the abortion industry downplay these studies, and many of them have been published outside of the United States because American journals don’t want to publish them. 

Source: Barbara Horak Real Abortion Stories: The Hurting and the Healing (El Paso, Texas: Strive for the Best Publishing, 2007)

[Today's guest article is by Sarah Terzo. If you would like to contribute a guest article, email your submission to info@secularprolife.org for consideration. Photo credit: Oregon Right to Life.]

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