While the stories above are extreme examples, nearly everyone who has talked to me about their abortion(s) told me they felt pressure to abort. A 2004 study by psychologist V.M. Rue, et. al., confirms this (www.medscimonit.com/download/index/idArt/11784). The research shows that 64 percent of American women felt pressured to abort and more than half were “not sure about the decision at the time.” Even Planned Parenthood’s survey (www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1931-2393.2005.tb00045.x/abstract) reveals that over 90 percent of women went along with the abortion because they felt they had no other choice.
Forced or coerced abortions have some common factors. Situations where there is intense pressure to abort often involve young girls. In my experience, the younger the girl, the likelier she’ll face pressure to abort her child.
Another common factor is that people influencing or controlling the pregnancy situation isolate the young woman in order to control her decisions. They warn her to keep quiet about the pregnancy and not cause more problems for herself.
It’s not far-fetched to imagine a scenario where a pregnant girl is grounded and kept isolated from immediate family members or best friends, often until she agrees to have an abortion. The people she would naturally rely on for help may not even know about the pregnancy.
A third factor in these situations is that the girl or young woman may be intensely manipulated. People wanting her to abort may keep her away from those who support the pregnancy, place strong doubts in her mind, and scare her about her future should she carry to term.
The last factor in these situations is that others try to rush her into making a decision and carrying it out before she changes her mind. They know that if the girl has more time to think about her decision, she may resist or find support to help continue her pregnancy.
No one can make a girl have an abortion against her will. See Kristi Burton Brown’s excellent article for advice:www.liveactionnews.org/what-to-do-if-your-boyfriend-wants-you-to-get-an-abortion/. You can also contact the Alliance Defense Fund for help in a particular situation.
There are several homes across the state where pregnant teens can live for free, continue their education, learn independent living skills and be protected from the people who are pressuring them to abort. (Many of these homes are state licensed shelters.) For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.