When Carol St. Amour became pregnant the first time, she wanted to keep her baby, but her boyfriend Jim made it clear he wanted her to have an abortion. He threatened to leave her if she gave birth. In the book “Life Stories,” St. Amour shared her story of forced abortion and regret.
St. Amour described herself at the time as a “pro-choice feminist,” but she didn’t want to raise her baby without a father. She said, “He stated he did not want me to have the baby, and that if I did, he’d leave me. I was crushed. I was a very open-minded, pro-choice feminist… But this was his child, too.”
St. Amour told a feminist friend about the pregnancy and that didn’t want an abortion, but the friend encouraged her to abort. St. Amour explained, “[S]he said, ‘Well, you can always have more children, but there’s only one Jim. So, if you love him…'” The lack of support from her friend was part of the reason St. Amour went to her doctor to discuss abortion. That doctor sent her to an abortion facility. She explained:
[W]anting very much to please [Jim], plus being fearful of his leaving me, I made an appointment to “discuss” this with my doctor… The doctor made arrangements to have the pregnancy terminated the following week. The place was ‘Women’s Medical Services’; I found out later that the doctor operated the place outside his OB/GYN practice.
The doctor, then, had a financial stake in her having an abortion.
Jim went with St. Amour to the abortion facility. St. Amour noted that she was the only woman having an abortion that day who was accompanied by a man. None of the fathers of the other women’s babies came with them to the abortion facility.
She recalled that she did not receive any counseling at the abortion facility:
I remember the assistant’s very cold, businesslike manner, not too talkative… there was no compassion or counseling, just an attitude of “let’s get it over with, there are many patients to deal with.”
The abortion itself was traumatic for St. Amour. “I was instructed to get up on the table, put my legs in the stirrups and relax… The doctor began inserting this and that, and then the machine started,” she said. “The noise was unforgettable… I felt this gripping pain – it hurt so bad that I cried out. The doctor told me to ‘shut up’ because there were ‘other girls’ and the ‘walls were thin.’
St. Amour went on to marry Jim, who coerced her into a second abortion. She fell into drug abuse and heavy drinking, as is common for women who undergo abortions. Her marriage to Jim was filled with conflict and arguments and eventually, they divorced. She later blamed her problems with addiction on her abortions.
By the time she was 31, St. Amour had developed cervical cancer and lost her fertility. Childless, she now regrets her abortions. She wonders where the feminists were who should have helped her to be strong and not give in to a man’s demands. She explained:
Where was the feminists’ protection of my rights at the doctor’s office and the abortion clinic? No feminist was encouraging my male chauvinistic boyfriend to take a walk. None of my feminist friends offered to really help me. No, they rallied to his side.
Forced abortion is a common occurrence, though the abortion industry tends to turn a blind eye to it. A study in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found that nearly three-quarters (73.8%) of women who have undergone abortions reported experiencing some level of pressure to do so. A 2019 study on abortion and mental health compared women who aborted “wanted” babies to those who aborted “unwanted” babies. Both groups of women suffered increased risks to their mental health after the abortions, but the study noted that “[w]omen who terminated one or more wanted pregnancies experienced a 43% higher risk of affective problems… relative to childbirth, compared to women terminating only unwanted pregnancies.”
Source: DC Reardon Life Stories (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1992) 65-66, 68
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