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‘You either get out or get an abortion’: Women pressured into abortions tell their stories

The documentary “Life After Abortion,” directed by Brian Barkley, featured the testimonies of post-abortive women who regretted their abortions. One common theme in the testimonies was that many of the women were pressured into having abortions.

Ava, who became pregnant at 14, described what her father said to her when he found out about her pregnancy:

When [my father] walked in he called me to the living room and said, “Ava, you’re pregnant. I would whip you right now but if I did, I’d probably kill you.” He said, “You have two choices. You either get out, or you get an abortion.”

Faced with the prospect of being homeless and alone, Ava agreed to have an abortion.

A woman named Lisa originally wanted her baby, but had a conversation with her boyfriend:

My boyfriend said, “You’re not having it, are you?” And I remember that sinking feeling inside, wishing that he had said something else.

But the words that came from me were, “Well of course not.”

All my friends told me I needed to have an abortion. Here I am, a single parent of one child. How was I going to feed another one?

READ: Teen coerced by mother into abortion: ‘She threatened to kick me out of the house’

Jocelyn was also pressured into an abortion:

At 19 I had a boyfriend, and I found myself pregnant. I wanted to have the baby, but my boyfriend didn’t want me to. And he spoke to his mother, and she didn’t want me to have the baby either… I felt so pressured, I decided to have an abortion.

A woman named Kelly said that “Abortion was not something that I wanted to do. It wasn’t even something brought up until I was pressured into it by my boyfriend and those around me.”

Another woman said she was pressured to abort by her doctor:

I had been taking an experimental drug for a tumor on my bladder and during the time of those injections of the experimental drug, I became pregnant. And I can remember the doctor saying, “Millie, you need to have a D&C quickly before the baby’s heart starts beating.”

Actually, a preborn baby’s heart starts beating at latest by 22 days after conception. There is some evidence the heart could start beating even as early as 16 days.  So, most likely, Millie’s baby already had a heartbeat when the doctor made his statement.

Another woman described how an abortion worker put an arm around her and steered her into the room where the abortion was to take place. She was left with the clear impression that the woman wanted to make sure she went through with the abortion:

They called my name, that it was my turn to go in for the procedure. And I got up, and a very motherly-type woman put her arm around me and walked me down the hallway towards the room. I felt, I need to leave. I want to go … I felt almost like I was being pushed in there… She wanted me to have this done, and she wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to leave. This lady got what she wanted.

Another woman sat up on the operating table and said she didn’t want an abortion. The abortion workers persuaded her to go through with the abortion. “And I said no, really, I don’t want to do this!” she said. “And the nurse came over, and she put her hand on my shoulder, and she pushed me down, and said, ‘Honey, you’re here, let’s just get this done.’ So, I said, ‘Okay.'”

All of these women gave in to pressure to abort their babies. All of them suffered emotionally and psychologically after their abortions.

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