It is a sad truth that many women are driven to abortion clinics not because they want abortions, but because someone in their life is pressuring them. Often, that person is their partner. Studies done on the issue of coerced abortions come up with various statistics, but it’s clear from both the research and the testimonies of individual women that coerced abortion is a serious problem. (If you are being pressured to have an abortion, check out this resource for help.)
Former Planned Parenthood president Alan Guttmacher once stated that one out of three women who has an abortions does so because someone else — generally the man — forces them into it.
Abortionist Dan Sloan, who has dealt with thousands of women having abortions, acknowledges male coercion:
It’s never simple. But when it comes to a choice between the man and the pregnancy, many women yield. They do with the man wants.
One study found that 64% of women having abortions were coerced by their partner. Another study, undertaken by Planned Parenthood, found that 23% of abortion patients claimed they were aborting because of pressure from their partners. For 18 to 19-year-olds, the statistic was 30%.
Pro-abortion activist Alexander Sanger, grandson of Margaret Sanger, wrote about how a man’s absence can also effectively coerce a woman into aborting:
Legal abortion has led to a situation where there is little community pressure for the man to marry the woman and he often disappears, leaving the woman to make the decision on her own. At this point community pressure can have a decisive influence on her decision. Unmarried childbearing may not be acceptable where she lives, and she is forced to have an abortion, even if it is her last chance to have children.
In other cases, the husband or boyfriend puts direct pressure on the woman. Recently, one husband reportedly publicly attacked his wife online for refusing to have an abortion he insisted on. According to The Mirror, the man posted the following in an Internet forum:
Wife struggles with the basic running of the household and now with a 4th [child] it will be too much for her.
We had discussed this previously and I made it clear I did not want more until the routines and house were in good order.
Well fate screwed that up and now she’s 3-5 weeks pregnant. I immediately suggested termination but apparently she ‘just can’t bring herself to do it’.
I don’t know how to get her to see sense…I suggested termination for now, we can always get pregnant again in a few years once everything is in order but she is so adamant.
“I don’t even want to look at her right now let alone support her selfish decision (if it was later in the pregnancy I would understand but at this point it’s just a yolk sac and a tiny ball of cells, no heartbeat etc)…..
I can’t seem to get her to understand that she is making the wrong choice and forcing her wishes upon me for no real benefit.
This man’s sexist attitude is readily apparent from the first lines of his post. He expects his wife to “run the household,” which probably means she is taking care of the children, doing chores, preparing meals, and more without his help. She is not doing this up to his standards, apparently, and instead of chipping in and helping as an equal partner would, he condemns her for it.
He sees abortion as the sensible thing to do, and shows no respect for his wife’s “right to choose” (that he would probably claim to believe in if she wanted an abortion). Instead, he is publicly shaming her and trying to pressure her into an abortion she clearly does not want.
Furthermore, his beliefs on fetal development are wrong. By three weeks, a preborn baby does in fact have a heartbeat. It is long been established that a preborn baby has a heartbeat by three weeks, and new research suggests that the heartbeat starts even earlier, at 16 days. Also by three weeks, a baby’s rapidly growing brain has divided itself into three hemispheres — the forebrain, the midbrain, and the hindbrain. Although the baby is not fully formed at three weeks, he or she is not simply “a ball of cells.” Instead, the baby is a growing, developing human being.
One can hope that this woman resists the pressure of her selfish husband to kill their child, perseveres, and has the baby. It is not an easy road for her that lies ahead, as the man will no doubt increase the pressure and may even leave the marriage. His attitude shows that many men are not “pro-choice,” but instead, “pro-abortion.” Or, as some pro-lifers say, “bro-choice” – meaning they view abortion as a way to escape the consequences of their actions with no regard for the woman’s wants and needs.
There is one glimmer of hope — according to The Mirror, most people on the forum condemned the man for pressuring his wife, and criticized his attitude. They recognized that he was treating his wife badly. Hopefully, women will stand up for their rights to have their children despite male coercion.
As a society, we need to help these women, support them, and reach out to them with compassion and guidance. If you want to reach out to someone who is being pressured into an abortion, these two articles will provide you with information and resources.