Human Interest

One woman shares her story of coerced abortion: One of my children is missing, one is dead

woman sad, abortion, regret

This week, a woman revealed that she became pregnant during an affair with Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), and has alleged that he wanted her to abort her baby. Murphy had consistently voted pro-life during his time in public office. However, it seems that the same may not have held true for his private life. The Family Research Council called Murphy’s behavior “disappointing and disturbing.” He has since chosen not to seek re-election.

Stories like this one, in which a woman is pressured to abort, are in no way rare. Coerced abortions are the dirty little secret of the abortion industry. Abortion advocates frame abortion as an issue of “choice,” but what happens when a woman doesn’t truly have the opportunity to choose? Lip service is paid to the idea of coerced abortion never being okay, but it’s also treated as some kind of rare event that is more of a myth than a reality.

The truth is, women are coerced into abortions — and more often than people might think. Women and girls are threatened with homelessness, or with the end of their relationship, if not with outright violence. Even Alan Guttmacher, former president of Planned Parenthood, admitted that 30 percent of abortions are the result of pressure and coercion.

One woman recently opened up on Twitter about her abortion, which took place after her boyfriend abandoned her and her parents threatened her. And her story is truly heartbreaking.

What this woman was forced to go through is tragic and unthinkable. Why did no one, at any point during this process, protect her or listen to her wishes, her choice? And what was the result? Her parents may have legitimately felt that they were doing what was best for their daughter, but all they did was orchestrate the death of her preborn child, and leave her with a lifelong trauma that may never fully heal. What’s even sadder is that this girl is not alone.

Fortunately, there are resources to help women who are being pressured or coerced into abortion. Alliance Defending Freedom, The Thomas More Law Center, and Life Legal Defense Foundation are legal organizations that help women, often at no cost, when they are facing coercion. Organizations like Save the Storks, Stand Up Girl, Option Line, and Pregnancy Line can help put women in touch with trained counselors who can connect them with resources, including prenatal care from doctors who will help take care of both mother and baby. Pregnancy resource centers can also help provide ultrasounds, baby supplies, prenatal vitamins, and emotional support.

It is never acceptable to coerce a woman into an abortion. And the people who call themselves “pro-choice” should be doing more to stop them, instead of pretending they don’t exist.

If you or someone you know is facing a coerced abortion, you have options. Here are resources that can help.

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