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Most abortions are unwanted or coerced. Many forced.

"Look, I'll give you 5 minutes to think about it."



"I collapsed in sheer exhaustion. I told her that I had been outside for hours.


"I cried hysterically ... with my head in my hands. The pressure was on. ...


"The counselor told me that if I was going to abort then I would have to do it right now.


"The counselor said, 'Look, I'll give you five minutes to think about it and when I come back, I want your answer.'


"Now I was going into a state of panic and shock. I could barely speak ...


"The counselor glared at me, sighed a deep sigh and said, 'Look, they're all waiting for you, you know ... " 

Genevieve, from the book Giving Sorrow Words

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Coercion poses a risk and injustice to teens and all pregnant women



"The rhetoric of choice suggests there are a lot of choices,
all good and of equal weight ... it suggests no coercion, direct or indirect."

Melinda Tankard Reist in Giving Sorrow Words


New evidence reveals that abortion is not about a woman's freedom to choose. Studies show that abortion often results from the demands, threats and non-support of others whom the woman or girl depends on for support; or as a result of deceptive or false information presented as "fact" by those in authority. Many abortions take place even when it violates the mother's own beliefs, values and desire to keep the baby.

The pressure often comes from all sides at a time when some women are most vulnerable. Others are just seeking honest information or a helping hand at a challenging time.


Women who have had abortions come from all walks of life. But despite their many differences, many were deceived and manipulated or actively blocked – ironically – from the "choice" they wanted. Many were directly or indirectly forced into unwanted abortions. Still others were blackmailed or threatened, sometimes violently. It's no wonder that a growing number of women see abortion as a tool by which many teens and women of all ages have been abused, abandoned and exploited.


For millions of women hurt by pregnancy-related injustices and post-abortion injury, or death ... it was never about authentic, free, fair or fully informed "choice."

Abortion on demand is often a demand, an ultimatum, a threat, a shell game, or an unfair substitute for accurate information, full disclosure, authentic support and meaningful alternatives.



Coercion is common and comes from all sides



"Every Tuesday, a bus picked up students from all the area high schools and took them to the Planned Parenthood clinic. … It was all so organized.  …They were all particularly careful to find out when my parents would not be home …  On the bus, I felt as though I had no control over what was happening to me… still today, I feel like I did not decide to have the abortion." –Gaylene


"The night I told him I was pregnant, he destroyed our apartment. He was screaming at me, telling me I was a whore, slut, pig ... you name it. He told me that the kid would be retarded, abnormal, and to get rid of it. NOW!  The whole time he cornered me in the bedroom, throwing things and killing me with his words. ... He was so mean. ... His eyes were so black with anger. … The abortion ripped my world apart." –Mary, in Forbidden Grief


"[My parents]  ... told me to leave the house and forget that I was their daughter." I left the house with no job, no money, no home and nowhere to turn, feeling utterly abandoned and alone. Still, I was certain I would not get an abortion. I wanted my child.  ... my father sent several messages urging me to have an abortion. I refused. But as I began to feel more desperate, I shut down my feelings ... functioning more like a surreal observer than someone in control. Theresa  




Coercion can escalate to violence, forced abortion or  homicide


Women have been forced into clinics or restrained when they tried to escape an unwanted abortion. 

Women have been silenced when they were uncertain or when they asked "too many questions." Some who refused to abort have been subjected to terrible abuses, such as forced injections, stabbings, beatings, strangulation, gunshots, bombings.


Coercion can escalate to violence or even homicide if women won't abort. Homicide is the leading cause of death for pregnant women.

Click the image for our Forced Abortion Report


Learn more, including downloadable resources ...

Coerced Abortion Page 

Forced Abortion Page

Center Against Forced Abortions (off-site) help for those being coerced into unwanted abortions

Stories about unwanted, coerced or forced abortions






1. Woo J., “Abortion Doctor’s Patients Broaden Suits,” Wall Street Journal Oct. 28, 1994, B12:1.
Zimmerman MK, Passages Through Abortion; (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1977) 69; see also Los Angeles Times Poll, March 19, 1989, question 76.; and Skelton G., “Many in Survey Who Had Abortion Cite Guilt Feelings,” Los Angeles Times, March 19, 1989, p.28.

2. I.L. Horton and D. Cheng, “Enhanced Surveillance for Pregnancy-Associated Mortality-Maryland, 1993-1998,” JAMA 285(11): 1455-1459, 2001. See also J. Mcfarlane et. al., "Abuse During Pregnancy and Femicide: Urgent Implications for Women's Health," Obstetrics & Gynecology 100: 27-36, 2002.


3. Rue et. al., "Induced abortion and traumatic stress: A preliminary comparison of American and Russian women," Medical Science Monitor 10(10): SR5-16, 2004.


4. DC Reardon, Aborted Women, Silent No More (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 2002) 336.


5. Arthur Shostak & Gary McLouth, Men and Abortion: Lessons, Losses and Love (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1984).


6. Mary K. Zimmerman, Passage Through Abortion (New York, Praeger Publishers, 1977).


7. J. Mcfarlane et. al., "Abuse During Pregnancy and Femicide: Urgent Implications for Women's Health," Obstetrics & Gynecology 100: 27-36, 2002.


8. Brian McQuarrie, "Guard, clinic at odds at abortion hearing," The Boston Globe, April 16, 1999.


9. Carol Everett with Jack Shaw, Blood Money (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 1992). See also Pamela Zekman and Pamela Warwick, “The Abortion Profiteers,” Chicago Sun Times special reprint, Dec. 3, 1978 (originally published Nov. 12, 1978), p. 2-3, 33.

10. For examples, see the books Giving Sorrow Words and Forbidden Grief, as well as personal stories on the The UnChoice Stories page on this site.



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