Blog Post

Report Finds Crisis of Forced Abortion in America

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Writer A leading researcher who co-authored a study of American and Russian women found that 64 percent of American women who had abortions said they felt pressured to abort by others. The report, entitled Forced Abortion in America, was co-authored by Elliot Institute Director Dr. David Reardon who said that cases of women being pressured, threatened, or subjected to violence if they refuse to abort are not unusual. He cites others studies which have shown that homicide is the leading killer of pregnant women in the U.S. and that women in abusive relationships are at risk for increased violence during pregnancy. "In many of the cases documented for our 'Forced Abortion in America' report, police and witnesses reported that acts of violence and murder took place after the woman refused to abort or because the attacker didn't want the pregnancy," Dr. Reardon said. "Even if a woman isn't physically threatened, she often faces intense pressure, abandonment, lack of support, or emotional blackmail if she doesn't abort. While abortion is often described as a 'choice,' women who've been there tell a very different story." Reardon said the report underscores the need for legislation requiring abortion businesses and health care providers to screen women for evidence of coercion or pressure to abort and to direct them to people and resources that can help them. "Too often, abortion clinics and others simply assume that if a woman is coming for an abortion, it is her free choice," he said. "This 'no questions asked' policy is especially harmful to those in abusive situations, including young girls who are victims of sexual predators. Women should not be forced into unwanted abortions and subjected to violence or pressure from others." Several recent cases of forced abortion have made national headlines. In 2006, a Maine couple was charged with kidnapping after they allegedly bound and gagged their pregnant 19-year-old daughter and put her in their car with the intent of driving her to New York for an abortion. Police said Katelyn Kampf managed to escape from her parents in a store parking lot in New Hampshire and called police from a cell phone. Her parents could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. In another case, a George woman was arrested after forcing her pregnant 16-year-old daughter to drink turpentine in an attempt to abort the pregnancy. Authorities were alerted when the teen told a school counselor. The condition of the girl and her baby are unknown. Her mother and another women were convicted of cruelty to a child and criminal abortion and received community service and probation for the crime. To read the full report, go to © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®