Last week, Pro-Lifers nationwide observed Coerced Abortion Awareness Week in an effort to be the voice for mothers who suffer in silence. Multiple studies indicate that at least one-half of all women who undergo abortions in the United States were coerced to do so against their wishes. As Texas Right to Life has previously reported, intimate partners, parents, employers, and many others can play a coercive role in a woman’s abortion experience.
Coercion can occur in many ways: through the threat of physical violence, the threat of being stripped of financial support or a home (minors being kicked out of the house or punished by parents if they do not abort, for example), the threat of being fired or under-employed because of the pregnancy, or even through emotional manipulation. Any instance in which a woman is made to feel that she must seek or undergo an abortion because of the repercussions that will come from someone else if she does not is coercion.
Unfortunately, current Texas law does not criminalize abortion coercion. Consequently, abusers continue to coerce mothers into abortion, leaving both mothers and children victimized by the act. And the abortion industry thrives on the lack of regulation on abortion coercion, playing a crucial role in the perpetuation of this form of abuse.
To protect women from abortion coercion, many states have developed measures such as posting signs in abortion mills alerting women to their right to refuse abortion, or by criminalizing coercion under state penal codes. Pro-Life Representative Molly White has filed House Bill 1648 (with companion Senate Bill 831 filed by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst) to make the act of coercing a woman into seeking or undergoing an abortion a Class A misdemeanor under the Texas Penal Code. The law requires authorities to investigate any mother’s claim that she is being coerced into her abortion, and in the case of minors the criminalization of abortion coercion will also be considered a form of child abuse.
Below, watch one woman’s testimony about how she felt she had no choice but abortion after she was raped by someone she trusted, and how she was led to believe that she should choose abortion in order to protect her perpetrator. She now regrets not knowing about the pregnancy resource centers that could have helped her, and that consideration for her child’s Life was somehow lost in the process.
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For more information on the facts surrounding forced and coerced abortion, visit StopForcedAbortions.org.