Wednesday, June 9, 2010

From choice to coercion

The Elliot Institute has updated its report entitled "Forced Abortion in America." The report details many, many cases in which pregnant women are pressured or coerced into having an abortion against their wishes. Sometimes coercion escalates into violence and even death.

"Our files contain hundreds of stories from women and girls who were attacked or killed with the intent of getting rid of the pregnancy," says Elliot Institute spokesperson Amy Sobie.

"We've been collecting these stories for more than six years through mainstream media sources and pro-life organizations who have been diligently reporting on these kinds of cases. The information is out there, but many people aren't aware of what might be going on in their own communities."

Dr. David Reardon, director of the Institute, adds:
In many of the cases documented for this 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. 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.
Lydia McGrew calls this the "choice devours itself" phenomenon: when we "turn a blind eye to coercion in one of the areas that [we] have defined as an expression of freedom." If abortion is about freedom and choice, how can the "pro-choice" community sit back and do nothing about (or worse, facilitate) coercion?

MCCL supports legislation in Minnesota to stop coerced abortions. It should be supported by everyone who claims the "pro-choice" label and actually means it.