Over half of all American women facing unplanned pregnancies report feeling pressured, or coerced, into choosing an abortion1. Pressure can come from anywhere – a partner, parent, sibling, friend, employer, or even a medical professional.
“Most of the pressures that we see are brought by those people that she cares about.
It’s really important for us to help her sort through all the voices that she’s hearing,
and those pressures that she’s hearing, to get to her voice.”
Coercion has become a growing topic of concern among those who want to protect the rights of women seriously considering abortion.
Recently, a bill was passed that would amend the penal code in the state of Michigan to include the Coercive Abortion Prevention Act2, prohibiting anyone from compelling a “pregnant female to seek an abortion”. As defined in the bill, coercion includes anything that would cause a reasonable individual to suffer “emotional distress”, such as:
- threatening or committing physical harm
- threatening or filing for divorce
- threatening or withdrawing financial support that had previously been supplied or offered
- threatening or changing an existing housing or cohabitation arrangement
Coercion goes beyond what is listed here. The term coerce means “to restrain or dominate by force; to compel to an act or choice.”3It includes any psychological pressure, physical duress, verbal abuse or withdrawal of emotional support by loved ones. Facilities who stand to gain by your decision may provide misleading or incomplete information, making coercion by providers common. In a recent study, 84% of American women who had abortions stated they had not received adequate counseling beforehand2.
You have the right to unbiased counsel, free from external pressures. Contact CompassCare for a free, confidential consultation.
1 Rue, V.M., Coleman, P. K., Rue, J. J. and Reardon, D. C. (2004). “Induced abortion and traumatic stress: A preliminary comparison of American and Russian women.” Medical Science Monitor, 10(10), SR5-16.
2 Emmons, Veen, Taub, Mortimer and Amos (March 16, 2006), House Bill No. 5882, A bill to amend 1931 PA 328, entitled “The Michigan penal code,” (MCL 750.1 to 750.568) by adding Section 15a.
3 © 2011 Merriam-Webster Incorporated, http://www.merriam-webster.com