The Elliot Institute News

From the Leader in Post-Abortion Research




Special Report:
Coercion and the Abortion Industry


This special issue of the Elliot Institute News looks at coercive
counseling practices in the abortion industry -- in the words of
former workers, industry insiders and women who've been there.


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Abortion Industry's "Mission Is to Pressure Women"

Former Workers Describe How Abortion Businesses Hide Information, Coerce Women to Abort


"Planned Parenthood’s mission is to pressure as many women into having an abortion as it can,” a former abortion facility worker has revealed. From Catherine Anthony Adair’s op-ed piece in The Washington Examiner:

In 1997, I began working at a Boston Planned Parenthood clinic as a young, idealistic college student who strongly believed in what I had been told about the organization, that I would be helping other young women access safe and affordable health care.


My time there was not spent providing prenatal care to pregnant women, providing counseling or basic health care services or educating women about reproductive health.

Instead, I spent my days urging women to terminate their pregnancies. My superiors constantly reminded me of our abortion-centered business model: abortions first, everything else came second. ...

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The Selling of Abortion

The Ideas Behind the Abortion Industry's Deceptive Counseling Practices

The article below is excerpted from the classic book Aborted Women, Silent No More, by David C. Reardon. This excerpt describes how, in the 1970s, the abortion industry's approach to "counseling"  was developed.

Like most other commercial businesses, the abortion industry has a specialized sales force and a carefully defined marketing strategy. The sale force is composed of abortion counselors who "help" women decide about abortion. Their marketing strategy is to tell their clients as little as possible  ‑‑ and never anything negative ‑‑ about their product.


[As far back as the 1970s,] the sales and marketing divisions of the abortion industry were described in lurid detail in [a] Chicago Sun‑Times abortion expose.  In that series, undercover reporters charged that at "Michigan Ave. abortion mills, women who are hired to counsel don't ‑‑ they're paid to sell."  And the selling of abortion, they observed, included "sophisticated pitches and deceptive promises."1


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Women Speak Out

Women Who've Been There Describe "Counseling"
In the Abortion Industry


Many people assume that if a woman or girl goes to an abortion facility, she wants an abortion. But many women and girls who have been there say that they were looking for information and help — often help to continue a pregnancy or stop someone seeking to pressure or force them to abort — rather than abortion.


Sadly, this is not what they usually get. A survey of women who had abortions found that 79 percent of American respondents said that they were not given information on alternatives to abortion, 84 percent said they did not receive adequate counseling and 67 percent said they received no counseling before abortion.


As women’s rights advocate Melinda Tankard Reist pointed out in Giving Sorrow Words,

Concealing information relevant to a woman’s decision-making and future health should be recognized as an act of coercion. Deceptive information presented as fact; for example, that post-abortion trauma is a “myth,” also acts coercively on a client. If a woman chooses abortion without having been apprised of the facts about potential harm and suffering, she has not chosen freely: the decision-making process has been rendered defective. (p. 167)

The United Nations has stated that, “Coerced abortion is explicitly recognized as a violation of basic rights and principles.” The women quoted below are just some of the many whose basic rights were violated by coercion.


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