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Unwanted, coerced or forced abortions in America  

Over half of abortions in America are unwanted or coerced. Learn more. Share downloadable evidence-based materials.

Portraits of Coercion Flyer Forced Abortion in America Report, Flyer or Fact Sheet

Forced Abortion Page Citations for Forced Abortion Report  UnChoice Stories
Coercion Inside the Abortion Industry  │  Find or Offer Help Before or After Abortion  


Teens at Risk (Page)  Post-Abortion Suicide (Page) │ Articles and Insights
Center Against Forced Abortions (off-site)    State Legislation Re: Unwanted Abortions 

The UnChoice -- Stories and Personal Experiences about Unwanted Abortions


Unwanted abortions are common in America



This section offers evidence-based information about unwanted, coerced or violently forced abortion in America. You'll also find downloadable resources to learn and share.

(See What is coercion? A Legal Definition)


Contrary to popular belief, a growing body of evidence indicates that most abortions in America involve coercion.1,2 Those in positions of power, authority or influence may apply pressure, blackmail, deceptive or negligent information, threats or even violence -- or all of the above -- to coerce or even force an unwanted abortion.


Coercion can be direct, indirect or both, often working  synergistically during narrow windows of vulnerability or duress.


It may involve unethical, negligent or profit-driven counseling. It may include pressure from one's family, support network or authorities; substandard medical and professional practices; or abuses of power in various sectors of society.


Coercion may happen in schools, medical offices, or even in the helping professions. In other cases, it may involve personal, emotional, financial or other forms of blackmail, threats, abuse or violence.


Coercion can and does escalate. Some women have been abused, tortured or killed. Others have literally experienced shotgun abortions after they resisted an unwanted abortion. Homicide  the leading killer of pregnant women.5. (Learn more about Forced Abortion in America.)


Research shows that most women don't want abortion. Coercion often exploits or endangers women who want to have their babies, or works against individuals and families seeking answers, guidance and personal or practical help, yet not told of alternatives ... or falsely told that no practical or personal support or resources are available.

Coercion may involve an abusive partner, family or authority figure; negligent or coercive professionals in the helping professions or elsewhere; a passive, coercive or even violent support network; deceptive, agenda- or profit-driven experts presenting false information as fact, etc.


These things often happen when women, couples or families are seeking answers -- such as a pregnancy test -- guidance or a helping hand, often from trusted authorities or other professionals.


Employers and others have threatened or inflicted physical harm, loss of job or financial support, abandonment, or even death when women resisted an unwanted abortion. (See Forced Abortion in America.)


One mother was turned away from a homeless shelter unless she would have an abortion. In other cases, it is an abuser who seeks abortion to cover up his crimes. In still other cases, it is parents who force their daughters to abort. One mother literally pushed her daughter at gunpoint into a clinic, telling staffers to "ignore her if she gets a little teary." In another case, parents literally locked their daughter in her room for two weeks until it was time for her appointment.


Women have suffered unthinkable abuses, torture and even death for resisting abortion ... even in America and other free nations. Women and others hurt by abortion are often at a loss for words to describe the experience. Words that do come up often are "silenced," "nightmare," "humiliating," "degraded," "dismissed," "herded like cattle," "part of me died," and, ironically, "I was never given a choice." (See UnChoice Stories.)

Men have also experienced deceptive counseling or the abortion of their wanted child.


Families have lost not only unborn children but also daughters, sisters and friends to pregnancy or abortion-related abuses, violence or post-abortion issues. (See Women's Deaths from Abortion, and Men and Abortion.)



BEFORE ABORTION --the Synergy of Direct or Indirect Coercion or Force


The Voices of Women Who've Been There


"There were about 100 women in the waiting room and no one was talking."

"We were herded like cattle."

"I had so many questions. The doctor told me to be quiet."

"Every Tuesday a scheduled bus took students to the clinic. It was all so organized."

"The school counselor said, 'One day you'll back on this and laugh."


Academic research backs up what women have been saying for years, even though their voices are often silenced, denied, dismissed or even mocked. Research indicates the "big picture" multi-faceted nature of coercion, which can end in abuse, unwanted abortions, violence or homicide if women resist. It's not just one but many forces working in concert to prevent, not support, women and their children:


The Synergy of Coercion:

  • 52% felt rushed, 54% uncertain,

  • 64% feel pressured to abort, yet

  • 67% had NO counseling beforehand,

  • 79% were not told of available alternatives1

  • 84% were not properly informed.1

  • Coercion comes from all sides -- especially during times of vulnerability and uncertainty -- and can escalate to violence or even homicide, the leading killer of pregnant women. (see Forced Abortion in America report for details and citations)


Trauma, injuries, heartbreak and higher risk of mothers dying, too.


The Voices of Women Who've Been There


"My sister was crying as she entered the clinic, she cried throughout the procedure, and she was crying as she left. Three children are growing up without their Mom because nobody wanted to ask questions." -- Sister of post-abortion suicide victim

"She typed her last words on a synthesizer: 'Get in touch with my Dad. Tell him I love him." -- Susanne, was paralyzed by and eventually died from abortion complications 

"Many, many girls and women have wound up in the emergency room of hospitals bleeding uncontrollably or deathly sick from infection because the doctors botched their abortions. Many, many of these girls and women have had to undergo hysterectomies. Quite a number have died.: -- Kevin Sherlock in The Scarlet Survey


Facts Reflecting the Abortion's Heartbreaking and Even Deadly Aftermath:

  • 65% suffer symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome

  • 31% suffered health complications, some of which are life-threatening

  • 65% higher risk of clinical depression

  • Death rates from all causes are 4.5 times higher

  • Suicide rates are 6 times higher


Coercion an internationally recognized human rights abuse7 that is common, even in free nations. Post-abortion issues are also a concern for many women, men and families among us. Teens are especially at risk of coercion or post-abortion issues, including suicide.


See also:  How Common Is Coercion?


Downloads, Information and Resources

Evidence-Based Resources:

The aftermath is equally heartbreaking and deadly. Please download and share the user-friendly, research-based educational materials on this site:


Portraits of Coercion flyer

Forced Abortion in America fact sheet

Forced Abortion in America flyer 
Forced Abortion in America 26-page special report -- downloadable pdf format

Forced Abortion in America report citations


What Every American Needs to Know -- facts, download in postcard or flyer format

Top 10 Reasons it's The UnChoice -- postcard and flyers

The UnChoice Definition -- postcard or flyer

Teens Risks fact sheet -- flyer (see also Teens Page)

Physical Risks fact sheet -- helpful for teens or women being coerced to deter family or authorities pressuring them to have unwanted abortions   
Psychological Risks fact sheet -- helpful for teens or women being coerced to deter family or authorities pressuring them to have unwanted abortions   



What Insiders and Experts Say About Coercion


Special Report -- Coercion Inside the Abortion Industry


Wantedness and Coercion. Key Factors in Understanding Women's Mental Health After Abortion. by Martha Shuping, M.D.


Abuse Can Take the Form of Forced Abortion by Dr. David Reardon (published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal)


Center Against Forced Abortions (off-site page)


Learn more about Pregnancy- and Abortion-Related Abuse, Violence, Exploitation and Homicide


Forced Abortion page


Links about unwanted abortions (off-site page)




Portraits of Coercion


Voices of coercion, not support ...


“I screamed that I didn’t want the abortion.”

“They said I made the right decision, but I was never given a choice.”

“The nurse said this was not the time for questions.”

“My husband exploded in anger ... ‘Have an abortion or I’ll leave you.’ ”

“Our pastor assured us that abortion was ok.”

“The doctor leaned across his mahogany desk and snapped, ‘It’s not a baby!’ ”

“My parents locked me in the house and made the appointment.”

“No one told me there were places I could go for help.”

“The counselor drew a micro-dot ... I feel so betrayed.”

“It doesn’t look like you have much choice.”

“He destroyed our apartment ... he was killing me with his words.”

“My boss threatened to push me down the stairs if I didn’t abort.”

“They would just look down their noses at me for being pregnant.”

“The abortionist strapped me down and said, ‘Shut up and quit that yelling.’ ”

“All the people that mattered told me to abort. No one would help me.”

“Everything in me was yelling, ‘No! No! No!’”        


Download Portraits of Coercion flyer -- prints on 11 x 14-in. legal size paper


Forced Abortion in America


Forced Abortion -- Happening in Free Nations, Too

Coercion can escalate to violence, forced abortions or even murder. Women have been forced into unwanted
abortions; others injured or killed for resisting. Some suffer unthinkable abuses, even torture.


The rhetoric of choice suggests no pressure, no desperation, no coercion ...  personal or professional ... direct or indirect, such as that reflected in withholding support or even blackmail, ultimatums and threats. Concealing relevant information or deceptive information presented as fact also acts coercively.

Click here to download the Forced Abortion in America Report (26-page booklet, pdf)

Pressure often comes inside and outside the clinic. In addition to deceptive and otherwise coercive counseling practices, pressure from partners, family, friends or even abusers plays a role.

A former abortion clinic security guard testified before the Massachusetts Legislature that the biggest aggressors at abortion clinics were the men who accompanied their wives or girlfriends.3


Many pregnant women have been killed by partners trying to prevent the birth, and women are more likely to be attacked while pregnant.4  Homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women.5

A few more excerpts from this disturbing report are printed below. For more information, see the Forced Abortion in America fact sheet, flyer or download the free 26-page special report


Articles & News:


Resources and help from the Center Against Forced Abortions

Abortion Exploits and Enslaves Women, Expert Warns

Study Linking Poor Pre-Abortion Counseling and PTSD Shows Need for New Legislation

Holding Abortion Providers Accountable - legislative initiative to protect women's rights

Judge: Abortion Provider Rushed Abortion on Sexually Abused Teen

Abuse Can Take the Form of Forced Abortion by David Reardon (published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal)


More Off-Site Articles:

One Man's Story -- a Humble Man's Admission of Coercion

Planned Parenthood to Pregnant Women -- Can't Help You without Abortion

Abortion Decisions and the Duty to Screen

Two Senseless Deaths - A Heartbreaking Example of Medical Coercion

Center Against Forced Abortions - Resources for Teens, Families & Pregnancy Centers

Abby Johnson: I Regret Selling Abortions at Planned Parenthood

Her Choice, Her Problem. How Abortion Empowers Men. by Richard Stith

Male Coercion and Irresponsibility ... Vesting all reproductive responsibility in the woman enables men to rationalize their irresponsibility toward women who choose not to abort.

Abortion and Coercion -- She was very upset about her coerced abortion three years ago. ... When she expressed this to her husband, he told her to "Deal with it."

A Compelling Answer to Criticisms of Women Who Are Pro-Life After Abortion --


UnChoice Stories and Personal Experiences


UnChoice Stories
Unwanted Abortions -- RealChoices - When not wanting an abortion doesn't matter






1. For information on these and other cases, see the special report, Forced Abortion in America.

2. VM Rue et. al., “Induced abortion and traumatic stress: A preliminary comparison of American and Russian women,” Medical Science Monitor 10(10): SR5-16 (2004).

3. Brian McQuarrie, “Guard, clinic at odds at abortion hearing,” Boston Globe, April 16, 1999.

4.  Julie A. Gazmararian et al., “The Relationship Between Pregnancy Intendedness and Physical Violence in Mothers of Newborns,” Obstetrics & Gynecology, 85 :1031 (1995); Hortensia Amaro et al., “Violence During Pregnancy and Substance Use,” American Journal of Public Health, 80: 575 (1990); and J. McFarlane et al., “Abuse During Pregnancy and Femicide: Urgent Implications for Women’s Health,” Obstetrics & Gynecology, 100: 27, 27-36 (2002).

5. I.L. Horton and D. Cheng, “Enhanced Surveillance for Pregnancy-Associated Mortality-Maryland, 1993-1998,” JAMA 285(11): 1455-1459 (2001); see also J. Mcfarlane et. al., "Abuse During Pregnancy and Femicide: Urgent Implications for Women's Health," Obstetrics & Gynecology, 100: 27-36 (2002).

6. See our Research Booklet for more on the physical and psychological effects of abortion.

7. United Nations International Conference on Population and Development.


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