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“You mean you didn't want to have an abortion?"
Her question pierced my heart.  WOW, I thought, she doesn't know.



Why is abortion The UnChoice?



A growing body of evidence indicates that over half of abortions in America are unwanted or coerced. Many here and elsewhere are forced,1 followed by serious aftermath, including death of the mother, too.3


This site offers user-friendly, evidence-based resources and information about unwanted abortions and after-effects, including maternal heartbreak, trauma, injury and deaths.

In addition to the lives of babies at risk or killed, abortion's exploitation and harm to women can range from coercion and unethical professional practices to forced abortion in America and elsewhere.

Coercion takes many direct and indirect forms. It may involve conflicts of interest and medical or professional negligence or malpractice before, during or after abortion. It may include coercion and deceptive or conflicted profit-driven counseling from gatekeepers in authority or even in the helping professions.

Coerced abortion is common. It may be direct and indirect. It is part of abortion's dual human rights abuse and risk to mother and child.


Forcing women to abort can have significant legal ramifications, even under current lax laws, and unwanted abortions are an internationally recognized4 human rights abuse.


Coercion can involve personal blackmail or even violence from families or partners. It can involve exploitation by employers; school, social services or pastoral counselors; or trusted medical advisors. It may happen when individuals or couples already under pressure seek answers, referrals or a helping hand from experts in the helping professions. Coercion can escalate to violence or even homicide -- the #1 killer of pregnant women.3

One school ran a weekly bus to the clinic. "It was all so organized," a student reported. The school counselor mocked her concerns before putting her on the bus. At the clinic, a nurse ordered her to be quiet and said, "this is no time for questions." 


Coercion can escalate to violence. In Indiana, a pregnant woman was thrown from a bridge. A Connecticut woman was murdered just two weeks before her due date. Others have been restrained, beaten or killed in unthinkable ways. Homicide3 is the leading killer of pregnant women. (See Forced Abortion in America.) Women are dying, too. 

"The dogma of choice is trotted out as though it were infallible and beyond question, but question it we must. We are obliged to ask -- whose choice are we talking about? The boyfriend's choice? The pushy mother's choice? Society's choice?" -- Fiorella de Maria

After abortion ...

After abortion, women suffer trauma, physical injury and nearly 4 times higher maternal death rates, including but not limited to higher suicide rates. Unwanted abortions, heartbreak and serious, even deadly aftereffects are not about "choice" in the conventional and true sense of the word. These and other risks are well documented.


The rhetoric of choice presumes no direct or indirect coercion 


Concealing relevant information should be recognized as coercion. Deceptive information presented as fact also acts coercively. If abortion providers ignore evidence of force being applied, they are complicit in forced abortion.

-- Melinda Tankard Reist, Giving Sorrow Words



>  64% of American women felt pressured by others1

>  Over 50% felt rushed or uncertain, yet 67% received no

>  79% were not told about available alternatives1

>  84% said they were not fully informed1

>  65% suffer symptoms of trauma1

>  Coercion can escalate to violence, putting women & children at risk2  

>  Coerced abortion is an internationally recognized and illegal human  

    rights abuse4

>  Homicide is the leading killer of pregnant women3
>  After abortion, maternal death rates are 4 times higher6

>  Post-abortion suicide rates are 6 times higher within the first year7


See also: Forced Abortion in America Special Report and fact sheet.


Coerced abortion a recognized human rights abuses



"Coerced abortion is explicitly recognized as a violation of basic rights and principles."

-- United Nations, from UNFPA Conference Position Statement4



"Some claim that abortion is only 'forced' if physical force e.g., kidnappingis involved, and that all other abortions have been 'chosen' ... even where women have been harassed or brutalized to force them to comply. [We consider] the distinction between 'forced' and 'coerced' abortions irrelevant, as both are internationally recognized as human rights abuses.

"The 'forced' versus 'coerced' argument dismisses the fact that coerced abortions are human rights abuses. It legitimizes abuse of

women by implying that any woman who had an abortion because she was unable to withstand being psychologically or physically abused, got what she deserved. ... "Both 'forced' and 'coerced' abortions should be opposed as fundamental human rights abuses."5

Click here for the Forced Abortion in America Report

  Unsafe  Unfair  Forced Abortion in America Help & Healing   

Ads & Awareness
  Advocacy & Outreach Physical Impact Psychological Impact


Women's Deaths Before, During and After Abortion   What Every American Needs to Know


About this site



This site was developed by the Elliot Institute, and is the home of The UnChoice education/ outreach campaign. The UnChoice Campaign shares important new evidence about coerced and unwanted abortions in user-friendly, compassionately presented formats. You can help by learning and sharing more "before abortion" and "after abortion" evidence of abortion's assault on the fundamental rights and lives of both the unborn and women. Please use our resources free of charge, or donate to support and speed this urgent outreach. Many lives -- of women and children -- are at risk as you read this; but a more authentically pro-life/pro-woman hope is on the horizon, too.






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


2. See the special report Forced Abortion in America.


3. IL Horton and D Cheng, "Enchanced Surveillance for Pregnancy-Associated Mortality -- Maryland, 1993-1998," Journal of the American Medical Association (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).


4. United Nations International Conference on Population and Development.


5. Quoted from the website www.abortionconcern.org.


6. Gissler M., et. al., “Pregnancy Associated Deaths in Finland 1987-1994 -- definition problems and benefits of record linkage,” Acta Obsetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 76:651-657 (1997). See also: Kaunitz, "Causes of Maternal Mortality in the United States, Obstetrics and Gynecology 65 (5), May 1985; Frank, et.al., "Induced Abortion Operations and Their Early Sequelae," Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 35(73):175-180, April 1985; Grimes and Cates, "Abortion: Methods and Complications", in Human Reproduction, 2nd ed., 796-813; M.A. Freedman, "Comparison of complication rates in first trimester abortions performed by physician assistants and physicians," Am. J. Public Health 76(5):550-554, 1986)

7. Gissler, Hemminki & Lonnqvist, "Suicides after pregnancy in Finland, 1987-94: register linkage study," British Journal of Medicine 313:1431-4, 1996, and M. Gissler, “Injury deaths, suicides and homicides associated with pregnancy, Finland 1987-2000,” European J. Public Health 15(5):459-63, 2005. See also DC Reardon et. al., “Deaths Associated With Pregnancy Outcome: A Record Linkage Study of Low Income Women,” Southern Medical Journal 95(8):834-41, Aug. 2002.



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