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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?



Here's why: Over half of abortions in America are unwanted or coerced, and many here and elsewhere are forced,1 followed by serious aftereffects, ranging from physical injury and post-traumatic stress to death of the mother, too.3


This site offers user-friendly, downloadable evidence-based educational resources regarding unwanted abortions and aftereffects. These include help and healing resources and referrals for teens, women, men and families in need of help during an unexpected or challenging pregnancy, feeling pressured into an unwanted abortion, or experiencing heartbreak and post-abortion problems. 

What is coercion?

Coercion is common and illegal, yet seldom reported or discussed. It can take direct or indirect forms. It may involve conflicts of interest from sales-driven clinics, agenda-biased providers, and other influential or powerful stake-holders. It may include deceptive information or counseling from those in authority or even some within the helping professions. It may involve pressure, manipulation or force from friends, family or authority figures, such as parents, partners, school counselors, employers or healthcare professionals.


Forcing women to abort can have significant legal ramifications, even under current lax laws. 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

At school, at home and elsewhere, often escalating to violence

Parents are often kept in the dark about school or healthcare authorities who may pressure teens to abort. 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

Injury, heartbreak and deaths 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. Teen post-abortion suicide is significant, too. Unwanted abortions, heartbreak and serious, even deadly aftereffects are not about "choice" in the true sense of the word. These and other risks are well documented, yet seldom reported.


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 abuse



"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 ... irrelevant, as both are internationally recognized as human rights abuses.

"The 'forced' versus 'coerced' argument ... legitimizes abuse 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

Download 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.

If you share our concern, please use our resources free of charge, but, if you can, please donate to support and speed this work. Many lives -- of women and children -- are at risk.






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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