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Over 60% of women report feeling coerced into abortion, new study finds

Image credit: Kyle Broad via Unsplash

A recent study has discovered that 6 in 10 women reported that they felt pressured in some way into aborting their babies.

Conducted in October 2022 by the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), a research and education branch of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, the study interviewed 1,000 women in the US, between the ages 41 to 45, to investigate the types of pressure women feel when contemplating abortions, and the effects this may bring.

The study discovered that of the 1,000 who participated, 226 were post-abortive. Of those women, 61% reported that they felt pressured into their abortion by either “male partners, family members, other persons, financial concerns, and other circumstances”.

Negative reactions to abortions were reportedly higher amongst the women who felt pressured into them, especially those who felt pressure from their male partners, families or other people. These included “more negative emotions; more disruption of daily life, work, or relationships; more frequent thoughts, dreams, or flashbacks to the abortion; more frequent feelings of loss, grief, or sadness about the abortion; more moral and maternal conflict over the abortion decision”.

These women also reported a decline in their mental health, which they attributed to their abortion, and were more likely to feel the need for help to cope with these negative feelings they have towards their abortion.

Similar results have been discovered by other studies on the topic. One report from the Elliot Institute stated that 64% of women who had abortions felt pressured into them, and that they were “rushed and uncertain” about the decision. A further 79% of women reported that they were not aware of resources and alternatives available to them.

A major Finnish study undertaken by Gissler using data from hospitals and government death certificates, established that the suicide rate in the year following childbirth, and the suicide rate in the year following an abortion, were dramatically different - and that the suicide rate was 6 times higher after abortion than after childbirth.  A follow-up study found that even where after-abortion supports were strengthened, the suicide rate remained twice as high. 

Another recent study in the UK, discovered that lack of childcare support in the country was the main reason 1 in 5 women were opting for abortion, with overall 60% of women stating this issue influenced their abortion decisions. This was called a “crisis” by the author of the study, who reiterated that women were forced “to terminate wanted pregnancies” as they were unable to afford the costs of childcare.

“Abortion clinics cannot claim to be pro-woman while at the same time allowing the majority of their clients to be pressured into unwanted abortions,” said David Reardon, Ph.D., director of the Elliot Institute, associate of CLI and lead author of this current study.

“In a country torn by political debate over abortion, surely these findings underscore one point on which we should all be able to agree,” he continued. “No woman should ever feel pressured into accepting an unwanted abortion. Clearly, abortion clinics need to provide better pre-abortion screening and counselling in order to prevent unsafe and unwanted abortions.”

Post-abortive women more likely to drop out of abortion research

This study also drew up on how the women who reportedly felt pressured to abort their baby were also more likely to experience stress during the completion of the study. Although 91% of women in this category completed the study, it was discovered that they were four times more likely to drop out, than women who had no history of abortion.  

“These findings underscore the fact that every survey of women’s abortion experiences is likely to suffer from selection bias, with women who feel the most pressure to abort and who are most likely to have negative reactions being least likely to participate in or complete follow-up surveys,” the report said.

Another recent study, known as the Turnaway study, which studied the effects of obtaining an abortion compared to being denied a wanted abortion, also discovered that those who dropped out of the study reported lower feelings of relief about their abortion than those who completed the study.

Despite its low participation rate, the Turnaway study has been hailed by the mainstream media and the abortion lobby as evidence that women don’t regret their abortions. However, these findings, consistent with CLI’s study, highlight the impact the effects abortion has on whether a woman feel able to take part in such research, which must be considered when interpreting research results.

Over time more research is emerging over the reality of abortion, be it the process of obtaining an abortion, or the impacts of abortion itself, and these studies cannot be ignored. The findings from this most recent study brings to light the need to ensure that all women are provided the support that they need during their pregnancy, so that no woman is left feeling that she has no choice but the take the life of her child.

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