The Elliot Institute is a non-profit organization who has done post-abortion research since 1988. Their latest report, that came out on April 20, 2010 is called Forced Abortion in America. It exposes "a widespread epidemic of unwanted, coerced and forced abortions taking place in the U.S." Their research would suggest that most abortions are either unwanted or coerced.
One of the Institute's surveys found that 64% of the women who had abortions felt pressured by others to abort. The same survey showed that 80% of the women felt they had not received the counseling they needed to make a proper decision. More than half said that they felt rushed or uncertain in their decision to abort. Finally, they reported that the consequences for women who refuse to abort are often dangerous or deadly. Details of more than 200 filed cases were included in the report that showed that women or girls who resisted abortion either experienced violent attacks or were murdered.
In addition, they found that homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women in this country. Elliot Institute spokesperson, Amy Sobie, says, "Our files contain hundreds of stories from women and girls who were attacked or killed with the intent of getting rid of the pregnancy. We've been collecting these stories for more than six years through mainstream media sources and pro-life organizations who have been diligently reporting on these kinds of cases. The information is out there, but many people aren't aware of what might be going on in their own communities."
People might not immediately connect the incidences of violence or murder with abortion because, in many cases, the woman or girl never even makes it to the abortion facility. It is the opinion of the Elliot Institute that the availability of abortion actually justifies an attacker's thinking that the woman or girl shouldn't be having this baby. Their violence follows to get rid of the unwanted child.
A few cases included in the report were:
- A Kansas man and his wife convicted of sexual abuse - The man raped his stepdaughters over a several year period, resulting in four pregnancies and at least one abortion, performed on an 11-year-old.
- Two Ohio teenagers convicted for kidnapping and assaulting a pregnant teen, killing her unborn child - One of the boys thought he was the father of the child. The two boys hit the the girl and kicked her the abdomen to cause the death of her 8-month-old unborn child. DNA tests showed he was NOT the father.
- A man sentenced to 9 years in prison for secretly giving his wife an abortion-inducing drug when she refused to abort - She taped his admission to giving her the drug and trying to convince her that she really wanted to abort.
- A high school junior beaten to death by her 22-year-old boyfriend after refusing to abort - According to police, the man hit the teen at least four times on the head with a bat and admitted he did not want her to have the baby. He pleaded guilty after leading police to the girl's body, which he had buried under leaves in the woods. The man was sentenced to 22 years to life in prison.
There were also cases in the Elliot Institute report that involved assailants using abortifacients or other drugs to secretly induce an abortion, while others focused on pregnancy discrimination by employers, schools and others that can make women feel they have no choice but to abort. Pregnancy is too often seen as a threat to a woman's ability to perform her job or continue her education by many bosses, school counselors and others.
Dr. David Reardon, PhD, biomedical ethicist and director of the Elliot Institute, said that it is not unusual to come across cases of women being pressured, threatened, or subjected to violence because they refuse to abort. Not only do studies show that homicide is the leading killer of pregnant women in the U.S., but women in abusive relationships are at higher risk of being the object of violence during pregnancy.
Even when she is not physically threatened, women who face intense pressure to abort are often threatened with abandonment, lack of support or emotional blackmail. Abortion is supposedly a woman's choice, and yet women who have suffered either physical or emotional violence for not aborting know that it is not true.
There is a real need for legislation that would hold abortion clinics liable for not screening women for evidence of coercion or pressure to abort. But if they were directed to the proper resources that can help them, the clinics that make the majority of their money from abortion services would probably not survive. It is financially better for them to assume that a woman coming to them for an abortion is doing so because it is her choice. It is this "no questions asked" policy that harms women in abusive circumstances. This also includes young girls who are the victims of sexual predators.
Women should never be the object of violence or pressure due to an unwanted pregnancy. A women who is forced into an unwanted abortion is also a wounded one.
Unwanted abortions are an internationally recognized violation of a woman's rights. Negligent, deceptive, rushed or high-pressure counseling is common. Unwanted abortions and symptoms of trauma, injury and 4 times higher maternal death rates
plus high suicide rates in the first year after abortion, present a portrait of injustice at best, not "choice" in any authentic understanding of the word. ~ "Abortion Is the Un-Choice"
by Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com Editor, May 21, 2010Why Is Abortion the Un-choice? Sponsored by the Elliot Institute