October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. While abortion advocates present abortion as a means to rescue women from their abusers, this is inaccurate. Abortion within abusive relationships is often coerced. Some abusers even force pregnancy on their victims so they can then force them to abort.
Forced abortion statistics
In a national study on forced abortion in America, research revealed that 64% of women who obtained abortions were pressured to do so, and some of the coercion was physically violent. Of those women, 65% showed signs of trauma. The study cited testimony from a former abortion business security guard who told the Massachusetts legislature that women were routinely brought to the abortion facility by their abusive and threatening partners, to ensure they went through with the abortions. Research published by the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons reported that 73.8% of women have experienced “at least subtle forms of pressure” to abort.
A 2007 Guttmacher Institute study pointed to previous research that found an increased risk of violence during pregnancy as the result of the partner’s resentment towards his preborn child and his increased feelings of possessiveness over his partner.
The abortion industry downplays the existence of forced abortion, but it is more common than most Americans realize. Coercion can be seen when parents force their teenage daughters to abort or when husbands pressure their wives to abort children with disabilities. And in cases in which domestic abuse already exists, forced abortion can be a part of that abuse.
As previously shared by Live Action News, Jane was in an abusive relationship when she learned she was pregnant. Her boyfriend began to pressure her to abort. She said he told her that “I would wreck his life completely; he would hate me forever; I would be wrecking the child’s life by bringing it into the world; the child wouldn’t have a good life; this would be my fault; it would be extremely selfish to have this child…” He stayed with her constantly, even taking time off from work to continue to pressure her. Eventually, she gave in to abortion, which devastated her. She quit her job and dropped out of her postgraduate program. “I regret my decision with every bit of me,” she said. “I regret it every day. If someone had told me that I might experience this much pain, there is no way I would have done it. […] The abortion has blown my life apart, blown my entire self/psyche/soul/belief in myself apart. It has devastated me.”
A woman named Jacinta shared a similar story of abuse. When her partner learned of the pregnancy, he told her that having the baby would destroy his life. “He made me feel so guilty that I felt I had no other alternative but to abort my precious baby,” she said. “I was consumed with my partner and making him happy, his happiness at the expense of my sanity and self-respect.” He forced her to lie to the abortion workers about why she was undergoing an abortion, which left her heartbroken. After the abortion, she suffered three breakdowns, a lost relationship, and a lost career.
Abortion did not save these women from abuse. It was an extension of the abuse.
In 2017, the Daily Beast reported on an extremely warped abusive tactic in which an abuser purposely gets his victim pregnant so he can then force her to abort. When a woman or girl is ambivalent about using birth control but doesn’t want to become pregnant, said author Elizabeth Dwoskin, she may be in an abusive relationship.
“For women in violent relationships, somewhere between a third and half report having experienced some form of reproductive coercion,” she wrote. “But even for women in relationships that are not violent, 15 percent report experiencing such controlling behaviors, according to a study of 1,300 women published in the journal Contraception…” The men in the relationship were telling their partners that they would make beautiful babies together. “[A] very strong thing for a young woman to hear,” said Elizabeth Miller, a medical anthropologist who co-authored the Guttmacher study.
The abusive activity of coercing pregnancy and then forcing a woman into an abortion is about coercion and control and creating a connection that will always keep the victim attached to the abuser. “Promoting pregnancy is, on the one hand, a way to control the woman,” says Ann Moore, a senior researcher with the Guttmacher Institute. “At the same time, it’s outside of his control. It’s a distraction from him. He realizes that something could be taking up this woman’s time besides him.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that homicide is the second leading cause of traumatic deaths among pregnant women and new mothers, second only to car accidents. Most women who experience violence during pregnancy have previously suffered abuse, but while pregnant, the violence is likely to be more frequent and severe. While the abuse can take the form of forced abortion, if a woman refuses to abort, it can lead to murder.
In 2019, 21-year-old McKayla Winston was allegedly murdered by the father of her baby when she was nine months pregnant. According to reports, there was a paternity hearing scheduled just days after Winston’s body was found.
Seventeen-year-old Breana Rouhselang was allegedly murdered by the father of her baby in 2018 because she didn’t tell him she was pregnant until she was six months along and it was too late for an abortion. Detective Gery Mullins said, “I asked Aaron [the boyfriend] what he did about that, and he replied, ‘I took action… I took her life.’”
Keierra McNeil, 32, was allegedly killed by the father of her child who was upset that she would not have an abortion. When she arrived to meet him to discuss co-parenting, he emerged from the bushes near her car and shot her several times. She was six months pregnant.
One California man was charged with murder after he forced his pregnant girlfriend at gunpoint to take pills that killed their preborn baby.
Each of these cases shows that pregnancy can cause abuse to escalate — and abortion is not the answer. The way to help pregnant women facing domestic violence situations is to help them and their children to escape the abuse. Women deserve real help to find safety for themselves and for their children. All abortion does is kill a child and allow the cycle of abuse to start all over again.
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