Researchers find “there is a national, hidden epidemic of unwanted abortions”

By Dave Andrusko

It is amazing—except when you consider that the abortion industry is in bed with the media—that so little written about the role of coercion in abortion. Writing today on National Review Online, Tessa Longbons and David Reardon ask a question rarely posed: “Where’s the Choice for Women Pressured into Unwanted Abortions?”

After discussing some higher profile cases of coercion, they write

Anecdotes such as these are confirmed by data in our own latest peer-reviewed study in which nearly 70 percent of women with a history of abortion described their abortions as inconsistent with their own values and preferences, including one in four who indicated that their abortions were “unwanted” or “coerced.”

This was the second study from our Unwanted Abortion Surveys. In our first analysis, we found that over 60 percent of women who aborted reported high levels of pressure due to finances, circumstances, or other people. The more intensely women felt pressured to have an abortion, the more likely they were to blame their abortions as a direct cause for a decline in their mental health.

Ordinarily, we think of boyfriends as the culprits—which the studies confirm: “Often, the pressure to abort comes from male partners” — but also from parents as well as from health-care providers.

In their national survey of 1,000 women ages 41-45, “fully 60 percent of the women who had abortions said they would have preferred to give birth to their children if they had received either more emotional support or had more financial security,” Longbons and Reardon write. “These women underwent unwanted abortions because friends, family, and society failed to support their preferred option: welcoming the birth of children who would have been embraced and loved, even if they were unplanned.

“In short, there is a national, hidden epidemic of unwanted abortions.”

They write about pro-abortion studies that claim that virtually no women are faced with pressure to end their pregnancies. They point out the gaps in one particularly flawed (and often cited) study.

“One might be excused for wondering if abortion advocates are not exactly that: advocates for more abortions, even when they are not consistent with an individual woman’s own values and preferences,” Longbons and Reardon observe. “Perhaps this advocacy is driven by a population-control mentality, or by some other ideological considerations, or even simple annual revenue targets.

“The bottom line: Where is the concern for ensuring that every abortion is truly and freely wanted? Where are the safeguards for preventing unwanted abortions?”

You can read their excellent piece here.

Let me conclude by quoting them one more time:

If the goal of pro-abortion activists is truly that of simply empowering women’s autonomy, surely they should be spending an equal amount of energy and resources on efforts to prevent unwanted abortions.

Women deserve better. Abortion is not a panacea, especially when it is the result of pressure, abandonment, or negligent pre-abortion screening.

When will abortion advocates boldly and loudly acknowledge this fact?