Coerced into an having an abortion is a hidden cancer in our society that must be addressed

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

The call came in quite unexpectedly, and I could immediately detect the distress in her voice.

A young woman whom I will call Mia was phoning in a desperate plea for help. Her parents were pressuring her to abort her baby. The pressure was so great that the parents threatened to withhold the money she needed for rent if she did not go through with an abortion.

I began searching for people who could help. By the end of the day, Mia had rent money and a ride scheduled for a trip to the local pregnancy resource center.

Her requests included diapers for the daughter she had already given birth to, along with a jacket to keep the child warm this winter.

My heart went out to her. She was in such a vulnerable position, depending on the kindness of strangers to see her through. And yet she was willing to take a risk for the sake of her children.

Courage can come in many forms. Often, it shows itself in a mother who is valiantly trying to resist the coercion to abort her baby. Research indicates that as many as 60 percent of women who have abortions do so because they have been pressured by someone in their lives.

This coercion is a hidden cancer in our society that needs to be addressed. One can hardly speak of “choice” if a woman feels as if she has no choice. With so many people pressuring her to abort, to whom can she turn to receive support?

So often, it is pro-life organizations that provide the encouragement that women need to give birth to their babies. They are staffed by workers and volunteers who care deeply about women and the stresses they undergo.

When you work for a National Right to Life affiliate, you never know when you will receive a call from a woman contemplating abortion. The affiliate may be the one light of hope in a sea of dark despair.

This is why it is so critical for us to support those NRL affiliates, which offer life-affirming solutions for women and their families. They are a ray of sunshine in an otherwise bleak world.