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Anit-choicers accuse opponents of coercion

by Carol White, AV Librarian, LAC

January 22 marked the 31st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, that discovered a constitutional right to abortion for all nine months of pregnancy. The key is Doe’s definition of “health.” The court said that abortion could be performed “ the light of all factors - physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age - relevant to the well being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.” 410 U.S. 179, 192. Voila - abortion up to seconds before exiting the birth canal.

The sordid history and spurious cases which brought the issue before the Supreme Court have been documented elsewhere, most notably in Aborting America by former abortionist and NARAL co-founder Bernard Nathanson, and in John Willke’s Why Can’t We Love Them Both?, the “bible” of the pro-life movement. And the lies concerning partial-birth abortion and the “morning after” pill are effectively refuted at the National Right to Life Web site,


Carol White


Women have a “choice” but it is seldom informed or a “free” choice. Pro-abortion groups fight to ensure that women are not told of the frequent physical and psychological complications of “safe, legal abortion.” Reporting of complications has been resisted as invasion of the doctor-patient relationship or simply disregarded. Immediate consequences may include hemorrhaging, perforation of the uterus with subsequent infection, and even death. While abortion remains controversial in the U.S. and Canada, making such studies “politically incorrect,” studies in other countries report the long-term complications that can occur, among them depression, self-destructive behavior, sterility, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), miscarriage of a desired pregnancy, ectopic pregnancies, premature birth, and a possible link to breast and other cancers. Women’s Health after Abortion: The Medical and Psychological Evidence by Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy and Ian Gentiles (Toronto: The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research, 2002) extensively covers the research both here and abroad. Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, professor of Humanities at Emory University and a noted feminist writes, “It is hard to see the intentional withholding of such essential information as a contribution to women’s ‘liberation,’ much less their dignity and well being.”

“ Choice” is a lovely word but the reality is that, for most women and girls,“coercion” is a better description. Studies of post-aborted women show that support for continuing a pregnancy would have prevented the abortion. Pressure from parents, boyfriends, and even husbands who don’t want to deal with the consequences of unexpected pregnancy contributes to a feeling of abandonment in the pregnant woman and to subsequent abortion. Abortion has been sold by radical feminists as vital to liberation from male domination. Actually, it is just another way to control and manipulate women. Little wonder that Playboy’s Hugh Hefner is a hefty contributor to abortion advocacy groups. Women are considered as no more than sexual playthings; abortion keeps them available and frees men of any responsibility. Even when men want to take responsibility for their unborn child, they are legally forbidden to have any say in the matter.

We cannot ignore the consequences of over 1.5 million abortions annually in the United States. The abortion culture has corrupted society. Violence against women has increased as the number of abortions has risen. The refusal of a woman to abort her baby often results in domestic violence. The 1999 case of basketball star Rae Carruth, who hired men to kill his girlfriend when she refused to have an abortion, is not unique. National Right to Life News ( has documented a depressing number of cases of physical abuse and even murder of women in an effort to get them to abort.

Abortion covers up child abuse, incest, and prostitution. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin (October 30, 1990) reported on a Baltimore father who raped his three daughters repeatedly over nine years, causing 10 pregnancies, each of which were aborted. Abortionists refuse to report these cases to authorities, citing privacy concerns. Thus they become enablers for the continued abuse of underaged girls. For the “true believer,” abortion trumps any concern for victimized women and girls.

The “rightness” of legal abortion has permeated our culture. The New York Times, April 18, 199l, reported “New York City reached an agreement yesterday with 22 present and former female correction officers who said they were forced to have abortions or to take brutal assignments to keep their jobs.” Abortion, purported to be a “private” matter between a woman and her doctor, has become a weapon used against women.

Abortion has corrupted medicine, psychology, and social work. Medical authorities are unwilling to discipline doctors performing sloppy abortions, killing, and maiming women. In an effort to suppress information about post-abortion psychological problems, activists succeeded in removing abortion as a factor in post-traumatic stress syndrome from the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV). Theresa Burke, a graduate psychology student in the 1980’s, worked with a group of women with severe eating disorders. During her meetings with them, “ became dramatically clear that all but two participants were experiencing painful and traumatic feelings surrounding earlier abortions. When I told my supervisor about the fiery dramatics that had erupted in our supervisor shook his finger in my face and said, ‘You have no business prying into people’s abortions. Abortion is a private thing.’” (Letter in The Washington Times, September 12, 2002.) Burke established one of the first therapeutic healing groups for post-abortive women and published a treatment model in Rachel’s Vineyard : A Psychological and Spiritual Journey for Healing (1995). Problems such as newborns left to die in trash cans and toilets, post-traumatic stress, abuse of subsequent “wanted” children, self-destructive behaviors, and broken relationships arising from a previous abortion must be acknowledged by the helping professions if they care about supporting women in crisis.

The pro-life/pro-woman-and-child activists do not look for a civil war over abortion but a more civil society. That is why there are more pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in the U.S. than free-standing abortion clinics. The truth is out there...if you dare seek it.



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