Opinion

Artist says abortion is about choice; coercion victims know otherwise

The Eighth Amendment to Ireland’s Constitution “acknowledges the right to life of the unborn.” Artist Sam Doyle wants to change that. Last week, Doyle decided to spread his message by painting the word “REPEAL” in giant letters.

Over a suicide hotline.

The rock face Doyle painted on displayed the number for a suicide prevention group, and he was criticized for having “obliterated” it. In fact, replacing an anti-suicide message with a pro-abortion one is sadly fitting: a study published in the British Medical Journal found that the suicide rate was higher among women who had abortions. Doyle was also criticized by pro-lifers when he appeared on a radio talk show. In response, he insisted, “If people don’t want to have an abortion, they don’t have to.”

The facts in America show otherwise.

According to some research, more than half of women who abort feel pressured to do so. It can range from personal blackmail to financial coercion. Threats of violence are also used; they aren’t always idle. Women have been shot, stabbed, bludgeoned, burned and smothered for refusing to abort, which helps explain why the CDC lists homicide as a leading cause of death during pregnancy.

Who inflicts this pressure? Sometimes it’s abusive partners hoping to avoid child support. Others are sex predators trying to hide their crimes. Human traffickers use it as well. In the video below, a trafficking survivor named Nicole describes being forced into two abortions, something she calls “the hardest.”

A study published in Annals of Health found that fifty five percent of the trafficking survivors surveyed had at least one abortion; some had over a dozen. That isn’t something the abortion industry seems too concerned about: as one survivor reported, “No one ever asked me anything anytime I ever went to a clinic.” It wouldn’t necessarily help if they did.

In 2011, Live Action actors visited a Planned Parenthood abortion centers while posing as pimps. Rather than call police, the director at a facility in New Jersey offered to to arrange abortions on child prostitutes who who “can’t speak English” and “won’t know what’s going on.”

Unfortunately, abuse and trafficking victims often can’t speak out, which is why it’s up to the rest of us. Tell lawmakers you want tougher laws on coercion. While you’re at it, tell Congress to redirect Planned Parenthood’s half billion dollar subsidy to federally qualified health centers and community health centers instead.

Meanwhile, abortion supporters in Ireland should really look across the Atlantic before making promises. For too many women, abortion has little to do with what they want.

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