Coerced abortion: when choice is not a choice


I woke up this Mother’s Day morning to a cry for help.

I woke up this Mother’s Day morning to a cry for help.

Mother’s Day, for me, is a bit hard right now. I have a great mother, and a great mother-in-law. So that part is good. But I’m not a mother, and I’m trying pretty hard to be. My husband and I are trying to conceive and having some difficulty. So to be frank, I wasn’t looking forward to this particular holiday.

But literally the first thing I read upon waking up, before I even got out of bed, was an e-mail from a stranger that made me forget my own troubles.

The e-mail was from a very young woman who considers herself pro-life and was coerced into having an abortion. She was made to feel, by adults she trusted and people she loved, that she literally had no other choice. I’m not going into the specifics of her situation because I don’t want to even inadvertently reveal her identity. All you need to know is she was coerced so vehemently that, despite being pro-life and loving her baby, she could not imagine moving forward with her pregnancy.

This intelligent, compassionate young woman already had issues with depression and suicidal thoughts. Now she is grieving for her baby and, whether she knows it or not, suffering mentally, emotionally, and spiritually because she has no support. She had to write to a stranger because there was no one in her life to help her make that decision, to encourage her to keep her baby, or to help her understand that she was being coerced and manipulated.

She was all alone, and she made the wrong decision. Her child lost his life, and she lost her child. Forever.

Her e-mail broke my heart. I’ve spent most of the day thinking and praying about what to say to this young woman.

If you know nothing else about abortion, know this: it is not the carefree, liberating choice the anti-life propagandists would have you believe. That’s a marketing ploy. Abortion is big business. They tell you abortion is liberating for the same reason that guy on TV tells you the Sham-Wow can soak up a gallon of water: because they want your money.

I don’t know how many abortions happen because a frightened mother with no support system honestly believes she has no other choice. We will never know how many, because too many women can’t admit even to themselves that their children’s lives were basically extorted out of existence.

How many liberating choices that you know of are made out of abject terror?

Too many women are told, “If you have this baby I’ll leave you.” “If you have this baby, my life will be over.” “If you have this baby, you’re on your own.”

Faced with a choice between losing the people they already have and a child that, in a way, is still imaginary, they choose to keep those they can already see and touch and love. Sadly, they sacrifice their children for a love that was one-sided, because if someone really loves you, he or she will not demand that you kill your baby to prove it.

In a world where abortion was not seen as a valid, legal, safe, acceptable option, the terrible burden of choosing between her child and the people she loves would have been off her shoulders. There would have been a baby, plain and simple. And the world would not have ended.

Instead, this girl was forced to make an impossible and heartbreaking choice.

I ask that you pray for me and for this young woman, and all the young women like her. I want her to find the healing she needs and deserves. I want her to find the support system I wish she’d had before she made this choice. I want her to turn her loss and grief into a testimony that will save the lives of other children.

I want her to understand what happened here, why what was done to her was wrong and evil, and that she can and will move forward and live and be a better person because of it.

This girl has a lot of healing to do. Please pray for her.

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