Article on How to Coerce An Abortion Withdrawn From Web Site After Complaints
Springfield, IL (August 4, 2009) — An article on a popular men’s web site that offered advice on how to pressure your wife or girlfriend into an unwanted abortion has been removed after receiving a flood of criticism from people on both sides of the abortion debate.
The article, published at www.askmen.com, described a situation in which a woman become pregnant after she and her partner agreed not to have a baby. The author, Isabella Snow, wrote about things the man could say to persuade the woman to have an abortion, even if it was unwanted.
Most disturbing was the advice that the man threaten to withdraw his support if the woman has the baby anyway, which is a form of coercion. Snow tells men that they aren’t obligated to support their child “beyond what your conscience and the law expects of you.”
“This was her decision, not yours, and the bulk of the responsibility is now hers,” Snow wrote. “Take a moment to spell this out for her when she gives you her final decision; it just may sway her over to your side.”
And while Snow warns men that “blaming the woman for getting pregnant or threatening to end a relationship rarely gets positive results,” nowhere does she suggest that such behavior is wrong. Instead, elsewhere in the article she tells men to back up their position by laying out the reasons they can’t have a baby, asking questions about how they will afford the child or who will take care of the baby. Women and girls report that this is a technique often used at abortion businesses to make them feel that they can’t have the baby and that abortion is their only option.
Coercion Happening Everywhere
While the article did receive some supportive comments, many readers expressed anger, disappointment and dismay at the author for endorsing and even encouraging coercive actions that can lead to unwanted abortions. There is strong evidence that these concerns may be warranted and that many abortions are, in fact, unwanted or coerced.
A survey of American and Russian women who had abortions found that more than half of American respondents reported feeling rushed or uncertain about the abortion and 64 percent reported feeling pressured to abort by others.
Further, there is no evidence that abortion businesses are attempting to give women viable options or make sure that the woman or girl really wants to abort. The same survey found that:
67 percent of American respondents said they received no counseling beforehand,
84 percent said they did not receive adequate counseling, and
79 percent said they were not counseled on alternatives to abortion.
Men, too, can often be the victim of coercive tactics on the part of abortion counselors or may be told that they have no say in the abortion decision. Several posters on the askmen.com site pointed out that men have no legal right to stop an abortion from happening if they do want to have their child.
Although the article has now been withdrawn, it points to a need for better efforts to stop unwanted, coerced and dangerous abortions. The Elliot Institute has proposed legislation that would hold abortion businesses liable for failing to screen for coercion or for other factors that put the woman or girl at risk for psychological problems after abortion.
Learn more: To learn more about the Elliot Institute’s model legislation, visit www.stopforcedabortions.com/initiative.htm.