Men have no legal say when it comes to abortion, and often little opportunity to support their partners and unborn children. Men and teenage boys who don’t want the abortion may be silenced, left out of the discussion, or be victims of coercion along with their partners.
Research suggests that most abortions are unwanted or coerced. For example, a survey of women who had abortions, published in the Medical Science Monitor, found that 64 percent of American respondents reported feeling pressured to abort.
Sometimes, the source of pressure is the woman’s male partner. But the results of an online survey, published in The Journal of Pregnancy, found that 47.8 percent of women who underwent later abortions and 30.5 percent of women who had earlier abortions said that they were pressured by someone other than their partner to abort.
An article from LifeSiteNews related the story of an immigrant couple from Honduras who were residing in Canada. The author wrote:
The man’s girlfriend was pregnant and was living in a woman’s shelter. These places are often run by the hardest core of radical feminists, and they had arranged for her to have an abortion (immigrant/refugee women, many of whom don’t speak English, are often told by social workers that they will be deported if they have a child, that their child is “illegal”).
This poor man, who was in Canada having fled Honduras during one of their political difficulties and who could not risk being sent back, asked me, begged me, to tell him what he could do to save his child’s life and get his girlfriend some other kind of help. I was forced to tell him that in Canada, he had no legal rights whatever and if he tried to intervene to save his child, he could be arrested and probably deported.
This story shows that both the mother and father can be victims of pressure, manipulation, deception and even threats by social workers, abortion clinic workers, medical professionals, employers, school counselors, authorities or others who believe that the couple should not be having a child.
As journalist and women’s rights advocate Melinda Tankard Reist has pointed out, giving disinformation or concealing information about fetal development, the risks of abortion and alternatives to abortion is coercive and should be recognized as such. Even the United Nations, not typically an opponent of abortion on demand, has stated that that “coerced abortion is a violation of basic human rights and principles.”
The injustice of pressuring or coercing individuals or couples to abort often goes unacknowledged in the public debate over abortion. But it can happen to teens, women, men and families, and it must be recognized as a human rights abuse that jeopardizes the rights and lives of many.