Are you experiencing an unplanned pregnancy? Is someone telling you to abort but you don’t really want to? A woman can feel pressured to make a decision she really doesn’t want to make regarding her pregnancy – that pressure from someone important to you (boyfriend, husband, parents, grandparents) is called coercion.

The definition of coercion is to pressure, compel, or dominate by force (physical or emotional). That happens to many women who abort their pregnancies, and it doesn’t just happen in countries like China – coerced abortions occur in America, too.

Pressured to Abort

Being pressured to abort, also called abortion coercion, comes from various sources: parents telling their daughter she’ll be kicked out of the house if she doesn’t have an abortion; a boyfriend or husband threatening to end the relationship; a college that says a student will lose her scholarship; an employer who threatens job loss.

In an article published in the National Review, writer Colin LeCroy asserts, “The use of force and domestic violence to compel abortion is a widespread problem …control can — and is — exerted without the use of violence in a multitude of ways. We use ‘coercion’ to denote the process by which partners, family members, or others in a woman’s community selfishly pressure her to undergo an abortion she does not want.”

Abortion Coercion is Common

That scenario is not rare. According to a study published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, close to 75 percent of the 987 women who participated in an after-abortion survey admitted that they experienced “at least subtle forms of pressure to terminate their pregnancies.”

Two other discoveries from this study are significant: (1) more than 50 percent of the women indicated that they decided to abort “in order to make others happy” and (2) nearly 30% of those surveyed admitted that they were “afraid that they would lose their partner” if they didn’t abort their pregnancies.

These findings indicate a woman’s right to choose what to do regarding her pregnancy isn’t actually her own choice. “… a substantial number of women in America today who supposedly ‘choose’ abortion are actually being pressured into it by their husbands, boyfriends, or family members,” said Stephen Mosher, president of Population Research Institute.

Help is Available

If aborting your pregnancy is not your choice and someone tells you that you MUST have an abortion, that’s coercion – and it’s illegal. As a pregnant woman, you have the right to choose what to do; no one can force you.

Justice Foundation

The Justice Foundation’s Center Against Forced Abortions can help if you’re experiencing abortion coercion, whether you’re over 18 or not. Contact them at 210-614-7157 or by email at

True Care

True Care can also help. Our Resource Coordinator works in conjunction with our Nurses and Advocates to connect you to community resources, including housing, employment, education, physicians, and parenting classes. We maintain your confidentiality, and we are a safe place for you.

Contact us to schedule a free appointment.