A British abortion facility worker told the BBC that she often sees women being pressured into abortions, so often that her interview was interrupted to deal with one such case.
She also admitted that many abortion workers have a “blind spot” when it comes to recognizing coercion.
The abortion worker’s testimony and a new survey by the BBC provide more confirmation of pro-life advocates’ concerns about women being forced or coerced into aborting their unborn babies.
The survey of 1,000 women in the United Kingdom found that half of women experienced at least one type of “reproductive coercion,” and 15 percent felt pressured to have an abortion when they did not want one.
Further confirming the frequency of coercion was Winnie Porter, a midwife at the abortion chain MSI Reproductive Choices (formerly Marie Stopes International). Porter said she sees many women who feel pressured into abortions, but recognizing coercion is a problem in her work.
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“I hear the same things and I hear the same techniques that people are using to try and coerce women into having abortions, into not having abortions, into having contraception that they don’t want,” Porter said.
The report continues:
Winnie believes reproductive coercion is not well recognised among health professionals
“I’d say it’s almost a bit of a blind spot for a lot of services,” she says.
“It is so subtle that it almost doesn’t appear, you almost don’t notice it and it’s only through really kind of questioning what’s going on in that woman’s life when you start to understand that this very specific type of control is happening.”
In the middle of the interview, the BBC noted that Porter was called away to speak with a woman whose partner was pressuring her to abort their unborn baby. Later, Porter told the news outlet that they tried to figure out if the woman had a safe home environment. It is not clear if the woman had an abortion.
The pro-life movement has been warning about coerced and forced abortions for years while advocating for laws and resources to protect mothers and their unborn babies.
Earlier this month in the United States, Indiana passed a new law to make sure abortion facilities inform women that coerced abortions are illegal and offer her resources, including the use of a telephone or an alternative exit from the facility to help escape a potential abuser. It also creates felony charges for anyone who coerces a woman into an abortion.
Notably, Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion chain in the U.S., opposed the legislation, calling it “redundant” and “dangerous.”
But a growing body of research shows that protecting mothers and unborn babies from coercion is very much needed.
Another new study from Lifeway Research this year found that 42 percent of men whose partners had abortions said they either “strongly urged” or “suggested” that she have an abortion. In contrast, 27 percent said they “suggested” or “urged” her not to abort her unborn child.
In 2009, the Elliot Institute, an Illinois-based organization that researches the impact of abortion on women, found 64 percent of post-abortive women said they felt pressured to have an abortion, often from a spouse or partner.
Another 2014 study found that forced abortions are common among sex trafficking victims. In “The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities,” researchers found that 55 percent of sex trafficking victims had at least one abortion, with more than half saying they were forced to abort one or more unborn babies.
Studies also have found high rates of violent abuse among women seeking abortions and pregnant women. Often, abuse also is connected to a mother’s refusal to abort her unborn child. LifeNews has recorded dozens of crime stories in which pregnant mothers were abused or killed after refusing to abort their unborn babies.
Now, as the pro-abortion movement promotes mail-order abortions and at-home abortions, many fear that even more mothers will be forced or coerced into aborting their unborn babies, and the abuse will go undetected.