Are you being forced to abort?

When Cara* came to Your First Look she was very upset and looking for someone who could help her. She had an unplanned pregnancy and when she told her parents, they insisted she have an abortion. An appointment at the abortion clinic had already been made.

If Cara didn’t go through with the abortion her parents said they would kick her out.

Cara asked if there was anything we could do to stop this abortion from happening. We informed Cara that coerced abortion is illegal in Ohio. We then provided her with a letter that she could give to her parents that indicates that forced abortions are illegal and giving examples of what coercion would be.

We then provided her with forms that she filled out which stated that she did not want an abortion and we then sent those to abortion clinics throughout Ohio and Michigan. By sending out these forms, it puts an abortion clinic on alert that they will be breaking the law if they go through with an abortion on the patient whose name is listed on the forms.

After several conversations, we were able to help Cara locate a supportive family member willing to take her in if her parents did not allow her to stay at home.

Cara was able to stop the abortion. Although her family did not initially support the pregnancy, they eventually came around and were ready to welcome their grandchild when he was born.

At Your First Look we frequently meet women who are feeling pressured or even forced to abort by boyfriends and family members. Research by the Elliot Institute indicates that nearly 2 in 3 women feel at least some pressure to make an abortion decision. About 45 percent of men at an abortion clinic state that they were pushing for an abortion. And teens are at a much higher risk of being coerced to abort.

When you come to Your First Look one of our primary goals is to alleviate any pressure you may be feeling—whether it’s pressure to abort, adopt or parent. We want to listen to you and hear what is going on in your mind and heart.

That is one of the reasons we have you come back by yourself initially for the first part of your appointment. We have found that parents, boyfriends, family members and friends (however well meaning) will often take over the appointment and not let you share what you are feeling and what you want to do. If you want, your support person will be invited back to see the ultrasound—but that decision is entirely up to you. This is your time to be heard, get your questions answered, and learn about the resources out there to help you.

We know this is one of the toughest decisions you will ever make. We are here for you—to help relieve your stress and move you toward confidence in whatever you decide.

*Name changed to protect privacy.

Your First Look Women’s Center provides free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds to confirm viability, and information on all your options—abortion, adoption, and parenting. We do not provide or refer for abortion services. All services are free and confidential.