Kidnapping Spotlights Forced Abortion “Epidemic”

Salem, New Hampshire — The kidnapping of a 19-year old pregnant woman from Maine by her parents for the purpose of forcing her to have an abortion has spotlighted the seldom-discussed problem of coerced and forced abortions in the United States.

Pro-life activists report that they routinely see women entering abortion clinics that do not want abortions, but feel pressured or forced into having one.

“I wish I had a dollar for every woman who told me, ‘You don’t understand, I don’t have a choice,’” said Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger who has offered help to pregnant women outside the nation’s abortion clinics for 22 years. “Now that is ironic and very sad — and also not true.”

“I have seen sobbing women dragged into abortion clinics by the neck and hair. I have seen women driven into abortion clinic parking lots mouthing the words ‘help me’ through the window. I have seen desperate women run away from abusive boyfriends at abortion clinics only to see their abusers capture them and return them for abortions they did not want,” said Sullenger. “We’ve called the police, but they just tell us that abortion is legal. They don’t want to get involved. The problem is epidemic in scope.”

In the case of the Maine woman, when her parents discovered her pregnancy, they chased her into the yard and tied her up. Her father dragged her into the back of their car and they headed for New York, intending to force their daughter to abort her baby. One source indicated that she may have been over 20 weeks along and was unable to get an abortion that late in Maine.

The girl slipped away from her parents in New Hampshire and made a 911 call. Police found her crying hysterically behind a store. Her parents have been charges with kidnapping and could face 10 years in prison.

“She was very brave and very lucky,” said Sullenger. “Most women are either too afraid to stand up to those pressuring them or are just plain worn down and hopeless. These women need to know there is help for them.”

“It is our prayer that women will hear of this incident and gain from it the courage to stand up to the pressure to abort, and will seek the help they need from community and pro-life groups that are waiting in nearly every community to assist pregnant women,” said Sullenger. “We want these women to know that they don’t have to go through this alone.”

Read Reuters News Story

  • John David Maher

    This does not surprise me. I have known women, while they were in high school, even before Roe vs. Wade, that went from my home town in Florida to New York, to get abortions that were legal at the time, but only in New York. For the most part, the women wanted to keep the baby, but the parents were the ones that forced them to have the abortion. There were also instances when the baby was bi-racial, and the parents did not want the ’embarasement’.

  • life lynx

    This makes sense; abortion itself is a violation of a woman’s natural instinct to protect her child.

    We have heard many women say that they “had” to submit to having their child killed; and once observed some staffers at a Planned Parenthood grab a woman who was very visibly pregnant (at least 6 months; though this mill claims that they don’t do them past 13 weeks) by the arms and drag her back into the mill; she had left. They (the PP employees) were quite angry…probably because later term killings bring so much more money in…

  • Mary

    A local PP representative stated during a TV interview that the incidence of domestic violence increases with pregnancy, so this is one of the reasons abortion must remain legal. I was a little dumbfounded to say the least. Excuse me Madame, but shouldn’t the abuser be held accountable for his actions? Is there no other assistance you can offer a woman except the “choice” of abortion or abuse?
    The tragic incident discussed in the above article, Cheryl’s follow up comments, and the accounts I’ve heard of coercion that cover the range from teenagers to the wives of celebrities, show how our opponents’ shortsighted determination to get women on the abortion tables has only empowered abusers, controllers, and sexual predators, as well as endangered women.
    Our opponents resist parental consent laws with no regard as to how this can endanger a child’d life or can enable a sex offender who is preying on her. They oppose incest and rape reporting requirements with no thought to the fact that unreported sex crimes enable a predator to victimize again and again and in the case of incest, just sends a child home to be further victimized.
    They wring their hands with “concern” about young girls in abusive homes but give no thought to the fact the if a home is this abusive, then the best solution is bringing this to the attention of authorities and putting the girl in a protective environment, not aborting her and sending her back home to the abusive situation.
    Modern day feminists claimed abortion would enpower women and give them choices. Our feminist foremothers, those truly great women who struggled against slavery and social injustice, universally and adamantly opposed abortion, regarding it as a tool by which men manipulated and controlled women and referring to it as “male enforced degradation of women”. These great women have certainly been proven correct.

  • Abortion is murder and people today who pursue it today do it with the full knowledge that it is murder. It is therefore no surprise at all that people would use deception violence or threats of violence to get women to have abortions. For abusive people abortion is simply one more tool to either dominate women or evade responsibility for the child conceived.

    In my short time as a pro-life worker most of the women who had forced abortion were deceived into thinking that they had no choice. There was, however, one case where it was obvious that the woman was there out of fear of violence by a man. If my experience was typical then roughly one out of every 1000 abortion was a forced abortion of this kind (at least the kind where there were visible hints of coercion due to reasons other than deception). That would add up to 1,500 coerced abortion a year or about 50,000 coerced abortions since Roe v Wade

  • Frank

    I suspect many women who have abortions do so becuase they feel they have no choice, even if the pressure may be only psychological, or include, for example, “fear of embarrassment” or the like. I have no proof of this, but I posit that the problem is substantially worse in rural areas:

    1. Women may be physically distant from quality medical care, particularly in the case of high-risk pregnancies.
    2. They are likely equally distant from shelters, etc., and other pro-life resources.
    3. Living in small towns precludes any anonymity. If you’re pregnant, the whole town knows. It also lowers the likelihood of escape if physical force is threatened: Where will you run to?
    4. Rural areas may contribute to lack of economic opportunities for the mother. There simply are fewer jobs in rural areas.

  • You pro-lifers do realize, of course, that you’re barking up the wrong tree, right?

    Those of us on the pro-choice side don’t support forced abortions either. That’s why we’re “pro-CHOICE.” This kind of stuff sickens me as much as it sickens you, if you can believe that.

    But what’s your overall point in this article? Do you want to make abortions illegal? Do you think that would have saved this woman from her parents’ wrath? You think if there were no way to get a legal abortion, her psychotic parents would just say “Oh well, then, I guess you can have the baby.”?

  • Vicki

    I wonder why it sickens people to hear about forced abortions, but does not sicken these same folks to hear about babies being torn out of its mother womb violently. Abortion forced or voluntary is wrong and no different than taking a new born and allowing the physician to put his hand over the child’s face until it stops breathing.

    The parents of this 19 year old were wrong for what they did and should be punished. They own the problem just as much as their daughter (who by the way is an adult). It was the upbringing they provided that allowed her to pursue a course that rendered a poor consequence. Her decision to have her child was taking responsibility for that action and for this I applaud her.

    Abortion hurts and traumatizes well beyond the initial procedure. This young lady had more courage than I did. Perceived as being the quick and quiet way of dealing with a problem, abortion leaves a long lasting scars that many days can be difficult to deal with. The supporters of ProChoice need to communicate the long term affects to their clients like guilt and shame. And then explain that former mothers-to-be have named their baby, always wonder what they would have looked like, comparing other children of the same age theirs would have been, contending with the nightmares and haunting memories. If they can do this legimately and sincerely, my guess is that the ‘choice’ would be to not have an abortion.

  • Alex

    Yes, an epidemic. Usually before one says that there’s an epidemic of something one at least knows the number of times that something has occurred. And Planned Parenthood employees grabbing a woman and trying to force her to have an abortion? A story like that has got to be true!

  • Frank

    The Watcher:

    “Those of us on the pro-choice side don’t support forced abortions either.”

    –Really? The history of abortion in this country in many respects says otherwise. Saying you “don’t support forced abortions” is absurd, given the pro-choice support for essentially anything and everthing intended to make abortion easy, cheap, and accessible. Conversely, the “pro-choice” crown generally has a knee-jerk opposition to all efforts to limit abortions, including utterly indefensible acts like partial birth abortion.

    “But what’s your overall point in this article?”
    –The same point to many of OR’s articles: The lengths some will go to to kill the unborn. More specifically, the article points out the absurdity of the argument that many peope are “pro-CHOICE,” since this lady, like so many others, had NO choice, or are at least made to think they have no choice.

    “Do you want to make abortions illegal?”
    –Yes. Period.

    “Do you think that would have saved this woman from her parents’ wrath?”
    –It certainly would have prevented her from getting tied up and kidnapped by her own parents.

    “You think if there were no way to get a legal abortion, her psychotic parents would just say “Oh well, then, I guess you can have the baby.””
    –Almost certainly the answer is yes. Would the parents like it? No. Would they kidnap their child and force an abortion if it were illegal? I most strongly doubt it. Come on, Watcher, don’t even try to deny it: In this country, morality follows the law. Too many people don’t say, “is it right?” They say, “is it legal?” and conform their behavior accordingly. People will generally obey the law in this country, whether the laws are moral or not. Merely allowing legal abortions sends the signal that abortion is morally acceptable. Conversely, criminalizing it sends the signal that it is not acceptable. If abortion is available, many will use pressure — psychological or otherwise — to compel its use when the need suits the person applying the pressure. If it is not available, and/or illegal, that does not occur.

    Interesting you use of the phrase, “psychotic parents.” No, Watcher, there was nothing “psychotic” about them. Evil, but likely not psychotic. In fact, I don’t think their actions of seeking to compel an abortion were really so unusual. They simply went way farther than most proabortion folks do, or than most ever hear about on the news. Kidnapping your daughter? That’s news. Saying, “Have an abortion or we”ll throw you out and you’ll be homeless and a laughingstock?” That happens every day. It’s wrong, but it happens, and OR is trying to stop that.

    The “pro-choice” crown has made abortion legal (for the moment!) and cheap. You’ve got a lot of nerve whining “we don’t support forced abortion!,” since you’re the same side which has willingly and volitionally created the climate wherein forced abortion happens, every day throughout the land.

  • Mary


    If you and your “pro-choice” friends are truly concerned about women having a choice, I suggest the following:

    -Support parental consent laws. It has been shown time and again that girls have been pressured by peers, fear, embarassment, other adults, and yes, older “boyfriends” who are anxious to avoid prison terms. Yes I know, the “pro-choice” movement portrays all parents as heartless abusive ogres. This simply is not true. Parents have for generations dealt with pregnant daughters, out of wedlock and teen pregnancies are nothing new, and I’ve never heard of any epidemic of abuse. If there is any reason to fear abuse, there are social service agencies and certainly “pro-choice” people, who are so concerned about abused girls, will be the first to insist that social services be contacted. In my town there is a shelter that provides a safe haven for pregnant girls and young women, and thanks to pro-life efforts, our former governor signed a law making such shelters legal for minor girls to use with or without parental consent, if it is shown she truly has reason to fear abuse or is being abused. Whatever her age, a pregnant girl or woman can seek shelter and safety. Certainly, the “pro-choice” movement will lead the way in establishing more of these safe havens, as well as domestic violence shelters.

    -Support informed consent. How better for a woman to truly make the right choice. Should you go to your doctor concerning a hip replacement or any other non-emergency procedure, he/she will discuss the procedure, risks, alternatives, and then send you home to think about it. You can schedule surgery when you are ready. This is standard medical practice and frankly, no one cares how far you had to travel to see the doctor or what inconvenience you endured. This practice will be followed. No ethical doctor will meet you and operate on you a half hour later, unless of course its an emergency. What better way to protect a woman from coercion and give her some leeway in seeking safe haven.

    -Contact your senator and congressman and demand that he/she support what I believe is called “The Child Custody Protection Act”. Though passed by both the House and Senate, and supported by the vast majority of the American people, some Democrats are tying this bill and keeping it from President Bush’s desk. Without this legislation, minor girls can be taken across state lines by adults other than parents to obtain abortions in states without parental consent laws. Of course the “pro-choice” crowd whines that this endangers young women and that kindly old grandmas who are only sparing a girl horrific abuse are going to jail. Don’t buy it. You’re more likely to see some older “boyfriend” desperate to escape a jail sentence than you are to see granny in the slammer. Its been shown that minor girls have been taken across state lines by older “boyfriends” and the parents of teenage boyfriends who wanted to get their sons off the hook. Many of these girls were pressured. Keep in mind we are discussing teenage girls who can be easily coerced, intimidated, and frightenened, not mature women.

    -Demand the reporting of all sexual assault claims. I personally know of one young incest victim who’s stepfather began molesting her in the car on the way home from the abortion clinic. The slime couldn’t even wait to get her home. Be concerned that unreported rape means a predator who’s free to victimize again and again, and that his victim is in desperate need of counselling and suppport. Be well aware that simply aborting the incest victim, and sending her home is only setting her up for more abuse, and is getting her predator off the hook. Let’s face a most unfortunate fact, there are women who will lie about this. Supporting reporting requirements will determine what are true cases of assault and what will better help the victim. Unreported assault never helps anyone but the predator.

    -Demand the highest standards in clinics. Demand state inspections and licensing. Demand that employees are performing procedures that they have been properly trained and licensed to perform. Demand that only the highest caliber of employee is being hired. All too often untrained people are hired off the street and “trained”. Under no circumstances would this be acceptable in hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, or medical clinics. Too many abortion clinics have not been required to meet the same standards as the local kennel, yet “pro-choicers” have been the first to fight tooth and nail against licensing and even the most minimal safety standards. I always thought the purpose of legal abortion was to establish standards of safety and cleanliness and to protect women but apparently I was wrong. Is it any wonder that these are the types of facilities that women can be dragged into or that sexual predators can bring young “girlfriends” to against their will?

    Watcher,when you and your “pro-choice” friends start taking some of these steps then, and only then, will you convince me you are truly “pro-choice”

  • Duane

    Every single abortion ever done throughout history someone should have been tried for murder!!! It is murder and DOES injure the mother that had the abortion. It doesnt matter in what trimester the abortion was performed. The baby in a mother suffered severely (and yes I call it a baby, not a fetus like some people do)when the baby was murdered.

    It makes me sick to think Slick Willie (that person who once lived in the White House) wouldn’t ban that late term abortion where the killer sticks a big fat needle in the babies head to suck its brains out. God forbid Hillary gets in there.

    I hope we get some real Christian Conservatives in the House and Senate and into the Supreme Court to get this sick practice outlawed for good!!!

  • I can’t believe some people would try to force their daughter to kill their grandchild!

  • Sleazy Reader


    You fell into the old “you don’t really care about babies so what right do you have to say anything” trap. That’s okay, it’s happened to all of us at some point.

  • Michelle


    I don’t believe for one second that baby killing sickens you, forced or not. If it did, as you say, you would NOT be “pro-choice”..What right does anyone have to say who deserves to live & who doesn’t? Only God has that right & when babies are concerned, God does not make mistakes..

    What those parents did is disgusting, but its the “pro-choice” mentality that makes them think its okay..What benefit do you think killing an unborn child has to anyone? And the child certainly wouldn’t choose to die..

    Even if the case of rape or an unplanned pregnancy, I never hear a mother say that she wishes she would have killed her child once he or she’s born. I have, however, heard countless women who’ve aborted say that they wished they had chosen life for their child instead..

  • Mike

    Notice how “Watcher” hasn’t responded to what she/he posted a WEEK ago, or to what others posted? That’s typical of the proCHOICE and pro-aborts.

    They KNOW we’re right….and can’t continue any kind of dialogue with us.

  • YES watcher you do know we are right!!!! I guess you couldnt handle the heat so you had to leave the kitchen.

  • I’d like to commend this young lady for fighting for her baby’s life. I understand that the child will be biracial ,which set these goof ball parents into a tail spin.I understand that the father to be’s mother is so excited about becoming a first time grandmother.I wish them all the best.

  • I know this is late, but Helen asked for a toll free number and billboards, etc. This is exactly what ProLife Across America (aka “The Billboard People”) provides.

    They have billboards all around the country, supported by donated funds, which usually shows a picture of a baby, a line of Truth (“heartbeat 18 days from conception” for example), and their toll free number ( 800-366-7773) which is answered 24/7 and able to direct any mother to a pro-life counselor in her area.

    They also have minibillboards that one can put up on their own property. This is a great option for people, like farmers, who have property that runs along highways, etc.

    You can find out more info at their website

  • Ceecee

    I am 50 years young. I used to be pro-choice as a teenager. But as the years went by I began having doubts about it. Meeting pro-life people and seeing that they were not monsters, as pro-choicers claim, but ordinary, caring people had a big impact. But the biggest influence was learning about fetuses. As the years passed, I learned more about fetuses. The more I learned about them, the more they seemed like little miniature people. The more they seemed like little people, the more impossible it became to justify killing them for any reason, even to solve the problems of their mothers. It’s not that I don’t care about the mothers, I do. It’s just that there has to be a better way to deal with her problems than by killing her child.
    I have never been pregnant, but I had a false alarm once. The guy I was with had a sister who had had two abortions and his mother had three. They got very nervous when I showed kindness or interest in children. I didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what they would expect of me if I was pregnant. I kept it a secret from them until my pregnancy test came back negative, Meanwhile I was making plans to skip town without telling them why.
    I could not get a pregnancy test from PP because they insisted on phoning the results to my home and leaving a message if I wasn’t home. They refused to do it any other way, and didn’t care that this violated my confidentiality rights. When it became clear they would help the family push abortion on me, I hung up, to the sound of the clinic worker desperately begging me not to hang up. So much for the their concern for choice and the rights of women.
    As the years went by I became more and more pro-life.
    I have seen how abortion has devalued society’s view of human life. The lives of born children have been devalued by abortion. There is not the same concern for protecting children from abuse as their used to be. There is a feeling that these children should have been aborted anyway, so why waste society’s resources on them. A couple years ago, the head of DSHS in Washington retired. CPS is under DSHS in this state. This retiree said he had no regrets, even though numerous children in this state had been killed, under his watch, after being taken from loving foster homes and returned to abusive bio homes. He said that child abuse was caused by too many poor women having unwanted babies. In other words, why should he protect 4 year olds from abusive families and let them be adopted by people who love them. These kids should have been aborted anyway. There is no sense that born children deserve protection or that society should give it to them. There lives don’t count, because it is considered that they shouldn’t be here anyway.
    Maybe you don’t care. ‘I’m not a child anymore,’ you say. ‘What society does to children is no longer going to hurt me.’
    Oh really. Guess what. The contempt for the sanctity of life has extended to the elderly and infirm too. When you get old and infirm, they may just euthanize you. The way things are going, it is likely to happen by the time you reach that stage of life. You think you will be safe, but nobody is safe when life becomes cheap. Did this declining view of the value of human life start with Roe v. Wade? I fear it did.

  • Liberty breeze

    I live in the UK and was drugged and forced to have a abortion as the doctor gave me an internal somthing shut down inside it was years later that it all came back.When I started asking quetions I was called a liar and my parents then said I was mentaaly unstable and called in social services.When I went to the police they said it could never happen in England but it did not in an abortion clinic but in a national health hospital there wre at least six students in the room I was obviosly there under duress the docter did leave the room at one point but the drugs were taking affect my father was threatening me with imprisonment and I shut down to my mums words of “it could be black”. My own children don’t beleive me. I am interested in any groups in england who are recording these abusive avents.If any one has any information they can contact me by email