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.”