Forced Abortions

Are you pregnant and feeling pressured to have an abortion by someone you know? Being coerced into an abortion is against the law and you are legally protected.
Is the father of your baby threatening you?

  • “You won’t get a penny of child support out of me.”  
  • “I dare you to have this baby and see what happens.”  
  • “If you don’t have an abortion, I’ll leave you.” 

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Are your parents threatening you?

  • “If you keep this baby, you can pack your stuff.”
  • “I won’t pay a dime more for your education if you don’t have an abortion.”
  • “Either you get an abortion or you don’t ever leave the house so no one finds out.”

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Are your partner or parents using emotionally or verbally abusive language?  

  • “You are worthless and don’t deserve a child.”
  • “You are no longer my daughter if you have this child.”
  • “You can’t handle it. Get an abortion if you know what’s good for you.”

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Did a parent make an abortion appointment and is forcing you to go?  

  • “No more talking, I’m taking you for an abortion. I already made the appointment.”
  • “You are my daughter and you’ll do what I say. You’re having an abortion.”

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Are you scared for yourself and your baby’s safety?

  • “I will beat you within an inch of your life.”  
  • “You are not keeping this baby; I don’t care what you think.”  
  • “If you have this baby, I’ll physically hurt you.” 

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How Women Are Protected by Law 

Coercing a woman to have an abortion is illegal in all 50 U.S. states, including coercion of a minor (someone who is under the age of 18). The decision not to abort the child is the woman’s alone, so a woman’s rights are being violated when she is coerced, unduly pressured, or forced into an unwanted abortion. Any individual who attempts to force or coerce a woman into an abortion could be subject to criminal or civil liability including child abuse, fetal homicide, and domestic partner violence. Common sources of pressure include parents, the father of the baby, a school counselor, teacher, employer, or coach. 

The Laws 

As a mother, you have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of your child (See Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925)). That right is yours – not anyone else’s. You have the right to make decisions about the child in your womb. As a woman, even a minor, (see Bellotti v. Baird, 443 U.S. 622 (1979)) this decision is yours. No person may force, coerce, or pressure you into having an abortion. An abortion that is forced or coerced can generate penalties and/or criminal prosecution for persons involved.  

 Fetal homicide laws prohibit any third party (including relatives) from murdering a baby in the womb when the mother of that child wants the baby to live. Any third party (including a relative) who causes the baby to be killed against the will of his/her mother may be guilty of fetal homicide and courts have upheld these laws. (See Lawrence v. State, 240 S.W.3d 912, (Tex Crim. App. 2007) 

A person may also be prosecuted under the Federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act.  A government official (i.e. police officer, teacher, school counselor, social worker) who coerces “a minor to abort a child violates the minor’s constitutionally protected freedom to choose whether to abort or bear her child.”  Arnold v. Bd. of Ed. of Escambia County, Alabama, 880 F. 2d 305 (11th. Cir. 1989). 

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YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
We Stand With You and are here to help you navigate this situation.

Find Resources

Helpful Letters

Here are some resources to combat forced abortions. If you or someone you know is in this situation, please download and print the appropriate resources below. 
  • Dear Student Letter

    Are you or someone you know facing an unplanned pregnancy? This letter informs a minor or a woman of her legal rights as a new mother. This includes different examples of abortion coercion by a parent, father of the child, teacher or coach and links to resources for her and her new baby. The most important thing for her to know is that she is not alone and there is hope! Download the Letter

  • Dear Parent Letter

    This letter is a resource for a young woman who experiences strong reactions from her parents after informing them she is pregnant. Although her parents may be initially shocked or angry, it reminds them there are positive outcomes that will arise from this situation. This letter also explains that it is unlawful for parents or legal guardians to force their daughters into having an abortion. It must be the minor’s decision and hers alone. Download the Letter

  • Dear Father of the Child

    Telling a young father about an unexpected pregnancy may be scary. This letter gives examples of different pressures a girl or woman may feel from the father of the baby. Download the Letter

  • Other Letters

    We also have letters for social workers, counselors, medical professionals, and the police who may be unaware of the laws and may be pressuring a girl or woman into an unwanted abortion HERE.

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Disclaimer: This is intended as generally accurate legal information and education, not specific legal advice. Individual situations and state laws may vary. Contact a local attorney of your choosing for specific legal advice. For more information or if you are in an emergency, please call (210) 614-7157 or email [email protected]