Preventing a Coerced Abortion
- Heavy bleeding — soaking two or more pads an hour for two hours.
- Severe abdominal or back pain.
- Fever lasting more than 24 hours.
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge.2
What If Clinic Workers Say Abortion Is Best?
What if My Family Forces Me?
Be especially cautious if you feel socially pressured into taking mail-order abortion pills or any other abortion pills that aren’t prescribed directly to you by a licensed medical provider. Well-meaning family may not realize how dangerous these pills are, especially when the pills don’t come from a trusted source and involve no help from medical personnel.
What if I am Brought Against My Will?
Sometimes people will drive you to an abortion clinic to try to coerce you into having an abortion. Or, they may purchase pills for you and force you to take them. If this is your situation, you need to immediately find help.
If you are at a clinic, let the clinic workers know that you are there against your will, and ask them to call the police. If you are at home or in someone else’s home, find a trusted individual, such as a case worker, teacher, etc., and tell them of your fears. Know that any cell phone can call 911, even if it doesn’t have a cellular company plan. You can also use WiFi to connect to online texting and text 911 or contact your local emergency department or women’s shelter through social media. If one group or person doesn’t respond, keep trying. Help is out there.
nother organization that can help you is the Center Against Forced Abortions. This organization can provide information for you and for any clinic to which you may be taken.
Please note: there are a variety of circumstances that could make a medication abortion unsafe, and only a few are listed here. Your licensed medical provider will be able to discuss your situation with you.
What if I Don’t Want to Have Sex?
If someone is forcing you to have sex or perform sex acts, you need to know that this is never okay! No matter how it started, it is not your fault. Sometimes, people will coerce abortion to cover up their abuse. They don’t want to get in trouble for their abusive actions, sexual or otherwise, so they force someone else to have an abortion.
If you are being required to have sex or perform sexual acts (even without touching) in order to have a place to live or food to eat, or to be free from physical harm, you need help. This type of situation is referred to as human trafficking, and it’s illegal. Contact the human trafficking hotline website for help, call 1-888-373-7888, or text 233733.
What if They Take Me Away?
Some young women are taken out of the country because their parents or other family members are ashamed of their pregnancy. They may be taken to another place that doesn’t have the same laws or same protections. If you are afraid of this, please contact the police. If they try to fly out of the country with you, say something that will cause the TSA (the officials who check for security breaches at airports) to take you to a separate area so you can tell them your story. If you are being driven across the border, catch the attention of border police, and let them know you are being taken away against your will and being coerced into having an abortion.
The Choice is Yours
Nobody can force you to have an abortion. Someone may try to make you feel guilty for getting pregnant, or they might try to make you feel like you have to get an abortion to protect them. There are many places that can help you have a safe and healthy pregnancy. These places will care for you and watch out for you. Contact optionline.org to find out more.