Physical and psychological abuse within a relationship top the list of reasons women seek abortions. And for a smaller fraction of children and young women, abuse is at the hands of their parents, in the form of incest or other sexual abuse.
No one can force you into an abortion or stop you from having one. Seeking an abortion is an ideal time to get help to flee an abusive situation. Here’s what you need to know.
Getting Help With Abuse from an Abortion Counselor
Your pre-abortion counseling session is an ideal time to disclose abuse, especially if you’re a child being abused by a parent. Your counselor is required to intervene to help you, and to report the relevant abuse to the authorities.
They can’t tell your abuser you reported the abuse, nor can they conspire with your abuser to force you into something you don’t want. They can connect you to resources, and if necessary, help get you out of the situation immediately. So if you’re struggling to find a way out of abuse, consider seeking help at the same time you seek your abortion.
What if I’m Being Forced Into an Abortion?
Legally, your body is your own and no one can make you have an abortion–even if you are a child. Practically speaking, this is not the reality for millions of abuse victims, who face threats of death, abuse, and more if they do not do exactly as their abusers request. That doesn’t mean you have to go through with an abortion you don’t want.
Being pro-choice means also respecting the right of women to full bodily autonomy–inclusive of the right to say no to an abortion if you do not want one. If you are being forced into an abortion, tell the counselor during your pre-abortion counseling session. They can help. They may devise a reason you can’t medically get an abortion, or work with you to connect with outside resources, depending on your needs.
Finding the right abortion clinic is critical to a good abortion experience, no matter what your circumstances are. Learn more about finding a safe, compassionate abortion clinic.