by Michell Spoden
Forced abortion is an illegal act and can be punished by law. Coerced abortion is an internationally recognized and illegal human rights abuse level #4. Many years back, I was a victim of forced abortion; however, I never knew that it was an illegal act and that I had any legal rights.
I was single and had a one night stand with a man whom I was just crazy about. I was young, foolish, and uneducated. The man was an international student, and he had decided that in his mind I could be possibly setting him up and lying about the pregnancy or if I was truly pregnant with his child that I was not a proper catch for breeding. He and his friend made sure to keep calling me on the phone and intimidate me to get an abortion.
He said, “I will pay for it,” and I will never forget the other words he said: “you are not going to be the mother of my child”. I was just feeling like a piece of garbage, thinking to myself even though I did not practice this sort of sexual behavior on a regular basis, I knew his perception of me was totally off. I was scared, confused, feeling worthless, and yet in love with him at the same time.
Coercion and intimidation are defined as: “the act of coercing; use of force or intimidation to obtain compliance; to make timid; fill with fear. “Apparently blackmail is one example of this type of intimidation. Psychological intimidation is a form of breakdown that can be useful to the perpetrator.
Finally, we have also learned that many of those that have not been able to get what they want through coercion or intimidation have gone to the extreme. Roughly twenty percent of women who die while pregnant are because of a homicide. The number one killer of pregnant women is homicide. What a terrifying process for any human to go through. In the end, it is called a double murder and has twice as many consequences.
I wanted to reflect on the self during this time; one must remember that getting pregnant from some cultural ideal or moral that is appropriate or inappropriate to tradition, religion, financial or social norms is not the reason you should decide to keep your baby or not. What other people think about how you got pregnant or if you deserve to be pregnant or if you can afford to be pregnant is not the issue. The issue is, it is not mentally or psychologically acceptable to be forced into an abortion and considering the aftermath of that decision is just as important as the first.
In the midst of all this, how can you help yourself or someone else that is under this sort of pressure? Well there are a lot of resources out there and one of them is The Justice Foundation’s Center against Forced Abortions. This organization was created to help women who are going through this very thing. They have webinars on their site so you can hear discussions along with contact information to talk with a lawyer. If you are pregnant, you have the right to decided how your body will be used. I will say this that if you have gone through a forced abortion, it is important to seek help after it, such as counseling or spiritual guidance.
Many people are not aware of the physical, mental, emotional, and psychological after effects it has. I would also like to let you know that it is possible to heal and recover from it. I had to reflect back in my life many times and ask myself if I would have done it differently what would I have done, in the end I just had to forgive myself and those who harmed me.
About the Interviewer
Michell Spoden is the author of Stricken Yet Crowned and is also pursuing a transitional housing project for woman with an agricultural aspect. She has a degree in Business Science Administration and is finishing her bachelor’s in Project Management.