Not long after publishing a wacky pro-abortion op-ed comparing the pro-life movement to anti-vaxxers, The Hill recently published this gem by Julie Burkhart of the Trust Women Foundation: “Anti-choice movement is like reproductive coercion, but on a broader scale.”
In case there's any question where the Trust Women Foundation stands on abortion, its vision is that “All women will have access to health care, including abortions, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay.” So, basically, they want coercion not only of women, but all taxpayers who will have to pay for abortions under the guise of “health care.”
In talking about "reproductive coercion," Burkhart references a rule recently announced by the Trump administration to defund organizations which perform or refer for abortions from Title X funding, but there are still thousands more funded Federally Qualified Health Centers women can turn to which meet the rule's requirements.
Burkhart acknowledges that “reproductive coercion” can take the form of coercing a woman into having an abortion. As the title suggests, however, she is much more interested in slamming the pro-life community, although the ‘anti-choice’ label ought to be equally applied to those who would force a woman to abort.
Studies show that many women experience some kind of pressure, coercion, or even force when it comes to the deciding factors driving the decision to abort. Abortion workers have also admitted their own role in coerced or forced abortions. Planned Parenthood, which performs more abortions than any other entity in the country, often offers women abortion counseling which may be biased, rushed, and profit-driven, if it even exists at all. The organization has even been complicit in coerced and forced abortions for which it has faced lawsuits.
With so many statistics and anecdotes, the plight of women who don’t want to abort their unborn children and are doing so against their own wishes must be taken more seriously. Instead Burkhart attacks pro-lifers who would help these preventable tragedies:
Ultimately, the anti-choice movement believes that women are not rational actors, capable and worthy of making their own decisions about how to use their bodies. Their talking points emphasizes the need for waiting periods and bans on abortion at certain gestations or in certain circumstances illustrate their fundamental belief that women are easily swayed from their choices or will choose badly if given the chance.
To truly fight “reproductive coercion,” one should be championing waiting period legislation, as it provides women with more time to consider the options and resources available to them, including counseling on parenting, adoption, and where they can find material aid and medical care. Waiting periods emphasize the reality that abortion is never the only option. A mother could receive a way out of having a forced or coerced abortion by learning about where she can find help and resources. And while none of these policies actually prevents a woman from having an abortion if she truly wants to, waiting periods do change minds and save lives.
The “reproductive coercion” women face is real, especially when it comes to being coerced into an abortion. To undermine this is to point fingers at the wrong party when many in the abortion movement are the real culprits.