Under-the-Radar Violence in the Conflict Over Abortion
Another factor that makes these cases difficult to uncover is the deceptive manner in which the media reports on them.
It is hardly a secret that the American press corps is, with almost no exceptions, firmly attached to the “pro-choice” side of the debate and, during our research, it became clear that this bias impacts their coverage of this area of abortion-related violence.
For example, when we were able to obtain copies of police reports, indictments, court records or other similar documentation for these cases, they would almost universally show that when a perpetrator is confronted by an unwanted pregnancy, his first response is not violence but a demand that his partner have an abortion. When violence ensues, it is inevitably a reaction to her refusal to comply.
However, the media’s coverage of these incidents often contains no mention of abortion. Instead, they either portray women who are attacked for refusing to have abortions as women who are attacked for getting pregnant, or they characterize the incident as one of simple “domestic violence” in which the victim’s pregnancy is basically inconsequential.
The effects of these manufactured illusions are twofold. First, they take violent episodes in which abortion is the driving force and quietly remove abortion from the equation. Second, they reduce – and sometimes eliminate – the possibility that these cases will ever be uncovered, much less studied.
The bottom line to all of this is simple. In almost every incident in which women are told that they will be physically harmed unless they abort, they are going to comply, never tell anyone and, thus, fade into anonymity. For those who resist and end up on a stretcher or an autopsy table, they can expect to
have their experiences hidden under a thick blanket of media deception.
From these realities, the inescapable conclusion is that the case studies in this document can represent no more than the tiniest tip of an enormous iceberg. A reasonable question to ask is whether the people who operate facilities that provide abortions bear any responsibility for addressing this violence.
As stated earlier, women who are threatened with physical violence unless they have abortions are going to submit in almost every case. Additionally, at Life Dynamics, we can document that abortion clinic operators realize how common this problem is.
Over the years, we have acquired tape recordings of National Abortion Federation (NAF) conventions in which discussions about women being forced to have abortions were held. The prevailing attitude expressed in these sessions may best be described as one of “convenient indifference.” Attendees will acknowledge the problem’s existence and talk about it in disapproving tones, while making it clear that they feel no obligation to let it influence the way they deal with these women.
Their philosophical position seems to be that, even if a woman chooses to have an abortion she doesn’t want because of threats from others, it remains within the “pro-choice” purview since she was still the one who ultimately made the decision. In fact, on the NAF tapes mentioned above, some abortion clinic employees can be heard paraphrasing this very argument and using it to justify their habit of looking the other way. It is a truly bizarre rationalization analogous to saying that women who submit to sexual relations at the point of a gun are not really being raped since, technically, they are consenting.
At the clinic level, there are also two additional considerations. First, those who provide abortions have a financial interest in the woman’s decision. If she aborts a profit is made, if she doesn’t a profit is lost. This remains true whether free-will or force was driving her decision.