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Letter: First Choice helps prevent coercion abortion

To the editor: 

So much is said about a woman's need to make her own choice about continuing or ending a pregnancy. However, there is an influencing factor to that choice which is typically overlooked: coercion. Is it really a "choice" if she is being bullied, harassed, intimidated or even threatened to have an abortion?

Most women, over 60 percent, are not freely choosing to have abortions. Abortion-related coercion can lead to violence, including homicide — shockingly the leading cause of death among pregnant women. Suicide rates are four times higher for women who have had abortions than those who have not. Is it possible these statistics are a result of being coerced to end their pregnancy?

The common pro-choice spiel rings hollow in the harsh light of the statistics about the predominance of coerced abortions. When it comes to the importance of women being able to control the decisions about their own bodies the concept of choice becomes an illusion. Younger women and teens are even more likely to be pressured to submit to the procedure.

Coercion can come directly from employers, husbands, parents, doctors, partners, teachers, coaches, landlords, friends and family. Unfortunately, coercion can also come from abusers seeking to end the pregnancy their abuse has caused.

Thankfully the Red Wing area has First Choice Clinic. Located at 1755 Old West Main St. Suite 101, it seeks to support, encourage, educate and empower both men and women by offering many free confidential medical services. It provides essential support to women who perhaps don't have personal, family, societal or economic support. Empowerment and education are paramount to a woman's ability to know all of her options to support her life and the baby's life. There is not only one choice to be made!

First Choice Clinic is having two free banquets on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 11:30 a.m. and at 6 p.m. Guests will be given an opportunity to financially support First Choice Clinic at the event.

Location: Cornerstone Community Church, second-floor banquet hall, 420 West Third St. For more information and to make reservations for the banquet, call 651-267-4357.

Teresa Whitson

Red Wing