Women choosing abortion often pressured to do so


Central Europe


A woman talks to a doctor in an abortion clinic. Photo AFP, Chandan Khanna

Of women who decide to have an abortion, about half are urged by others to make this choice.

That is shown by an IMAS survey on behalf of the Austrian family-friendly citizens’ initiative #fairanderen, Glaube reports. The researchers questioned more than 1,000 Austrians of 16 years and older about unplanned pregnancies and abortions.

About 75 per cent of the respondents indicate that societal pressure to have an abortion is increasing on couples whose unborn baby is diagnosed with a disability. Of the people who know someone who had an abortion, 50 per cent says to believe that the family environment of the pregnant woman pressured her to have an abortion, Idea Schweiz reports.

Petra Plonner, the chairwoman of #fairanderen, is not surprised by this outcome. "The pressure on women is often enormous. It is no longer about having as many children as possible, but about aborting them."

Even though many people say that abortion is necessary for women to have self-determination, the opposite happens, Margit Haider, head of the Adults and Family Department of Innsbruck diocese notices. "The entire burden of the decision is expected of them, in the greatest overload."


Another research finding is that most Austrians do not worry about abortion. Only 20 per cent thinks about the topic.

At the same time, 77 per cent of the Austrian population would like to see better support for women who find themselves in a pregnancy conflict "to make it possible to say yes to the child", Glaube writes. 84 per cent would like more support for couples whose baby is diagnosed with a disability.

In total, 80 per cent of the respondents plead for a consideration period for women who want to get an abortion.


Men who have contributed to or prevented an abortion should share their experiences publicly. That is the appeal of the Christian pro-life organisation KALEB. "We want to show that men take responsibility for their mistakes, for life and family", the organisation writes on its website. "We do not want to remain silent about the allegations against women who see no way out when in fact, their husbands have put them in this dilemma by making their partner choose between them or the baby", KALEB continues.

To that end, the organisation calls men to submit a video in which they testify about their experiences.

Thomas Schulte, the initiator behind the campaign "Mansprichtüberabtreibung" (Men speaking about abortion), says to Idea that confronting one's past can lead to knowledge, healing and forgiveness. He speaks from experience, as he pressured his partner into an abortion 30 years ago. "I am convinced that if I had taken my responsibility, the child would be alive today", he says.



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