On the subject of imports from the abortion industry, I see the US has now picked up the rhetoric of the soft marketing messages used by the UK abortion clinics and sex education providers. The Guttmacher Institute, funded by Planned Parenthood , the US’s largest abortion provider, has launched a new 1 in 3 campaign, stating that 1 in 3 women will obtain an abortion before the age of 45. Sound familiar?
As the Right to Know campaign pointed out last year, this ‘statistic’ is trotted out time and time again, in order to validate abortion as an option. The best-selling academic and author, Dr Robert Cialdini, Professor of Psychology at Arizona State university, describes ‘social proof’ as being one of the six key principles of persuasion. People are more willing to take a certain or recommended course of action if they see evidence of others doing it, particularly if they perceive those others as being similar to themselves. So it’s highly likely that a woman considering abortion could well be persuaded by the ‘evidence’ of other women. Social proof is most influential if someone is undecided as to a particular behaviour, they look to what other people are doing and observe that as correct. A technique which is doubly effective if they identify with the other subjects in some way.
So it’s highly likely that a young person who is yet undecided as to the issue of abortion, will encounter this message on an Education for Choice website and be convinced – if one in three women are having an abortion, then it must be not only necessary, but also perfectly acceptable, surely? The same goes for a woman with an unplanned pregnancy in an ambiguous situation who is unsure of what to do. The fact that 1 in 3 women allegedly have an abortion is only there to influence her decision. Surely what other people do should be of no relevance, in terms of her own personal situation? If pro-choice is all about doing what is right for that individual woman in her particular circumstances, what does it matter what other people have done?
There is no reason to include that statistic other than to attempt to influence opinion. Still it’s very sneaky indeed. Simcha Fischer from the National Catholic Register gives some insight as to who these one in three women are.
Robyn Reed is one of the one in three. When she tried to escape from the abortion clinic where her family had dragged her, the abortionist tore off her clothes, hit her, tied her to a bed, aborted her child, and drugged her so heavily that she was unconscious for twelve hours. Reed was fifteen years old at the time. She is one of the one in three women in America who obtains an abortion.
This mother is one of the one in three. When doctors told her she would die if she didn’t abort, she refused and refused, but finally agreed to be induced early, on the condition that they would try to save her baby’s life. She delivered a son, and no one made any effort to help him. He died in her arms. Later, she discovered that he was healthy, and that she had never been at risk. She is one of the three women in America who obtains an abortion.
Here are notarized affidavits from women who were pressured into having abortions. Each of these women is one of the one in three women in America who obtains an abortion.
Here are hundreds of pages of written testimony from women who were forced or coerced into abortions. Each of these women is one of the one in three women in America who obtains an abortion.
Here and here and here are hundreds of accounts written by women who had an abortion and regret it. Over and over again, they use the phrase, “I felt like I didn’t have a choice.” Each one of these women is one of the one in three women in America who obtains an abortion. They are part of the one in three.
These are the women the Guttmacher Institute is counting when they used numbers to make the claim that women want and need abortion.
This is what the “1 in 3” Campaign seeks to normalize: pain, regret, coercion, violence, despair. It is a campaign to make women understand that abortion is normal, abortion is their fate — that they have no choice.
Personally I’d like to see the stats behind one in three. Is it really one in every three women who have had an abortion before the age of 45? How has this figure been worked out? The ONS doesn’t routinely give out statistics regarding first time and repeat abortions unless one submits a Freedom of Information request, so how can we vouch for the veracity of the figure. Is this just the number of abortions averaged out between the number of childbearing women in the UK. According to this American campaign 22% of pregnancies end in abortion, but 1 in 3 women will have one. It seems that they have done a straight averaging job here, which means women who have had repeat abortions will skew the statistics, as will women who have never fallen pregnant. I’d love to see the raw data.
Even if the figure is true, what does that say about our society? One in three women are in such desperate and dire circumstances that they have no other choice than to abort their unborn baby? Or is it that contraception fails one in three women? Whatever the answer, it’s certainly not something that anyone should be treating with a healthy dose of pragmatism, unless of course we really do live in the culture of death.
One thought on “One in three”
Great post, Caroline.