I came across an Abortion Awareness clip that stated:

Studies have shown that over half of post-abortive women in Canada say that their decision was heavily pressured and in some cases bullied by boyfriends, parents, and other authority figures. Most say they would have kept their baby if they simply had had more support.

I could not find any references to the studies mentioned in the video description. Are there any studies that verify or refute this claim?

  • 1
    I would ask the questions about which studies they are referring to as they do not appear to be listed in the video so there is nothing to back up what they are stating.
    – Joe W
    Commented Sep 4, 2018 at 17:04
  • 3
    The quoted claim is really easy to validate, so much so that it could be non-notable: "Studies have shown that [some % of survey or interview respondents] say that [X]". This is not the finding of a quantitative study but of as few as 2 or 3 studies with as few as 30 subjects each. This claim could be perfectly true with just 60 subjects and 31 subjects saying "yes", since that's enough to use statistics on the numbers instead of the T-distribution. Commented Sep 4, 2018 at 18:45

2 Answers 2


This is not specific to Canada, but according to Women Who Suffered Emotionally from Abortion: A Qualitative Synthesis of Their Experiences Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 22 Number 4 Winter 2017:

58.3% of the women reported aborting to make others happy

73.8% disagreed that their decision to abort was entirely free from even subtle pressure from others to abort

However, this is not based upon a random sample of people who had abortions.

Another study, Induced abortion and traumatic stress: A preliminary comparison of American and Russian women Med Sci Monit, 2004; 10(10): SR5-16, says 64% of American women, but only 37% of Russian women, felt pressured to abort.

  • The second link is broken, at least for me. This appears to be the article to which you were referring. Commented Sep 4, 2018 at 23:16
  • @DavidHammen Thanks, how’s this: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/15448616 should be fixed now
    – DavePhD
    Commented Sep 4, 2018 at 23:54
  • 4
    That works, quite nicely. However ... The first link uses "even subtle pressure" as opposed to the "heavily pressured and in some cases bullied" in the question, and the second link does not qualify the level of pressure, or even if that was the dominant reason. Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 0:17
  • 6
    "73.8% disagreed that their decision to abort was entirely free from even subtle pressure from others to abort" is a meaningless statistic. I'm surprised it's not 100%. I'd also be surprised if a similar proportion (or higher) weren't "entirely free from even subtle pressure" to keep the baby. "Subtle pressure" encompasses people telling you what they think, and I find it hard to believe that anyone contemplating abortion doesn't have both friends/family who think they should abort and those who don't.
    – AndyT
    Commented Sep 5, 2018 at 14:30
  • 10
    However, this is not based upon a random sample of people who had abortions. - that is a bit of understatement. Participants were recruited from those who had post-abortion counseling with the evangelical Christian anti-abortion origanization CareNet. Any numbers coming out of that study are completely meaningless.
    – Tgr
    Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 21:59

This article from 2005 quantifies several dozen reasons why women choose abortion. I selected the following, which seem to fit the claim:

From Table 2.  Percentage of women reporting that specified
reasons contributed to their decision to have an abortion.
Figures for 2004; N = 1,160 (selected)    

Can't leave job to take care of a baby                      21%
Not enough support from husband or father                   14%
Not sure about relationship                                 19%
Relationship or marriage may break up soon                  11%
Husband or partner is abusive to me or my children           2%
Don't want other people to know I had sex or got pregnant   25%
Husband or partner wants me to have an abortion             14%
Parents want me to have an abortion                          6%
Was a victim of rape                                         1%

Note that the answers are not mutually exclusive; the sum of the entire table is 744%, so each survey respondent selected (on average) 7 reasons.

Finer, Frohwitrth, Dauphinee, Singh, and Moore, Reasons US women have abortions: Qualitative and qualitative perspectives (2005), Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 38(2), 90-95.

Also summarized by the American Psychological Association Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion (2008), page 80

  • There were primary questions and sub-questions. The sub-questions (those indented in the table) were only asked if the person said "yes" to the corresponding primary question. There were about 3.6 primary reasons per person.
    – DavePhD
    Commented Sep 6, 2018 at 15:47
  • 1
    Although interesting, that study was on US women and this question specifically asks about Canada. Although in my (UK) perspective there are many cultural similarities between the US and Canada, I don't know whether I would expect differences when it comes to abortions.
    – AndyT
    Commented Sep 7, 2018 at 10:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .