At what age should a child be protected under Child Protection Services? On their birth day, at 8 months gestation, at 5 months gestation? If a drunk driver kills the fetus of a pregnant woman he/she is (rightfully so) charged in the baby’s death, so shouldn’t pressuring a teen into having an abortion be outlawed? Is it morally right for CPS / DHS Caseworkers to pressure, force or coerce a pregnant foster teen into having an abortion? Should foster teens who want to parent their babies be threatened into having an abortion?
These are just a few questions swirling around the controversial topic of abortions on teens in foster care. According to “Human Services Dept Allegedly Pressured Teen to Get Abortion” and “Did DHS Pressure Teen to Get Abortion?”, a recent foster teen in Pennsylvania was coerced into having an abortion. She had already picked out a name for him, was excited about this upcoming life, and had told her little girl about her brother. DHS allegedly threatened to remove her daughter from her care (and the baby) if she did not abort the child. (See the links at the bottom for more details on this story.) She was twenty-two weeks pregnant when she had the late-term abortion.
I do not believe that anyone should even be coerced or forced into having an abortion.
Children in foster care should have the same rights as other pregnant teens. If they want to parent, they should have the opportunity to do so. If they want to place their child up for adoption into a loving family, they should be permitted to make that choice as well. (I also feel they should have the opportunity to choose the agency/family, not be forced to adopt through child through CPS or DHS.)
I believe that coercing or pressuring foster teens into abortion, will only lead to serious mental health issues in the teens. Many women who have abortions later regret the decision and experience depression, guilt, anger and more. (Read “5 Resources for Women Living With Abortion Regret” for more insight on this issue.)
I feel that forcing someone into having an abortion takes away the “choice” out of an abortion. If the teen is given threats if she does not have an abortion, then she is not in a pro-choice environment.
The Facebook group “Foster Teens Should Not Forced Into Having Late Term Abortions” has several hundred members. One member posted how she was in foster care and was pressured into having an abortion. Another wrote how she was nearly forced into having an abortion, but was able to have the baby, and is glad to receive a mother’s day card from her daughter.
It is appalling and inhumane to pressure a pregnant foster teen into having an abortion. This should not be happening in America. Instead of ending their lives, CPS/DHS should be advocating for their lives.