Allegations that an Indigenous Hawthorn Football player and his partner were coerced to abort their baby shocks every reasonable Australian, but it does not surprise the many other women who have suffered in this way, the Australian Christian Lobby said today.

National director of politics, Wendy Francis, said, “this is the latest among several cases of young women who have been pressured to sacrifice their child for their NRL player boyfriend. One young woman saying that she felt she ‘had no other option than to get rid of the baby, the pressure was relentless.’

“Allegations of coercion are not confined to footy culture. Recent research revealed that 15% of women who seek counselling due to an unplanned pregnancy say they experienced coercive pressure that interferes with their own decisions.

“It raises questions about how many of Australia’s 240 abortions per day are the result of pressure from partners, family, workplaces, or other social factors.

“Coercion in all forms involves a violation of the freedom or autonomy of the target. It should never be overlooked due to gaps in government legislation.”

ACL calls on all state governments to urgently address abortion coercion in legislation in order to protect Australian women from this all-too-common scourge.

ENDS