by Suanne Thompson
December 3, 2006
LifeNews.com Note: Suanne Thompson is the legislative liaison for Right to Life of Michigan.
News stories report, "Couple kidnaps pregnant daughter, drove to New York to force her to abort"; "Mother forced pregnant 16-year-old daughter to drink turpentine to induce abortion"; and the latest, "Arkansas man raped teen, forced her to have abortion."
These coerced abortions are a few of the most recent ones we know about. Forced abortions are at epidemic levels, yet are concealed in secrecy. This secret assault on women needs to be discouraged.
Sixty-four percent of post-abortive women surveyed indicated they felt coerced to abort, having no choice but to comply with the wishes of others.
Surprisingly, the No. 1 cause of death among pregnant women is homicide. Pregnant black women are seven times more likely to be murdered than pregnant white women. Often times the woman’s refusal to abort precipitates the crime. Boyfriends, husbands, parents — the very people who should protect the health and welfare of their pregnant spouse or daughter — are the ones who selfishly demand the baby be eliminated.
When women are threatened to abort, up to 80 percent feel guilt, regret, loss and depression afterward, especially if the coercion violated their conscience. They subsequently have shorter relationships, more divorces, live in poverty, repeat abortions, experience substance abuse and many more risk factors. There is a solution to this secret assault on women.
After months of researching and evaluating numerous medical journal studies and thousands of personal testimonies, a package of bills has been written that makes it a crime to coerce a woman to abort her baby against her will.
This legislation, known as the Coercive Abortion Prevention Act (CAPA), is sponsored by Michigan women legislators. It would give women the backing they need to stand up and say, "You can’t force me; it’s against the law."
For those bullies who refuse to live up to this standard and continue to violate women, this law will identify perpetrators and bring them to justice. Abortion clinic personnel will screen every woman for coercion. If she identifies herself as being forced to abort, the clinic personnel will follow intervention protocols and develop a safety plan that may include a call to law enforcement or to a domestic violence shelter.
Oddly, the opponents of these bills avoid the fact that women in serious danger need help and protection from violence, but strategically change the subject to focus on selling more contraceptives to prevent unplanned pregnancies. Abortion clinics have failed at preventing unplanned pregnancies precisely because 50 percent of their business is repeat abortions.
Studies indicate that there is a correlation between domestic violence and repeat abortions.
Critics also claim CAPA should also protect women from being forced to carry a child they do not want. This is not necessary since existing law is clear in that it is a woman’s choice and hers alone to abort.
A married woman has the legal right to keep an abortion secret from her husband. A minor may secretly obtain a judicial bypass to avoid parental knowledge.
This proposal will not clog up overburdened courts and send people to jail because it is designed to be a deterrent. CAPA will change behavior regarding personal and intimate relationships.
This legislation is revolutionary first in the nation. This can also be a coming together of all factions who are interested in rescuing women from harm.