by Steven Ertelt
March 23, 2007
Little Rock, AR (LifeNews.com) — The Arkansas state House has approved a measure that would help women avoid being forced or pressured to have an abortion. The bill would require abortion businesses in the state to tell women that it is illegal for someone else to coerce them into having one.
Rep. Sid Rosenbaum, a Little Rock Republican, is the lead sponsor of House Bill 2768. He says that no one — including a husband, boyfriend or parent — should pressure a pregnant woman into having an abortion.
The House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor previously signed off on the measure that would add a statement about forced abortions to the state’s informed consent law that gives women information about abortion’s risks and alternatives.
The bill "just adds one more factor to the list," Rosenbaum said. "No person can force a woman to have an abortion."
The House approved the forced abortion bill on a 69-20 vote and now it heads to the state Senate for its consideration.
Former Governor Mike Huckabee signed the Right to Know bill into law in 2001 and, in 2005, state legislators added an amendment to it telling women about the pain a baby would feel in an abortion done after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The legislation comes after police in Bryant, Arkansas began an investigation of 41 year-old Jeffery Cheshier, who they accuse of impregnating a 15 year-old after he sexually abused her. Later, he allegedly drove the victim to an Illinois abortion business where he forced her to have an abortion.
Authorities say Cheshier began sexually assaulting the teenager in 2005 He was eventually arrested in October.
That’s when the teen told police she had gotten pregnant and said Cheshier drove her to the Hope Clinic for Women abortion facility in Granite City, Illinois, near St. Louis. There, he made her have an abortion.
The Hope abortion center has come under fire from pro-life advocates for years for luring Missouri teenagers across the border for secret abortions.