Arkansas Senate Defeats One Bill on Forced Abortions, Another Alive

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 26, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Arkansas Senate Defeats One Bill on Forced Abortions, Another Alive Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 26
, 2007

Little Rock, AR ( — An Arkansas state Senate committee defeated a bill seeking to stop forced abortions, but another less expansive measure is still alive after getting approval from the state House. Both bills seek to help women by requiring abortion centers to post signs saying coerced abortions are illegal.

The Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor killed a measure by Senator Sharon Trusty, a Russellville Republican.

His bill would have fined abortion businesses $1,000 each day they do not post the sign concerning forced abortions. It would also have allowed people to sue abortion centers that don’t follow the law.

Members of the panel questioned Trusty about who would be eligible to sue and they defeated the measure on a voice vote.

However, Rep. Sid Rosenbaum, a Republican from Little Rock, has sponsored a similar measure that doesn’t have the same civil lawsuit section. Last week, the House approved the forced abortion bill on a 69-20 vote and now it heads to the state Senate for its consideration.

Rosenbaum 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."

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. state1966b.html

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.

Related web sites:
Arkansas Right to Life –
Arkansas legislature –