by Steven Ertelt
July 30, 2007
Little Rock, AR (LifeNews.com) — A new abortion law in the state of Arkansas takes effect on Tuesday and it’s one that could spark other state legislatures to head in the same direction. The statute seeks to help women by requiring abortion centers to post signs saying coerced abortions are illegal.
Rep. Sid Rosenbaum, a Republican from Little Rock, sponsored the bill.
Under the measure, abortion businesses would be fined $1,000 for each day they do not post a sign indicating that women cannot be forced to have an abortion they don’t want.
The state House approved the forced abortion bill, HB 2768/ACT 1605, on a 69-20 vote on March 22. The state Senate later approved the bill on a 35-0 vote on April 2.
Rosenbaum says that no one — including a husband, boyfriend or parent — should pressure a pregnant woman into having an abortion.
The bill adds the 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.
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.