by Steven Ertelt
October 31, 2007
Madison, WI (LifeNews.com) — The Wisconsin State Assembly approved a bill on Tuesday designed to help women avoid forced or coerced abortions. The bill requires abortion practitioners to do more to make sure women are not having an abortion because a partner or parent pressured them.
Should abortion facility staff determine pressure is present, they must refer the woman in question to places that can help her deal with family issues or domestic abuse.
The Assembly approved the bill on a bipartisan 65-32 vote and it now heads to the state Senate for its consideration.
State Representative Mark Gundrum, a Republican from New Berlin, says abortion practitioners need to do more than obtain written consent from women getting abortions. He says that consent is sometimes pressured.
But, during the debate, Representative Fred Kessler, a Milwaukee Democrat, said the measure just adds another roadblock to women getting abortions.
In a statement given to LifeNews.com, Wisconsin Right to Life praised the vote for the Coercive Abortion Prevention Act (AB 427).
"Regardless of where one stands on the issue of abortion itself, everyone should be able to agree that no woman should be forced to undergo an abortion against her will," said Susan Armacost, Legislative Director of Wisconsin Right to Life.
"Women who fear for their physical safety unless they submit to an abortion need to know that help is available for them and no pregnant woman should be intimidated into aborting through relational, emotional or financial threats," Armacost added.
If the measure becomes law, Wisconsin would join seven other states — including Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia — that deal with forced abortions.
Rep. Pat Strachota, Demcoratic Sen. Roger Breske and Republican Sen. Mary Lazich are also bill sponsors.
Lazich, a Republican from New Berlin, is one of the key backers of the legislation.
“This bill would make sure the physician and qualified attending people spend that extra inch in terms of conversation with the woman to ensure it’s not a coercive abortion and the woman has assistance in terms of information and education," she said.
Lazich cited reports from the Elliot Institute in Illinois which has interviewed women who have abortions. It finds forced or coerced situations in as many as 64 percent of the abortion cases.
Related web sites:
Wisconsin Right to Life – https://www.wrtl.org