by Steven Ertelt
January 3, 2008
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — In what could become one of the ironies of the 2008 election season, pro-abortion groups in Missouri say they plan to fight a potential state ballot measure that would help women avoid forced abortions. The measure would require abortion practitioners to make sure someone hasn’t pressured a woman into having one.
The Stop Forced Abortions Alliance is behind the statewide initiative that it submitted to the Secretary of State in November.
Now that it has been approved, backers must gather the signatures of 90,000 state residents in order to get it on the November 2008 ballot.
Pamela Sumners, executive director of NARAL’s Missouri affiliate, told the Chicago Tribune she expected pro-life advocates to reach that level.
"And when they do, we’ll be prepared to throw everything we’ve got at it," she said.
Meanwhile, Missouri Democrats are accusing Republican Governor Matt Blunt, who opposes abortion and is facing a tough re-election battle, of wanting the initiative on the ballot to rally pro-life advocates to his side in the contest.
The Tribune says the party thinks Blunt is using "abortion as a political tool."
However, David Reardon, a Missouri resident who is helping the group support the measure, says leading Democratic official Robin Carnahan, the secretary of state, is turning to abortion politics by approving a misleading statement describing the initiative.
The initiative has already drawn a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood.
Lawyers for the abortion business and a woman from St. Louis County filed a lawsuit in December claiming the initiative would subject abortion practitioners to medical malpractice lawsuits if they don’t ensure that women aren’t pressured into an abortion.
Attorneys from Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region filed suit in Cole County Circuit Court in Jefferson City along with Mary Hickey. Paula Gianino, president of the St. Louis abortion center, said her group is representing Hickey.
The abortion advocates want the ballot proposal declared unconstitutional so it can’t proceed.
"We will do everything we can to see that this does not go on the ballot," Gianino told the St. Louis Post Dispatch. "If it does move forward, we will inform every citizen how dangerous and extreme this initiative is."
But Reardon said Planned Parenthood wouldn’t oppose it if it believed in making sure women weren’t subjected to forced abortions.
He told the Dispatch that Planned Parenthood’s opposition "speaks volumes because if they believed in good screening, they would be supporting this. For those who don’t want to do proper counseling, this is an impediment to assembly-line abortions and profiteering."
Paula Talley, one of the group’s organizers, previously told LifeNews.com in a statement that she believes in the need for the forced abortion measure.
She knows firsthand what it’s like to be pressured into having an abortion.
Talley says she was forced to have an abortion which went against her moral beliefs by her employer and that her history of sexual abuse and depression likely increased her risk of a severe emotional reaction to it.
"This is a very pro-woman law. If it had been in place in 1980, I would have been spared the years of grief and depression which followed my own unwanted abortion,” she said.
“The abortion counselor never asked if I was being pressured nor did she inquire about my psychological history,” Talley added.
Had she done so, Talley told LifeNews.com, she would have known that Talley really didn’t want the abortion and should have suggested she seek alternatives.
"This law would help to prevent other women from being victims of negligent pre-abortion screening," Talley explained.
The group has released a 22-page report, Forced Abortion in America, that describes the cases of women pressured, coerced, and violently abused into submitting to unwanted abortions. It also includes citations to studies of coerced abortions, including one which found that 64 percent of women having abortion report feeling pressured by others.
Related web sites:
Stop Forced Abortions Alliance – https://www.stopforcedabortions.org