Missouri Initiative to Stop Forced Abortions Redone for Better Ballot Details

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 28, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Missouri Initiative to Stop Forced Abortions Redone for Better Ballot Details Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 28,

Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Pro-life advocates who are behind a Missouri state initiative that would prohibit forced abortions there have re-filed their ballot language with the hope of securing more accurate wording to appear on the November ballot. The Stop Forced Abortions Alliance says Secretary of State Robin Carnahan misconstrued the last initiative.

The group submitted ballot language to Carnahan previously and, last month, approved for circulation a petition with erroneous language claiming the measure is about "banning abortions."

Media outlets then mis-reported the effort as a state abortion ban rather than an initiative to get abortion practitioners to ensure that women are not pressured into having an abortion by a partner or family.

Stop Forced Abortions told LifeNews.com on Monday that it has filed a new initiative with the Secretary of State’s office.

The new initiative now explicitly states that "It is not the intention of this law to make unlawful an abortion that is otherwise lawful."

According to Paula Talley, one of the groups organizers, the new language should preclude any further misrepresentations of the initiative as a ban.

"Our initiative is properly titled the Prevention of Coerced and Unsafe Abortions Act," she said. "All it really does is allow women to hold abortion doctors liable if they fail to screen for evidence of coercion or other risk factors."

"But you didn’t see any of that in the ballot summary Carnahan issued for our first initiative filing. She wrongly describes it as making certain abortions illegal. In fact, it makes nothing illegal," Talley explained.

The organization previously complained that, ten days before the group’s first initiative was made public, Planned Parenthood and NARAL began issuing news releases describing the unpublished initiative as an abortion ban.

When Carnahan’s office subsequently issued ballot language which also described it as a ban, the Stop Forced Abortions Alliance raised the concern that Carnahan had leaked the initiative language to Planned Parenthood in order to subject it to preemptive attacks.

Talley said the proposed law is important because it could have helped her avoid an abortion she now terribly regrets.

“This is a very pro-woman law," she said. "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."

Talley says she was pressured into an abortion by her employer. She also says she was at greater risk of more severe emotional reactions to the abortion because of her prior history of sexual abuse and depression.

“The abortion counselor never asked if I was being pressured nor did she inquire about my psychological history,” she explained.

“If she had, she should have known that in my case abortion was contraindicated. This law would help to prevent other women from being victims of negligent pre-abortion screening," Talley added.

According to the Stop Forced Abortions web site, as many as 64 percent of women having abortions feel pressured into them by other people.

Related web sites:
Stop Forced Abortions – https://www.stopforcedabortions.org