by Steven Ertelt
February 19, 2008
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — A bill in the Missouri state legislature would make sure that a husband can’t threaten his wife with divorce if she refuses to obtain an abortion. The measure comes at a time when a group dedicating to stopping forced abortions has floated a statewide ballot amendment that could appear before voters in November.
The measure also goes further and prevents forcing a woman into having an abortion by cutting off financial assistance, cutting her off from her job, or revoking a scholarship.
The bill also includes a measure that requires abortion center to allow women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child prior to the abortion. When shown an ultrasound in a pregnancy center, most women opt against the abortion.
Abortion centers would also be required to post signs indicating that numerous public and private groups exist that provide women with real, tangible help during a pregnancy situation.
The House and Senate have companion measures of the bill and the Senate heard testimony on it yesterday while the House held a hearing today, AP reported.
During those hearings, 40-year-old state resident Kendra Mathewson was one of the lead witnesses.
She told lawmakers how she had no idea about the development of an unborn child until after the two abortions she had as a teenager. Now, she wishes more women were given complete information before an abortion.
"If I had seen my child growing inside me through ultrasound technology, I know I would have had the courage to do what I needed to for their lives," Mathewson said.
AP reported that Michelle Trupiano, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood affiliates in Missouri, already tells women they can’t be forced into an abortion and allow women to see pictures of the ultrasound.
The bills come at the same time a group is working on a ballot proposal with a similar approach.
The Stop Forced Abortions Alliance re-filed a state initiative that would prohibit forced abortions with the hope of securing more accurate wording to appear on the November ballot. The group said Secretary of State Robin Carnahan misconstrued the last initiative.
Media outlets misreported 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.
According to the Stop Forced Abortions web site, as many as 64 percent of women having abortions feel pressured into them by other people.