by Steven Ertelt
March 4, 2008
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocates in Missouri have filed a lawsuit against a ballot proposal that would prohibit forced abortions or coercing a woman to have an abortion. The abortion business contends the measure would go further by banning abortions in the state, even though the proposal specifically indicates that’s not the case.
The initiative explicitly states that "It is not the intention of this law to make unlawful an abortion that is otherwise lawful."
The Stop Forced Abortions Alliance is behind the measure, which it hopes to get on the November ballot.
Last month, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced the summary language of the proposal and said organizers can begin collecting signatures.
But, according to AP, a lawsuit filed Monday by a Planned Parenthood backer claims the anti-forced abortion proposal and the ballot summary Carnahan prepared has "far-reaching legal challenges" and "thus is likely to deceive and mislead voters."
Should a court allow the organizers to continue collecting signatures, they would need approximately 86,000 and 95,000 valid signatures depending on the combination of districts from which they come.
The Stop Forced Abortions Alliance submitted ballot language to Carnahan previously and re-submitted the language when Carnahan issued erroneous language claiming the measure is about "banning abortions."
Media outlets then 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.
"Our initiative is properly titled the Prevention of Coerced and Unsafe Abortions Act," Paula Talley, one of the group’s organizers, told LifeNews.com previously. "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."
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the group’s first initiative was made public, Planned Parenthood and NARAL began issuing news releases describing the unpublished initiative as an abortion ban.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