by Steven Ertelt
March 19, 2008
Jefferson City, MO (LifeNews.com) — Backers of a statewide initiative in Missouri to help women reduce their risk of being pressured into unwanted and unsafe abortions have begun the process of collecting signatures. The Stop Forced Abortions Alliance needs 85,000 signatures of registered voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot.
Janice Lewis, the group’s organizer, tells LifeNews.com the organization needs 120 individuals or church groups to volunteer to circulate the petition across the state.
"On average, we need only about 1,000 signatures per county," Lewis said. "We need only about 120 people to coordinate small groups of friends or church groups to gather the signatures."
The organization has instructions and paperwork on its web site.
If passed, the initiative petition would make it easier for women to sue abortion practitioners for negligence if they fail to screen for coercion. It also requires screening for other risk factors which put women at higher risk of psychological or emotional complications after an abortion.
"This measure will put an end to negligent, one-size-fits-all, assembly-line abortion counseling," says Paula Talley, another organizer of the group. "If this law had been in place in 1980, I would have been spared the years of grief and depression which followed my own unwanted abortion."
Talley pointed to a new statement from Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists recognizing studies linking abortion to mental health problems.
She said the organization recommending the screening of women prior to an abortion for risk factors associated with a higher risk of subsequent mental health problems that the forced-abortion measure requires.
The Stop Forced Abortions group also mentioned the highly publicized suicide of artist Emma Beck following the abortion of her twins.
"Tragedies like the death of Emma Beck can be avoided by proper pre-abortion screening," Lewis said. "Our volunteers can help protect women from the negligence which leads to thousands of unwanted, unsafe, and unnecessary abortions every year in Missouri."
The organization is moving ahead with the signature campaign to stop forced abortions even though the state’s leading abortion business doesn’t want them to do so.
Planned Parenthood attorneys have filed suit in Cole County challenging the ballot summary issued by Secretary of State Carnahan in relation to the Stop Forced Abortions Alliance’s initiative.
Related web sites:
Stop Forced Abortions Alliance – https://www.stopforcedabortions.org