Missouri House Sends Forced Abortion Ban to Senate, Governor Supportive
by Steven Ertelt
April 22, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Missouri House put its final stamp of approval on a bill to prevent women from becoming victims of forced or coerced abortions and sent the measure to the Senate for consideration. Meanwhile, Governor Matt Blunt praised the House for the vote and said he backs the bill.
The bill makes it a crime to pressure or coerce a woman into having an abortion and anyone found guilty of doing so would receive a maximum of five years in prison and a $1,000 fine.
The legislation also contains other sections helping pregnant women, including one that prohibits colleges and universities from revoking athletic scholarships form pregnant students.
Last week, the House approved HB 1831 on a 108-33 second reading vote and the third reading vote conducted late Monday afternoon was 113-33.
A Senate committee will take up the bill next and then the full Senate will consider the bill.
In a statement LifeNews.com received, Governor Blunt said he supports the measure and that it strengthens "the culture of life in Missouri."
We have a moral obligation to protect Missouri women and to defend the dignity of human life, Blunt said.
Innocent life is not dispensable and we must work with expectant parents to help them choose life. I commend the House for passing this legislation strengthening our states commitment to life," he added.
Anyone who uses force or the threat of force to pressure a woman to have an abortion could face more serious punishments because of their actions.
The bill also would potentially put abortion practitioners in prison for as much as seven years if they do an abortion on a woman who has been coerced into having one.
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 bill also includes an ultrasound requirement allowing women a chance to see their developing unborn child before the abortion. When used in pregnancy centers the ultrasounds convince most women to keep their baby.
Missouri Right to Life supports the bill and told LifeNews.com last month that it is needed because of a recent case of a forced abortion.
According to the group, a 16 year-old girl was the victim of an attempted coerced abortion by her mother and aunt.
The three were at the Planned Parenthood abortion center when the teen apparently called police by dialing 911 on her cell phone.
"The police went into the facility and arrested the aunt. The mother then realized that it wasn’t so simple to force her will upon her daughter," the group said.
"How many more times might this be happening across the state of Missouri?" Missouri Right to Life officials wondered.
The section on helping college students is important because of reports of students at Clemson University having abortions to save their scholarships after they became pregnant.
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.
Related web sites:
Missouri Right to Life – https://www.missourilife.org