The Michigan state Senate approved a bill today that makes it a crime to coerce a woman to have an abortion against her will. Amazingly, some legislators voted against the measure to stop such forced and pressured abortions.
The Michigan Senate has voted 26-11 to pass two bills addressing abortion coercion. The bills now must be passed within the week by the Michigan House before the session ends, so Right ot Life of Michigan is asking pro-life Michigan residents to call their state representatives to urge support for the measure.
The pro-life group described the bills this way:
S.B. 1156 & 1157 were introduced on December 4. The bills close a gap in Michigan law regarding coerced abortions by defining coercing a woman to abort as a crime and allow a protective screening process for women at abortion businesses to be implemented. The Michigan Senate voted 26-11 to pass the bills. The bills are now headed to the Michigan House for consideration, but similar bills have not been introduced there yet. The Legislature is set to adjourn for the year no later than December 18, all bills not passed by then will die and have to be re-introduced in the new session in January.
Forced abortions do occur in the United States, as one court case in Texas brought the tragic situation to light. A brave 16-year-old girl, who is 10-weeks pregnant, won a case in Texas Family Court recently, which protects her from being forced by her parents to get an abortion.
The Elliot Institute, an Illinois-based organization that researches abortion’s impact on women, finds as many as 64 percent of women say they have felt pressure to have an abortion. That pressure, the group finds, most likely comes from spouse or partner but cal also come from a woman’s parents, friends, or employer.
Elliot Institute director David Reardon, co-authored a Medical Science Monitor study of American and Russian women with the 64 percent figure.
“In many of the cases documented for our ‘Forced Abortion in America’ report, police and witnesses reported that acts of violence and murder took place after the woman refused to abort or because the attacker didn’t want the pregnancy,” he said in a statement LifeNews.com received.
“Even if a woman isn’t physically threatened, she often faces intense pressure, abandonment, lack of support, or emotional blackmail if she doesn’t abort. While abortion is often described as a ‘choice,’ women who’ve been there tell a very different story,” he added.
Reardon said the report underscores the need for legislation requiring abortion businesses and health care providers to screen women for evidence of coercion or pressure to have an abortion before the actual abortion is done. He says they should direct such women to people and resources that can help them instead of following through on the coerced abortion.
“Too often, abortion clinics and others simply assume that if a woman is coming for an abortion, it is her free choice,” he said.
“This ‘no questions asked’ policy is especially harmful to those in abusive situations, including young girls who are victims of sexual predators. Women should not be forced into unwanted abortions and subjected to violence or pressure from others,” Reardon added.
Nicholas and Lola Kampf were charged with kidnapping after they allegedly bound and gagged their pregnant 19-year-old daughter and put her in their car with the intent of driving her to New York for an abortion.
Police said Katelyn Kampf managed to escape from her parents in a store parking lot in New Hampshire and called police from a cell phone. Her parents could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
In Georgia, police arrested Rozelletta Blackshire after she allegedly forced her pregnant 16-year-old daughter to drink turpentine in an attempt to abort the pregnancy.
The mother and two of the girl’s cousins were charged with criminal abortion after the teen told a school counselor her mother had forced her to drink turpentine. The teen is three months pregnant and the health effects of the turpentine on her and her unborn child are still unknown.
Currently, at 11 states have some form of coercive abuse prevention laws, with varying definitions and degrees of protection.