Minnesota Legislators Introduce Bill to Ban Forced Abortions, Pressuring Women

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 31, 2009

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St. Paul, MN (LifeNews.com) — Two Minnesota legislators have introduced a bill that would ban forced abortions or pressuring or coercing a woman to have an abortion she doesn’t otherwise want. Rep. John Ward, a Democrat, and Sen. Michelle Fischbach, a Republican, are behind the measure.

The ban on coerced abortions would require abortion businesses to inform women before the abortion is done that no one can pressure them into having an abortion against their will.

To stop unwanted abortions from occurring, the bill would offer women help to remove themselves from dangerous situations where coercion exists and would establish civil and criminal penalties for anyone who forces a woman to abort.

Research has brought to light the grim reality of forced abortion and the damage it inflicts upon women.

Studies of post-abortive women reveal that 64 percent of abortions involve some sort of coercion against the mother’s will. A total of 45 percent of men interviewed at abortion centers recalled urging their pregnant partner to abort, including 37 percent of married men.

Research also shows that teenagers are at higher risk for becoming victims of coerced abortion.

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life strongly supports the bill (H.F. 2228 / S.F. 1989) and its legislative associate Jordan Marie Bauer told LifeNews.com about why.

“Coerced abortions are one of the ugly secrets of the abortion industry,” she said. “Women should never, ever be forced into a decision to abort their unborn child—not by parents, the baby’s father, abortionists or anyone else.”

Bauer said Minnesota has seen examples of women pressured to have abortions.

In 1995, a pregnant employee at Duluth Little Stores was mistreated and threatened by a supervisor in an attempt to force the employee to abort her baby. The employer went as far as to threaten to push her down a flight of stairs when she was six months pregnant.

“Forced abortion is a very real threat to pregnant women,” Bauer said. “This crucial legislation protects the rights of women and seeks to restore respect and safety for pregnant women. This bill deserves the support of all lawmakers, regardless of their position on abortion.”

Although coercion can escalate to violence — with homicide as the leading cause of death for pregnant women — it takes many forms.

Some parents threaten to disown their pregnant teenage daughter unless she aborts her baby. Men sometimes give their pregnant wives or girlfriends an ultimatum: “Abort our child or I will leave you.” Some vulnerable women are pressured by abortion centers to abort their unborn babies.

Related web sites:
Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life – http://www.mccl.org
Minnesota Legislature – http://www.leg.state.mn.us

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