The Time is Now to Act on Abortion Coercion

On September 29, in a 5-3 vote, two bills that would address the injustice of coerced abortions passed the Michigan House Criminal Justice Committee and are under consideration on the House floor. Right to Life of Michigan expects the full Michigan House and the Michigan Senate to finally pass the Coercive Abortion Prevention Act (CAPA) this term.

CAPA would add to Michigan’s current anti-extortion/coercion provisions by including coercion to abort as a specific crime. A portion of CAPA was passed in 2012, and other versions of the legislation have been considered in past legislative sessions.

The three Democratic state representatives (Rep. Stephanie Chang, Rep. Vanessa Guerra and Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright) on the committee voted against these bills despite calling themselves “pro-choice.” Forcing a woman to have an abortion is plainly wrong, women have a right to be free from coercion, and everyone ought to be willing to be the first to jump up and do something about it when faced with evidence that it’s happening.

During the years this legislation has been debated in Lansing, vulnerable women have faced threats of physical violence, withdrawal of financial support, loss of housing and violation of legal agreements in attempts to coerce them into ending the life of their child.

Tammy Holly, a victim of abortion coercion, has testified three times now before the Michigan Legislature during work on these bills over the years.

“Year after year you hope and pray they finally get something accomplished,” she said.

Through her work with the Justice Foundation, Holly has presented numerous legal affidavits of other Michigan women who have been coerced into having abortions. In her case, she received zero counseling or screening and was pressured by her boyfriend, her parent, and the abortionist. She said it was critical that women understand it’s illegal to coerce them into having abortions, and that isn’t happening now.

“My parent said, ‘this is how we’re going to do it.’ The abortion doctor said, ‘you don’t have any other options,” Holly said.

The abortion industry financially gains from abortions and has been silent in the face of this repeated evidence. Since they refuse to do anything for these women, we must act and protect women in those situations.

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