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Abortion coercion bills closer to becoming law in Michigan

On Tuesday, a pair of bills to protect women from being forced to abort their babies passed the Michigan State Senate’s Judiciary Committee 3-1.

HB 4787 would criminalize abortion coercion and HB 4830 would define specific criminal penalties of different forms of coercion, such as stalking, assault, or battery. Cases of abortion coercion have taken the form of both physical violence and financial pressure.

Both bills passed the full Michigan House in March. Similar legislation has passed the Senate in past years but died in the House.

Current law requires abortionists to confirm women seeking abortions haven’t been pressured to do so. “This kind of crime happens all the time,” Michigan Right to Life spokeswoman Genevieve Marnon said in support of the new measures. “This will give women a tool to fight back against this so it doesn’t escalate to murder.”

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Despite pro-abortion claims that coercion is rare, studies have concluded that up to 64 percent of abortions were coerced in some way. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is pro-life, and likely to sign the bill into law.

Several pro-life bills have been introduced recently in the state, including two that passed the Senate last week, making the sale of fetal tissue punishable by up to five years in prison.

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