On Thursday, Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed HB 4787 and HB 4380 into law, a pair of bills that now protect women in the state from being coerced into having abortions.
One bill makes it a felony punishable by prison time to stalk or assault a pregnant woman for the purpose of pressuring her into an abortion, and the other makes it a misdemeanor to threaten to withhold legally required financial aid or employment if she refuses to abort.
Snyder did not make a statement about the laws, but they also punish misdemeanor coercion with fines of up to $5,000 or $10,000.
Studies have concluded that up to 64 percent of abortions were coerced in some way. Live Action investigated the cover-up of child sexual abuse and child sex-trafficking in Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. This video from a Planned Parenthood in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, was particularly shocking:
Opponents of the laws claimed that existing laws already adequately covered pressure to abort, but Republican State Representative Amanda Price has responded by discussing personal accounts she had collected over the years of women pressured to abort by parents, bosses, college officials, and pimps.
Last month, the Michigan Senate voted 25-11 to pass the bill, after the State House passed it 65-43 in March.