It’s been almost twenty years since O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murder. In what was called “the trial of the century,” a jury found Simpson not guilty of killing ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. While the football star avoided going to prison, he was later ordered to pay over thirty million dollars in compensation to the victims’ families.
This wasn’t the first time that Simpson had faced allegations. In 1989, he pleaded no contest to domestic violence charges after police were called to his home. Other 911 calls were made too, some of which got played at Simpson’s murder trial. In her diary, Nicole wrote of being beaten. She also wrote that upon becoming pregnant, O.J. called her a “fat pig” and demanded she get an abortion.
Accusations would follow Simpson in the years to come; so did stories about abortion. Girlfriend Christie Prody claimed to have had two abortions while dating him and later said that she feared for her life during their relationship. According to Prody, the control wasn’t just physical; it involved financial pressure, too.
Those claims aren’t unusual. An abortion is an easy way for abusers to avoid responsibility, and women can face deadly violence for refusing to have one. Financial coercion, including the loss of housing and support, is even more common. To address this, Michigan’s state Senate has recently passed a new piece of legislation.
Sponsored by Republican state senator Judy Emmons, Senate Bill No. 1156 outlaws several methods of pressuring expectant mothers to abort. These include threats to withhold legally obligated financial support and firing a woman from her job. It also imposes penalties for stalking and harassment as well.
The bill still has to make it through Michigan’s House of Representatives, so it’s important that citizens of the Badger State contact their representatives and make it clear that this legislation needs to pass. In fact, Americans across the country should tell their elected officials that they want to see similar measures.
Abortion groups like Planned Parenthood talk a lot about providing “choice.” Too often, that choice is made by an abuser. Pro-lifers can help stop coercion by making sure moms have the legal protection they need. Getting behind Senate Bill No. 1156 is a great way to do that.
Editor’s Note: For ideas on what you may be able do if you are being pressured to have an abortion, please see this article.