On Thursday, Michigan's Gov. Rick Snyder signed two bills into law that make coercing a woman into having an abortion illegal.
H.B. 4787 adds to Michigan's current anti-extortion/coercion provisions by including coercion to abort as a specific crime. It will be illegal to coerce a woman to abort by threatening or actually committing the following actions: physical assault, withdrawing financial support, or terminating or otherwise violating a legal contract, destroying or concealing a passport or other identification, and threats to deport or arrest.
H.B. 4830 establishes penalties commensurate with the seriousness of the prohibited action. Physical assault and stalking carry more severe penalties, while withdrawal of financial support or violation of a legal contract will be punishable by stiff fines.
Those who are found guilty of abortion coercion risk facing either prison time or paying a five to six-figure fine.
Suspects charged with abortion coercion would be subject to the same penalties as the underlying crimes of stalking or assault, which include felonies carrying significant prison.
Other forms of coercion, defined under an anti-human trafficking section of the state penal code, could lead to fines of up to $5,000 or $10,000. Those threats include any scheme intended to make a woman believe that continuing her pregnancy would result in physical restraint or psychological, reputational or financial harm.
The Detroit Free Press reported these two pieces of legislation were passed by the state Senate in late May in a mostly party-line vote, 25-11. Democrats had offered three amendments, including a ban against coercing a woman to have a child. All three proposals failed "along mostly partisan lines."
...Democrats offered three amendments to the bill. They would have exempted the medical advice from doctors from counting as coercion, decreased the fines and made it a crime to coerce a woman into having a child as well.
This bill has sparked some controversy among citizens and organizations such as The American Civil Liberties Union. The organization worked with pro-abortionists to try and get Gov. Snyder to veto the legislation. But, as you can see, it was far from successful.
One pro-abortion activist, Amy Smith, expressed her opinions on the bills in Eclectablog, a progressive news and commentary website. She stated that "Michigan HB 4787 and 4830 do nothing to protect women from other forms of domestic violence and reproductive coercion..."
"A woman is far more likely to be forced to carry a child than to have an abortion," she claimed.
But multiple studies suggest that at least one half of all women who had abortions felt they were coerced into it. Additionally, victims of sex trafficking have reported that their abusers frequently forced them to have abortions.
Life News reported -
Legislators said the bills will protect vulnerable women from coerced abortions, especially those who are victims of sex trafficking and abuse.
“Let’s send a strong message today to the pimps and the people out there human trafficking women that as they drag them across the parking lot they’re facing large fines and let’s consider sending them to prison, too,” state Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, said prior to the vote.
So good for you, Michigan, for protecting the life of the child and making sure women are not forced to undergo such a tramautizing procedure.