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News of the Day ... In Perspective

03/27/2006

Michigan bill targets coerced abortions

The Michigan legislature is considering the Coercive Abortion Prevention Act (CAPA), which requires abortion practitioners to screen for coercion, inform a woman of her rights if she is being coerced, and wait 24 hours before performing the procedure (Tim Martin, Associated Press 3/15/06, mlive.com).

Women who believe coercion has taken place will have the right to file a civil lawsuit.

Supporters of the bill cite studies indicating that as many as four in 10 women seeking abortions are pressured to do so by a boyfriend or parent. Michigan is the first state to address this situation legislatively (http://www.family.org/cforum/news/a0039896.cfm).

“The worst cases have been those involving not only verbal threats to withhold financial support and emotional support, but those where physical violence has been used against pregnant women,” stated Serrin Foster, president of Feminists for Life of America.

The measure is opposed by Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan. Director Sarah Scranton said: “It seems to me this is just erecting more barriers to a woman’s right to choose an abortion.” (LifeNews.com 3/19/06).

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