House Passes Ban on Threats to Coerce Abortions

Mar 13, 2012

The state House approved a package of bills that creates punishments the use of threats or coercion to try to force a woman to have an abortion.

 Opponents of the measures say the package does not go far enough to protect women from threats and violence.

The legislation covers not just physical violence but threats to withdraw financial support, housing, or get a woman fired from a job. Republican state Representative Margaret O’Brien.

“These bills offer resources for vulnerable women," she says. "It can protect them from physical threats, domestic violence, blackmail.”

Democratic state Representative Maureen Stapleton called the package part of a “homegrown war on women” because it does not offer similar protections to women who want to end a pregnancy – and predicted the G-O-P will pay a political price.

“I will find some solace in this – people are watching," she says. "People will make some choices. And those choices are becoming crystal clearer every day.”

The package of bills now goes to the state Senate.