Republicans, pro-life advocates urge Dem governor to sign bill making coercive abortion a felony

A Republican-led bill that would make coercive abortion a felony in Kansas is now headed to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s desk. Both the House and Senate passed House Bill 2436, with the Senate passing the bill last week and the House passing it this week mainly along Republican Party lines. The bill would make it a felony to coerce a pregnant woman into having an abortion through physical or financial threats, such as withholding legal documents such as passports or immigration forms, threats of arrest or deportation, controlling the woman’s access to prescribed medications, or extortion.All 50 states already have laws on the books criminalizing fathers who coerce pregnant women into getting an abortion, but Kansas’s proposed law would carry the harshest penalties. PRO-LIFE ADVOCATES SOUND ALARM ON ‘EXTREME’ FLORIDA ABORTION VOTE THAT DEMS HOPE COULD SWING GENERAL ELECTION”If a woman has expressed her desire to continue the pregnancy, and someone threatens her, whether it is to harm her physically, whether it’s to harm her financially, or whether it is to hold documentation in the case of someone who is being trafficked, that would now be punishable as a crime,” Rep. Rebecca Schmoe, one of the Republican supporters of the bill, said during Monday’s hearing. Shmoe has previously spoken publicly about a doctor coercing her to get an abortion when she was younger. However, Democrat Rep. Jo Ella Hoye said the bill does not properly establish what would be considered coercive and that other parts of it, like what classifies a “putative father,” is too vague. “This is not ready for prime time,” she said during the vote. “This is not ready to be put on the books. But, there is bipartisan support to keep this moving.”FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVES ABORTION BALLOT INITIATIVE WHILE UPHOLDING 15-WEEK BANThe bill especially received praise from pro-life groups and researchers. Tessa Longbons Cox, a senior researcher at Charlotte Lozier Institute, submitted written testimony in support of the bill and cited her peer research reviews, which found that more than 60% of women who had abortions “recalled feeling pressured to choose abortion by finances, circumstances, or other people in their lives.””These studies add to a growing body of literature on the prevalence and impact of unwanted abortions and abortion coercion,” Cox wrote. “One study shows that victims of human trafficking have frequent contact with abortion centers and are at risk of undergoing multiple abortions against their will. The women at greatest risk of forced abortion may be least able to stand up for their rights when a forced abortion occurs.”MAINE GOP LAWMAKER SOUNDS ALARM ON ‘SANCTUARY STATE’ PROPOSAL FOR ABORTIONS AND SEX CHANGESIf Kelly signs the bill into law, violators could face a $5,000 to $10,000 penalty and imprisonment up to 25 years if the coercion was conducted through stalking, human trafficking, blackmail, criminal threat, domestic battery, kidnapping, assault, rape, incest and more than 10 other criminal offense categories. Some pro-life organizations are already flagging their support for the bill. “We applaud the Kansas Legislature for prioritizing the protection of women and girls from abusers and sex traffickers,” Adam Schwend, SBA Pro-Life America director, told Fox News Digital in a statement. “If Gov. Kelly is truly for choice rather than for the extreme Democrat agenda of increasing the number of abortions, she will sign this bill protecting Kansas women and girls from coercion.”
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