Today, a hearing in the House Committee on State Affairs will determine whether Texas will join the seventeen other states that have already codified anti-coercion laws to protect pregnant mothers from being forced to abort their children. Currently, Texas law requires informed consent prior to an abortion, but the law needs to clarify how to screen a woman who is at an abortion clinic against her wishes.
Statistics strongly indicate that freedom of choice is not at all the case among pregnant mothers who undergo abortions. Studies by Pro-Life analysts reveal that at least one-third and up to 60% or more of post-abortive women report that the decision was coerced or forced on them by someone else.
Current Texas law lacks language specifically addressing coercing a woman into abortion, and, consequently, abortion coercion is not punishable as a crime. Pro-Life Representative Molly White (R-Belton) and Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) have sponsored bills to protect pregnant women; their bills enact screening mechanisms at abortion clinics and require that law enforcement respond accordingly.
The widespread abuse of women through abortion coercion is finally gaining international media traction. Earlier this week, for example, the coercion story of popular news anchor Roxanna Haynes hit international media. Haynes, 30, was forced into an abortion by a violent and threatening boyfriend. According to Haynes, her wealthy banker beau threatened to kill her and their preborn child if Haynes refused to undergo an abortion. A week after forcing her to abort their child, Haynes’ boyfriend violently attacked her, perpetuating the abuse she had already suffered. Coercion prevention laws ensure that women like Hanyes, who do not want to kill their preborn children, are safeguarded from coercion and abuse stemming from their pregnancies.
House Bill 1648 and Senate Bill 831 carry a Class A misdemeanor for coercing or forcing a woman into an abortion. The abortion industry has been complicit in abetting the perpetrator of coercion instead of protecting the victim. To ensure that women are thoroughly informed of their rights prior to undergoing an unwanted abortion, abortion facilities will be required to display signage explaining the crime of coercion and featuring the hotline numbers and available options for women who feel threatened by coercion and forced abortion.
Women would also be afforded a private room with a phone at the abortion facility so that they can call law enforcement authorities or contact other intervention resources.
Anti-coercion protections, such HB 1648 and SB 831, should to be placed into law by the state of Texas to protect the innocent and vulnerable women who so bravely defend their choice to give Life to their preborn baby.