House passes bills to prevent abortion coercion

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – People coercing women to have an abortion would be penalized under a pair of bills the Michigan House has approved.

The House approved both bills 65-43 Thursday, the last session before lawmakers leave Lansing for a two-week in-district work period.

The legislation would prohibit threatening, stalking or assaulting a pregnant woman with the intent to force an abortion against her wishes. After learning a woman doesn’t want to terminate her pregnancy, a person also couldn’t threaten to cut off legally required financial support.

Democrats voted against the bill after a handful of amendments to also penalize coerced birth failed. Some also argued that the legislation is redundant because current laws protect women.

The bill now heads to the state Senate, which approved similar legislation in in 2012.

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