Proposal considers abortion coercion a felony

Proposal considers abortion coercion a felony

Proposal considers abortion coercion a felony

The South Dakota Legislature is taking another step to make sure women are not forced to have an abortion.

Over the years, many women have indicated they were pressured and in some cases forced into obtaining an abortion. With that in mind, South Dakota is considering HB 1113, a bill that would upgrade the punishment for anyone who makes threats to coerce a pregnant woman into terminating her preborn child.

Bartscher, Dale (SDRTL) Bartscher

"If those kinds of threats come upon her to have an abortion, that person is guilty of a Class 5 felony," explains Dale Bartscher, a lobbyist for South Dakota Right to Life. "A Class 5 felony in the state of South Dakota is up to a five-year imprisonment term as well as the possibility of up to a $10,000 fine."

He says threats, especially ones of physical harm or murder, have no place in a woman's life, especially when she is dealing with an unexpected pregnancy.

"Giving testimony for us will be one of our human trafficking organizations, because they see it all the time -- pimps that push their girls, their women into having an abortion," Bartscher continues.

Men, he says, also tend to resort to threats when they are too immature or irresponsible to be a parent.

Governor Kristi Noem (R) recently said, "Every human life is unique and beautiful from the moment it is conceived. Every life is worthy of our protection, worthy of the right to live."

Bartscher believes there is sufficient support in both houses of the state legislature to pass the measure.