‘Coerced Abortion’ bill approved by House Committee

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 A controversial senate bill is making it’s way through the Louisiana Legislature this week.

The proposed legislation would make it a crime to coerce someone into getting an abortion using threats of physical violence. 

SB 534 authored by Senator John Milkovich from Shreveport was approved by the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice Tuesday. 

If the bill becomes law, anyone convicted of “Coerced Abortion” would face a five thousand dollar fine, or up to five years in prison, or both. 

The bill adds “Criminal Abortion”, and “Feticide” to the state’s Crimes- of- Violence category in the Criminal Code. 

Serving as a proxy for Senator Milkovich, Republican Representative John Stefanski fielded questions from Democrat committee member, C. Denise Marcelle, who objected to the bill because she felt it’s language was too broad. 

Stefanski told Marcelle “It intentionally spells out the use or attempted use, or threatened use of physical force, so ‘physical force’ is the trigger there.” 

“So, if that person says I’m going to beat you up?” asked Marcelle. 

Stefanski added “Or something worse.” 

An abortion would not have to be carried out or even attempted in order for the law to apply.

The bill must go through both chambers before going to the Governor’s desk for a signature. 

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