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Bill would outlaw coercion of abortion in Mo.

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – A senate committee heard testimony Monday night on a bill that would make it illegal in Missouri to coerce a woman into having an abortion.

Pat Drury, who works with the pro-life group Thrive St. Louis, testified in favor of the bill before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

She told committee members that in most cases, a woman chooses abortion because she's being pressured into it by someone in her life.

"Either the father of the baby, (or) a parent is threatening to kick them out...(or) they're going to lose their job," Drury said.

A similar bill passed the Missouri House last year, but died in the Missouri Senate as time ran out on the 2008 session.

Colleen Coble, Director of the Missouri Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Violence, testified against the bill.

"A law enforcement officer is going to come to the home two months later, a month later, ask questions (about) how decisions were made...if you are in that situation and you were coerced, you're likely to be a victim of other types of ongoing violence...you can't answer in the affirmative or the negative without severe consequences," Coble said.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to vote on the bill.