Not too long ago, I came across an article about a proposed bill in Missouri. This new bill makes it illegal for a pregnant woman to be coerced into having an abortion. Per the new bill coercion could be “physical harm, or a threat to evict, fire from a job, or withhold financial assistance.
While I think this is great – no one should be forced into doing something she isn’t comfortable with – I couldn’t help but think why aren’t they debating a bill that makes coercing a woman into adoption illegal too? I wonder if these state officials are even aware of how much coercion still goes on in adoption nowadays. I think many people think that coercion is no longer happening; that it is a thing of the past. But, sadly, coercion is still happening way too often.
Expectant mothers need the ability to be able to make an informed decision without having to be worried about being coerced or tricked into doing something she isn’t comfortable with.
I’ve heard some people say that these women are adults so they should be able to tell when they are being coerced but when you are in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy you are overwhelmed, stressed, and might not be thinking clearly and might not even realize that they are being coerced.
Although in this post, I’m writing about coercion by adoption agencies and adoption professionals, I should mention that not all coercion is initiated by adoption agencies or adoption professionals. Friends, family members, significant other, etc. can all pressure an expectant mother to make an adoption plan.
The above mentioned bill has already passed through the Missouri House and will now move to the Senate. The bill would also require pregnant women considering abortion to have ultrasounds prior to the abortion.