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Coerced Abortion Target Of Stiffer Penalties

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State Senate approves increasing penalties for coercing abortion

Coercing someone to have an abortion would carry tougher penalties under bills approved by the state Senate on Thursday. The crime could result in criminal penalties under Senate Bills 1156 and 1157.

Republican state Sen. Judy Emmons, R-Sheridan, says more needs to be done to prevent coerced abortion.

"The decision is taken from them. They are forced into it," she said.

Democrats say the bills do not clearly define what "coercion" means.

"This lack of clarity stands to have a number of unintended consequences for women, their health care providers, and their families as they work through what are already very difficult decisions," said Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor. The legislation now goes to the state House.