What I like about it is that Bennett has focused on the same issue that bothers me the most about the bill - the fact that the true problem with situations like those of Roxanne Fernando (for whom the bill is named) is not abortion, but violence; and that if Rod Bruinooge truly wanted to help, he could at the very least work on anti-domestic violence law (or enforcement of laws already on the books), but better still support social programs that provide preventative steps and resources for women who are at risk.
The fact that this woman wanted to have an abortion is entirely irrelevant; her partner killed her. This happens ALL THE TIME. The most dangerous time in the life of a woman trapped in an abusive relationship is when she is pregnant. Every single moment of every single day, a woman or child is being beaten by a male in their life.
That is the straight dope, friends. Roxanne was in trouble and having a law against coerced abortion was not going to help her. But there is a lot of stuff that could have.
Where I take issue with the piece is actually the line that ARCC seems to be taking on it, which is regarding coercion into childbirth being much more common than coercion into abortion. While I think that's probably true, I don't feel like there's much to be gained by calling for an opposing law (although perhaps this was slightly tongue-in-cheek?). Everybody: coercion is ALREADY against the law! None of these laws or proposed laws are of any use, because the law is already in place.
“It’s not just partners or family members who try to compel women and girls to have babies against their will,” said Arthur. “The entire anti-choice movement has been trying to force women into pregnancy and motherhood for decades, by working to outlaw or restrict abortion. Perhaps we need to protect women from this coercion by criminalizing anti-choice activism!”
Really I think it's ridiculous to try to introduce new law to confront a problem (or perceived problem) in our society. Perhaps it's a little anarchist-y of me, but I really feel these things are better solved (or at least examined) on a community level. We need to support women who are pregnant, to give them the resources they need to leave (or never enter) abusive relationships. And we need to teach young people how to have healthy relationships and to treat each other with respect. And I wasn't kidding about handing out condoms!