Missouri Bill Regarding Custody Rights of Father Who Attempted to Coerce Abortion (HB 182)
This law was last updated on Jan 5, 2015
HB 182 would permit a court to deny custody of a child and exercise discretion in granting visitation rights if the court finds that a parent of a child attempted to coerce the mother of the child into obtaining an abortion. The bill also states that the consent to the adoption of a child is not required of a man who has reason to believe he is the biological father of the unborn child if he attempted to coerce the mother of the child to obtain an abortion.
The bill defines “coerce” as “to persuade an unwilling person to do something by force or threats.”
According to Planned Parenthood Advocates of Missouri:
The bill creates a new cause for denial of parental custody and visitation if a partner is found to have “attempted to coerce” a woman into having an abortion. The bill is not clear on how such an attempt would be demonstrated to the court. Current Missouri law has strict regulations related to the informed consent process for abortion that prohibit coercion. No woman should be forced or coerced into ANY decision related to her pregnancy. A woman and her partner have the right to discuss decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child. The bill is an attempt by politicians to steer private medical conversations between partners away from even discussing the safe and legal option of abortion.