The Australian Christian Lobby has called for urgent reforms to punish men who pressure women to ‘choose’ to abort their baby.

It follows news that a rugby league ‘fixer’ was allegedly brought in to bully an ex-girlfriend of Panther star Bryce Cartwright to abort her unborn baby in return for a $50,000 payment.

The woman is said to be traumatised and undergoing counselling following the November abortion.

The Daily Telegraph quoted the woman as saying: “I felt I had no other option than to get rid of the baby, the pressure was relentless,” she said. “I was bullied. They showed no compassion towards the baby and me.”

ACL spokesperson for women, Wendy Francis, said while the story had captured the headlines because of the public profile of Mr Cartwright, it was in no way unique, being repeated thousands of times each year in homes across Australia.

“Women keep getting told by the abortion industry and their lobbyists that having easy access to abortion was giving them choice,” Ms Francis said.

“But it does not feel like that to the thousands of women who are pressured by their boyfriends or bosses to have an abortion to keep their relationship or job.”

Ms Francis said the story was particularly disturbing because of the payment that was being offered.

“Any woman who has been pregnant knows that no payment is sufficient to compensate for the loss of a baby,” Ms Francis said.

“It is not a surprise to those offering counselling services to women post-abortion, or to the thousands of women who have gone through abortion, to hear that this woman is now traumatised by what she has been allegedly pressured into.   

“The current laws that make it unlawful to badger and threaten someone else verbally or physically needs to encompass incidents where women are being forced to have an abortion by someone close to them.”