UPDATE 5/15/2019: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the “Human Life Protection Act” into law on Wednesday. The bill would make abortion and attempted abortion felony offenses in the state with the exception of the health of the mother (Although abortion is never actually necessary). It is one of the strongest pro-life laws in the country, and it’s important to note that women who undergo abortions will “not be held criminally culpable or civilly liable” in Alabama.
Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act. To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious & that every life is a sacred gift from God. https://t.co/DwKJyAjSs8 pic.twitter.com/PIUQip6nmw
— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) May 15, 2019
“Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Legislature,” said Ivey in a statement. “[…] Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.”
5/14/2019: On Tuesday, April 30th, the Alabama House voted 74-3 in favor of HB 314, the Human Life Protection Act, which would — according to the text of the bill itself — “make abortion and attempted abortion felony offenses except in cases where abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.” The bill “would provide that a woman who receives an abortion will not be held criminally culpable or civilly liable for receiving the abortion.” Only the doctor committing the abortion would be held criminally liable.
Nearly all House Democrats walked out of the chamber in protest before the vote was taken, with a few Democratic members remaining. One, Rep. John Rogers, made controversial statements on the House floor about how unwanted children should be killed by abortions now to avoid death by electric chair years later.
Tonight, the Alabama Senate passed the bill in a 25-6 vote. As ABC News points out, this bill is different from “heartbeat bills” like the one that was recently signed into law in Georgia. Alabama’s bill, which now heads to Governor Kay Ivey for her signature, provides no exemptions for rape or incest, but allows an exemption “in cases where abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” according to the bill. Ivey is pro-life, and in the past has reportedly “made statements supporting pro-life positions, including bans without exceptions for rape or incest,” according to AL.com, though she has not publicly stated whether she would sign the bill.
ABC News notes, “Like many of the abortion bans that have been passed on the state level, the Alabama law is expected to face an almost immediate legal challenge and even if it is signed into law by the governor, it is unlikely to go into immediate effect.”
The ACLU of Alabama, along with the National @ACLU and @PPFA, will file a lawsuit to stop this unconstitutional ban and protect every woman’s right to make her own choice about her healthcare, her body, and her future. #alpolitics
— ACLU of Alabama (@ACLUAlabama) May 15, 2019
The ACLU of Alabama has already vowed to file suit against the law if passed.
However, as The Guardian noted, pro-lifers are hopeful that the law, if passed, “will lead to the supreme court overturning its landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.”
Live Action founder and president Lila Rose responded to the news of the bill’s passage, saying:
Alabama is right to penalize abortionists. Both a pregnant mother and the preborn child inside of her are targeted by the multi-billion dollar abortion industry. Abortion violently destroys the life of a child and lines the pockets of abortionists. The intentional killing and dismemberment of children in the woman has no place in any civilized society. …
Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, allow for abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. Legislatures across the country are responding to constituents and realizing how extreme our nation’s abortion laws truly are. We are working towards a day when our nation’s highest court respects the right to life….
Editor’s Note, 5/15/19: This article was edited to add comments from Live Action president Lila Rose.
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