Late Tuesday, the Alabama State Senate passed what would be the nation’s strictest abortion laws should it be signed by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey.
House Bill 314 passed the Senate by a 25-6 vote, and it does not include exceptions for rape or incest. Earlier in the day, the Senate had rejected an amendment that would have added such exceptions by a 21-11 vote margin.
Earlier this month, HB 314 was passed by the Alabama House of Representatives by a 74-3 margin, and now awaits the governor’s signature.
The bill’s proponents argue its strict nature is intended to establish a baby in the womb as a person.
“We aimed for language that addresses the language of Roe v. Wade,” the bill’s sponsor Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur) said at a public event last week. “The decision was based on someone in utero, someone pregnant so we don’t get into conception. We don’t get into birth control. We don’t get into the morning-after pill, but in utero, which is the language they used that when a woman is pregnant. This bill criminalizes abortion through the doctor. And not the woman, but the doctor.
“The reasoning is the same reasoning, Roe v. Wade was decided that the baby in the womb was not a person,” she continued. “So this bill bases its reasoning that the baby in the womb is a person. And we based it on the fact that in Alabama law, we currently consider the baby in the womb a person. If you were a drunk driver and you killed a pregnant woman, you have a double homicide on your hands. We voted as a state to be a pro-life state.”
If such exception were added, it would undermine that argument, Collins explained.
“The biggest thing to attack it with is to say, ‘What, you’re not going to include rape and incest?’” she said. “Well, how do we say, ‘The baby inside is a person unless they’re conceived in rape or incest’?”
State Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville), who headed the State Senate’s effort, said passage demonstrated Alabama’s commitment to the pro-life cause.
“Life and liberty are not man given; they are given by our Creator,” State Sen. Clyde Chambliss said following the Alabama Senate’s passage. “Today, Alabama made clear that we will protect our rights and the rights of our unborn children.”
The debate over the bill received national attention during the State House’s deliberations after State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) made some impolitic remarks regarding the issue of abortion.
“Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now, or you kill them later,” Rogers said. “You bring them in the world unwanted, unloved, you send them to the electric chair. So, you kill them now, or you kill them later.”
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