Alabama Abortion Bill Makes Abortion at Any Stage Punishable by 99 Years in Jail
“It simply criminalizes abortion. Hopefully, it takes it all the way to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said Teri Collins (R-Decatur) who is sponsoring the new Alabama abortion bill.
A new proposed Alabama abortion bill would make abortion at any stage of pregnancy illegal and performing one a Class A felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison. Women who received an abortion, however, would not be held criminally culpable or civilly liable.
The bill’s authors acknowledge their hope is to take the bill before a now more conservative Supreme Court in a challenge to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide.
Introduced last Tuesday, Alabama’s abortion bill would allow abortions only in cases in which “a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother” is posed. Out of the 105-member Alabama House of Representatives, 60 members are co-sponsors of the bill.
Advocates Are Hopeful Alabama Abortion Bill Goes to Supreme Court
The bill clearly conflicts with Roe v. Wade, but according to the bill’s sponsor that is the point. Republican Terri Collins, the bill’s sponsor, was not concerned that the bill would conflict with previous Supreme Court Decisions, saying that the “whole point is to get the courts to relook at this issue.”
“It simply criminalizes abortion,” said Collins. “Hopefully, it takes it all the way to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
“I think people are seeing a possibility that the Supreme Court might have a more conservative-leaning balance,” Collins stated.
With newly appointed conservative Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, pro-abortion activists fear that Roe v. Wade could be severely undermined or overturned altogether.
Similar Bills Are Being Proposed Around the Country
Other states have already passed or are in the process of legislation similar to the new Alabama abortion bill. Both Kentucky and Mississippi have approved abortion bans once the fetal heartbeat is detected, around the sixth week of pregnancy, but women often don’t know they are pregnant until after six weeks.
Georgia and South Carolina, among other states, are proposing similar “heartbeat” bills, such as the heartbeat bill that a subcommittee of the South Carolina House recently passed.
The director of Public Affairs Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Vicki Ringer, said during a debate of the South Carolina bill: “Here’s the problem: This bill is unconstitutional. You believe that (Justice Neil) Gorsuch and (Justice Brett) Kavanaugh will save you on the Supreme Court. That court has already blocked an abortion bill.”
The governor of Georgia is debating whether to sign a law that would make abortions illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Over 50 Hollywood actors have threatened to take business out of Georgia, considered one of the epicenters for movie production in the U.S., if the law is passed. Amy Schumer, Alyssa Milano and Alec Baldwin are among the actors who sent the threatening letter.
Bill Equates Legalized Abortions with Some of the Most Depraved Atrocities in History
The Alabama abortion bill itself compared legalized abortions with some of the greatest atrocities in history such as the Holocaust, and likened terminating a pregnancy to the extermination of millions of Jews during that time. Section 2 (i) of the bill states:
“It is estimated that 6,000,000 Jewish people were murdered in German concentration camps during World War II; 3,000,000 people were executed by Joseph Stalin’s regime in Soviet gulags; 2,500,000 people were murdered during the Chinese “Great Leap Forward” in 1958; 1,500,000 to 3,000,000 people were murdered by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia during the 1970s; and approximately 1,000,000 people were murdered during the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
“All of these are widely acknowledged to have been crimes against humanity. By comparison, more than 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States since the Roe decision in 1973, more than three times the number who were killed in German death camps, Chinese purges, Stalin’s gulags, Cambodian killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined.”
Pro-Abortion Activists Say the Proposed Bill Is a ‘Death Sentence for Women’
According to Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, Alabama’s abortion bill is a “death sentence for women across this state.”
“These bans are blatantly unconstitutional and lawmakers know it — they just don’t care. Alabamians are just pawns in this political game to challenge access to safe, legal abortion nationally,” Fox told the Associated Press.
If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, individual states would have jurisdiction over abortion laws.
“Women with means or wealth would travel to another state to get their abortions,” said Barbara Ann Luttrell, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Southeast. “For poor women, primarily women of color, who don’t have the means, abortion will always exist, but it will not be safe, legal abortions.
“Women will do whatever it takes to have control over their lives, their futures … what will happen is women will die.”