Politics

Alabama Governor Signs Bill Designed to Overturn Roe v. Wade, Enable State-Level Abortion Restrictions

unborn abortion baby child fetal heartbeat Roe Wade Alabama abortionThe governor of Alabama has signed a bill designed to lead to a new Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that hamstrung states’ ability to restrict abortion.

The bill passed the state Senate on May 14 and was signed into law one day later by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey. It outlaws all abortions except in cases when the pregnancy puts the prospective mother’s life is at risk. While it doesn’t penalize a woman for undergoing an abortion, it makes it a felony to perform it, imposing penalties of 10 to 99 years in prison.

Alabama Democrats, and even some Republicans, criticized the bill for being too strict. But state Rep. Terri Collins, the Republican who introduced the bill, suggested it was intentionally uncompromising so as to increase the chance that it would result in a challenge to Roe v. Wade.

Collins and others are banking on pro-abortion entities to challenge the law in courts until the case is eventually picked up by the Supreme Court, where the law’s legal reasoning could strike at the core legal argument behind Roe v. Wade.

Roe v. Wade

The landmark 1973 decision established that it is part of a woman’s “right to privacy” to undergo abortion (pdf).

It ruled that states can’t regulate abortion in the first trimester, when the decision “must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman’s attending physician.”

After the first trimester, states can only “regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health.”

States can only ban abortion after “viability,” meaning “potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid.” Even there, however, abortion must be allowed “where necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.”

Lower courts have subsequently ruled that even a risk to the mental health of the woman provides sufficient grounds for aborting a viable baby.

Roe’s Story

The Roe v. Wade decision was based on the case of Norma McCorvey, a 21-year-old drug addict living on the streets when she fell pregnant in 1969 with her third child. McCorvey had already given up one child for adoption.

At the time, McCorvey said she had been raped and was thus eligible for a legal abortion in Texas, but her request was refused because she couldn’t provide a police report proving that she had reported the rape. She was approached by Linda Coffee, a lawyer who wanted to challenge abortion restrictions and was looking for a pregnant woman she could introduce as the plaintiff for her case. McCorvey became that woman, entering the lawsuit anonymously as “Jane Roe.”

Together with another lawyer, Sarah Weddington, who ultimately argued the case before the Supreme Court, Coffee got the 7–2 decision saying that a woman has a right to abortion “free of interference by the state.”

Decades later, McCorvey admitted that she made up the rape story. She said that at the time, she didn’t want to go through the pain of giving up another baby for adoption, so she opted for abortion instead. But because the case took years to resolve, she ended up having the baby and putting it up for adoption. In her 2005 congressional testimony (pdf), she said, “I am glad today that that child is alive and that I did not elect to abort.”

McCorvey said that after spending years working at abortion clinics, she realized that abortion is wrong, not only because it kills the unborn, but because it traumatizes the women who undergo it.

“Participating in the murder of your own child will eat away at your conscience forever if you do not take steps to cleanse your conscience,” she said.

Nearly 56 million babies were aborted between 1973 and 2014, estimated from the yearly average based on data collected by the Guttmacher Institute.

McCorvey said she felt partially responsible by letting her story be used in the lawsuit.

Personhood

The Alabama law takes aim at the core issue of whether an unborn child can be considered a person, as discussed in Roe v. Wade. In the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision, the justices acknowledged that “if this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’s right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [Fourteenth] Amendment.”

The court sided against Texas in this argument, stating that neither the Constitution, nor Texas’s own statutes, suggested that an unborn child should be treated as a “person.”

The Alabama law (pdf) defines a “person” as “a human being, specifically including an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability.”

The law appears designed to make the argument that, this time, the state is serious about treating the unborn as human beings who should be granted legal protection.

The lawmakers even rejected an amendment that would allow abortion in instances of rape and incest, in what seems to be an attempt not to undermine the personhood reasoning.

“I’ve answered many emails from people who have poured out their hearts with real stories,” Collins told AL.com. “My goal with this bill is not to hurt them in any way. My goal with this bill, and I think all of our goals, is to have Roe v. Wade turned over, and that decision be sent back to the states so that we can come up with our laws that address and include amendments and things that address those issues.”

Governors in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio have already signed into law bills that prohibit abortion later than about six weeks into pregnancy. Other Republican-led states have similar bills on the way. The Alabama one, however, appears to be the strictest.

The American Civil Liberties Union has pledged to challenge the Alabama law in court.

Supreme Court

The current wave of anti-abortion legislation came after Trump appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018, tilting the bench to five conservative-leaning justices versus four liberal-leaning ones. Trump already appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017.

It’s not clear whether the conservative-leaning justices will be persuaded to reconsider Roe v. Wade. If they strike it down, it’s not clear how they’d choose to redraw the lines on abortion restrictions.

Several states with Democrat-controlled legislatures have proceeded to preemptively relax their abortion restrictions. New York has passed a law allowing abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy for any reason. A similar bill was introduced in Virginia. A child born at 24 weeks already has more than a 50 percent chance of surviving if provided hospital care, a 2015 study found.

Deregulating abortion appears to clash with the beliefs of most Americans. The number of voluntarily reported abortions has been decreasing for years. And while about 1 in 9 abortions happens in the second trimester or later, according to the Guttmacher Institute, only 28 percent of Americans think abortion should generally be legal at that stage, according to Gallup.

If anything, Americans appear to have shifted away from supporting abortion. A Feb. 12–17 Marist Poll found that 47 percent of Americans identified as “pro-life,” meaning generally anti-abortion, while 47 percent identified as “pro-choice,” meaning generally pro-abortion. Just a month prior, the poll showed “pro-choice” identification prevailing 55 to 38 percent.

Reprinted with permission from - The Epoch Times - by Petr Svab

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Todd Wingard Taylor
2 years ago

If we will not protect the most defenseless of Americans, the unborn baby, than who is next the aged, the mentally handicapped, the depressed though euphemism; American is on one slippery slope. We protect convicted murders from the death penalty but we will not stand to protect the innocent, unborn baby; what is wrong with this picture? We go out of our way to enforce laws to protect animals yet we do not stand to protect babies. Our greatest asset is our humanity; have we lost this as a nation?

T in KS
2 years ago

Abortion, long considered a man’s right, has been the law of the land for 40 years. Young girls have been forced to have abortions without parents’ knowledge, being signed for by the pedophile. Those girls are now speaking out. They have been scarred by this heartless law. Abortion during the first trimester, done rarely and considering the life or health of the mother (1970’s) has become stabbing a baby in the head and sucking out his/her brains (1990’s), late term abortions so the organs may be harvested (2010), or after birth abortion where organs are ripped out while the child cries (2018). It seems inhumane to give a murderer a shot to end his life but we see demented professionals cheer when a child is tortured and dismembered. What is happening to our land? Have we passively paid for abortions with our tax money while saying nothing for so long that our society has become numb to the fear and pain of the victims? Are we any different than Nazi Germany?

WFS
2 years ago

I can’t believe that any clear-thinking person would think that abortion is anyone’s right. Clearly, you are talking about the murder of the most innocent of all human beings. You really are talking about murdering babies! I really believe it is a sick mindset perpetrated by the worst of society, (liberals, leftists), in a pathetic attempt to feel powerful. Like I’ll do what I want when I want and nobody should be able to stop me because the baby is inside my body so it is my property to do with as I wish. If that was the case then murdering your already born children should be your choice and ok too. It is so deranged and so foul just like the vast majority of leftist ideas.

Michael Montgomery
2 years ago

Norma Leah Nelson McCorvey , “Jane Roe” wanted to overturn the decision. Alabama is simply protecting life.

Pam
2 years ago

What is interesting is that some states have laws that state if someone kills a pregnant woman, they can be tried for double homicide. However, if the woman elects to end the baby’s life, that is legal. What twisted logic is this? The unborn child is either a person, human being, protected by our Constitution or it is not. The person-hood of the child does not somehow change back and forth depending on who is ending the life. I do hope the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and at very least turns the issue back to the states.

Wayne
2 years ago

Any abortion is premeditated murder!

Grady Phillips
2 years ago

I am 100% !Pro life and have a strong position against the practice of murdering babies ,which is exactly what abortion is ! Give babies a voice !

Pat Robinson
2 years ago

Not even 10 years after prayer (and God) was thrown our of our schools (& later all things gov’t/”public”), legalizing abortion came along. Can we now see that that 1960s decision/law that was rather quietly passed was the 1st step into an ugly abyss? We’ve gained momentum into evil since then. Perhaps some sense of moral human behavior is rising back up. I hope and pray it is so.

E Fletcher
2 years ago

There is absolutely no reason for abortion. There are way too many methods, pills, patches, injections, implants and surgeries to prevent pregnancy. Now, as for rape and incest, pass a law that these crimes are to be reported within 48 hours and a D&C mandatory. Clean out the womb BEFORE a child begins to form. This is just plain common sense and stop murdering our future. Why the devil can’t our illustrious politicians and others think of this?????

Jane
2 years ago

Thank you, Governor Ivey for saving the baby HUMANS!!!! God will bless you for saving His innocent little ones!!

Cindy H
2 years ago

Science has disproven the argument that it is “my body” when in fact the fetus/baby has its own unique DNA.
Abortion is just plain wrong in every aspect and harmful to all involved.

Greg Russell
2 years ago

Liberals have become fond of saying, that the matter of Roe-V-Wade is “settled law”, as if that makes it right, proper, and settled. If the evil of slavery still existed, those who champion that could easily say, slavery is settled law, but that wouldnt make it right, tolerable, or even mean that it shouldnt be done away with. Liberals live in a fantasy world. They are completely detached from reality, and they live on “emotion”, and never fact, reason, or data. Even if you don`t subscribe to the fact that an infant has a soul at the moment of conception, which he does, since the Lord stated very clearly that He knew the child before he was knit in his mothers womb, you still cannot reasonably deny that at the moment of conception, the “clump of cells” IS a human being. There is zero chance that clump of cells can develop into anything except a human infant. At conception, the infant has everything necessary to quickly begin to develop a heart, lungs, brain, and has all the DNA required to become exactly who God intended that individual baby to be. Even more than that, as someone who was created in the Image of the Lord, that baby has an eternal soul.

Abortion IS the American Holocaust, and shame on us for having tolerated, and allowing it for a single day. The slaughter of these tiny innocents has to stop, and it has to stop NOW.

Cathy Witthoeft
2 years ago

Yippee-a State with guts & drive to do the right thing. Killing babies, murder is never the right thing in God’s eyes.

John in Catonsville Maryland
2 years ago

The law is the law. Let it be.

Travs
2 years ago

I think that if the fetus cannot survive, on its own, outside of the human body then-under certain circumstances abortion should be legal and safely performed. I also think that adoption should be made much easier and cheaper in the U.S. also, when the parent gives a child up for adoption they give up any rights to reneging on the adoption of a minor child. I honestly think that these attempts at abortion banning are knocking women back to pre roe vs wade times.

Keith H
2 years ago

Best news I’ve heard in years !!! To hell with the Baby Killers. I say “Save The Baby Abort The Whore”. Kill Roe V Wade and send it back to the states !!! Get the Commie loving Feds out of it altogether !!! Did you know that Roe, never had an abortion. She had all 3 of her kids. The worthless government used her to start the movement to kill babies. And I’m talking the Dumocrats of the day. Because we all know the commies on the left love killing babies !!!

Judith Cunningham
2 years ago

God Bless the Governor of Alabama and the Governor of Missouri and I pray that the Governors of every state will follow suit.

Grady Phillips
2 years ago

I totally agree !

The OLD Warhorse
2 years ago

To me, this is not complicated. Nearly every state will charge a shooter with murder if the bullet kills an unborn child, regardless of viability. IF that unborn child is a “person” for purposes of charging a shooter (or knifer, or bludgeoner, or beater), then that same unborn child is a “person” and has a “right to life”. Can’t have it both ways under the law, but today it IS. EVEN IN CALIFORNIA.

Sharon
2 years ago

God bless you, Gov Kay Ivey and thank you!!!

Grady Phillips
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon

I join in saying GOD BLESS YOU GOV KAY IVEY

T.T. Hunter
2 years ago

Where in the Constitution does it say ANYTHING about abortion—OR health care? Get the government out of all of these issues. Remember the idea of LESS GOVERNMENT?!?

John in Catonsville Maryland
2 years ago
Reply to  T.T. Hunter

It is a shame no one remembers the European gentlemen who wrote the constitution. They were so specific. We have strayed so far from their realistic ideas.

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