On Tuesday, the Alabama House of Representatives voted 74-3 to pass House Bill 314, the "Human Life Protection Act," which would outlaw all abortions unless the mother’s life is in danger. Supporters of the bill, which is headed to the state Senate, envision it as a means to force the United States Supreme Court to reconsider its verdict in 1973’s Roe v. Wade.
AL.com reported, “The bill would make it a Class A felony for a doctor to perform an abortion and a Class C felony for attempting to perform an abortion unless there is a serious health risk to the mother.” CBS News pointed out, “That means that a doctor caught performing abortions in the state would face up to 99 years in prison under the proposed law.”
The bill states:
This state's statute criminalizing abortion, Section 13A-13-7, Code of Alabama 1975, has never been repealed. It has remained unenforceable as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 and its progeny, which struck down as unconstitutional a Texas statute criminalizing abortion and which effectively repealed by implication and made unenforceable all other state statutes criminalizing abortion.
On November 6, 2018, electors in this state approved by a majority vote a constitutional amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 declaring and affirming the public policy of the state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children. The amendment made it clear that the Constitution of Alabama of does not include a right to an abortion or require the funding of abortions using public funds.
The bill adds:
Abortion advocates speak to women's rights, but they ignore the unborn child, while medical science has increasingly recognized the humanity of the unborn child. Recent medical advances prove a baby's heart starts to heartbeat fetal Doppler can detect a fetal heartbeat as early as 13 weeks.”
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.
Republican Rep. Terri Collins of Decatur stated bluntly, "The heart of this bill is to confront a decision that was made by the courts in 1973 that said the baby in the womb is not a person. This bill addresses that one issue. Is that baby in the womb a person? I believe our law says it is."
Democrats did not have enough votes to stop the bill; they walked off the floor before the vote was taken.
Democrats wanted to amend the bill to include exceptions for rape and incest. Republicans voted 72-26 to table that amendment, arguing that such an amendment would hinder their chances of overturning Roe. Tuscaloosa Republican Rep. Rich Wingo said, "In Tuscaloosa, Alabama there are more murders, more abortions than anywhere in the state of Alabama. 3500 average per year take place right on River Road. There are more abortions in Tuscaloosa than there are births … It’s time for Alabama to lead for once." He added, “I believe this chamber, this body, will never make a greater decision than today ... protecting the life of an unborn child.”