MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama House of Representatives has advanced a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would declare the public policy of Alabama as supporting the right to life for for the unborn.
House Bill 98 was introduced by Rep. Matt Fridy, R-Montevallo, who says that the amendment is needed in the event that the Supreme Court ever sends the issue of abortion back to the states.
“The purpose of the bill is to ensure that the Alabama Constitution is never interpreted to provide for rights to an abortion of public funding for abortion,” he told AL.com
However, Fridy also noted that the legislation would not immediately make abortion illegal in the state—it would only have sway if the courts gave power back to the states on the matter. Some pro-life Americans don’t believe that states should wait for an overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“This bill does not impact the interpretation of federal law,” Fridy stated. “It restricts our state Supreme Court, or any other court of our state, from finding in the constitution of Alabama a right to an abortion.”
“This state acknowledges, declares, and affirms that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life,” H.B. 98 reads in part. “Nothing in this constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”
The bill, if passed, would authorize the matter to then go up for a vote on the state election ballot.
State Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, expressed opposition to the legislation, asserting that pro-lifers are only pro-birth and do not care about children after they are born.
“You’re always focusing on the fetus, but once that child is born, you don’t want to expand Medicaid, you want to cut back on food stamps, you don’t want to invest in education. Child abuse is on the rise. Nothing involving children is on the agenda except abortion. That’s hypocrisy to me,” Todd, a lesbian, asserted.
However, the measure passed the House overwhelmingly 67-14 on Thursday and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
As previously reported, in December, the Alabama Supreme Court declared that unborn children are human beings whether or not at the point of viability and therefore are entitled to legal protection. The ruling centered on a woman’s wrongful death lawsuit against an OB/GYN accused of contributing to the death of her unborn child.
The court largely based its decision on an amendment in Alabama’s Homicide Act, which “changed the definition of a ‘person’ who could be a victim of homicide to include ‘an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability.”
“Unborn children, whether they have reached the ability to survive outside their mother’s womb or not, are human beings and thus persons entitled to the protections of the law—both civil and criminal,” also read a concurrence from Justice Thomas Parker. “It should be all the more intolerable in Alabama, where the express, emphatic public policy of our state is to uphold the value of unborn life.”
“Members of the judicial branch of Alabama should do all within their power to dutifully ensure that the laws of Alabama are applied equally to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, both born and unborn,” he said.