The following information regarding HB314 is provided by ALCAP Board Member and Alabama Pro-Life Coalition President, A. Eric Johnston.
HB314 was approved by the Alabama House as a bill to criminalize abortion by making it a Class A felony. However, when the bill reached the Senate Judiciary Committee, a rape and incest exception was added. It was subsequently removed by the Senate, but the bill will be debated on Tuesday by the Senate and the possibility exists that the amendment will be re-added.
The purpose of the bill is to save the lives of unborn children. It follows Amendment 2 to the Alabama Constitution approved by voters last November, that unborn children in Alabama are entitled to protection of its laws.
Roe v. Wade (1973) prohibits states from prohibiting or regulating abortion prior to viability, when the child can live outside the womb. Therefore, Amendment 2 and HB314 conflict with Roe. The purpose of the bill is to save unborn lives, but this cannot be done without a court challenge.
To do that, the prospective law cannot permit exceptions for rape and incest, which have been proposed. Regardless of the manner of conception, viz., consent, accidental, rape, incest, artificial insemination, all create a person.
We are approaching the issue on the basis of personhood. If the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, it could hold the unborn child to be a person entitled to protection under the U.S. Constitution. How could we then argue some people are not persons?
It is likely there will be an effort to add the rape and incest exception. HB314 must be passed without this exception. To do otherwise will kill the legislation and its goal of protecting unborn children. I believe this exception amendment is the strategy of our opponents to kill the bill.
If you believe the unborn child is a person, you must contact your Alabama Senator and ask him not to support the rape and incest exception. While this exception provokes strong emotions, it is not the child’s fault and his or her life should not be taken as a result of it. Senators need to know from their constituents that voting for the exception will be a vote to continue abortion in Alabama. They must vote no to the rape and incest exception and vote yes to the bill without that exception.
Click here to identify and contact your Senator. Complete the fields in “My Elected Officials.” This will give you their names, including the state Senator. Click on his name and it will give you contact information for him.
For some Senators, you will get an office number. Leave a message for the Senator to call you, but also leave a message that you want him/her to vote NO on the rape and incest exception and vote YES for final passage of HB314 without the amendments. If you have personal contacts, use those to contact a Senator.
All Senators need to be contacted. Encourage those who say they plan to vote against the amendment and vote for the bill. Those with whom we have not been able to connect, and thus we have not received commitments, include the following. They need special attention.
Tom Butler – Limestone and Madison Counties
Sam Givhan – Madison County
Garlan Gudger – Cullman, Lawrence, Marion and Winston Counties
Steve Livingston – DeKalb, Jackson and Madison Counties
Del Marsh – Calhoun and Talladega Counties
Jim McLendon – Shelby, St. Clair and Talladega Counties
Randy Price – Chambers, Clay, Cleburne, Lee and Randolph Counties
Clay Scofield – Blount, DeKalb, Madison and Marshall Counties
David Sessions – Mobile County
Cam Ward – Bibb, Chilton and Shelby Counties
Tom Whatley – Lee, Russell & Tallapoosa Counties
Jack Williams – Mobile County
Click here for a printable copy of this information.