Alabama Governor Signs Abortion Bill, Saying Supreme Court Should 'Revisit' Roe v. Wade
On Wednesday evening, Gov. Kay Ivey (R-Ala.) signed H.B. 314, the Human Life Protection Act, a bill that outlaws abortion in all cases except a serious health risk to the mother's life, an ectopic pregnancy, or a lethal anomaly in the child. The bill seems a direct challenge to the Supreme Court ruling striking down Alabama's original abortion law in Roe v. Wade (1973). In signing the bill, Ivey declared that "it is time" for the Court to reconsider.
"Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur," Ivey said in a statement on signing the bill.
"In all meaningful respects, this bill closely resembles an abortion ban that has been a part of Alabama law for well over 100 years. As today’s bill itself recognizes, that longstanding abortion law has been rendered 'unenforceable as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade,'" Ivey added. Similarly, the newly signed bill will likely remain unenforceable, unless the Supreme Court strikes down Roe.
Earlier on Wednesday, reporters asked Ivey whether or not she would be willing to champion the law, even if it meant a long court battle for the state. "You certainly cannot deter your efforts to protect the unborn because of costs, even if it means going straight to the United States Supreme Court," she said.
At that time, she refused to say whether or not she would sign the bill, but she insisted that "all human life is precious."
In signing the bill, Ivey noted that "to the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God."
The newly signed law cites the Declaration of Independence, which presents the natural law claim that "all men are created equal." The bill argues, "the self-evident truth found in natural law, that all human beings are equal from creation, was at least one of the bases for the anti-slavery movement, the women's suffrage movement, the Nuremberg war crimes trials, and the American civil rights movement. If those movements had not been able to appeal to the truth of universal human equality, they could not have been successful."
The bill faults abortion advocates for speaking "to women's rights" but ignoring "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 beat around six weeks. At about eight weeks, the heartbeat can be heard through an ultrasound examination," the bill explains. "Ultrasound imaging shows the developing child in utero. As early as six weeks after fertilization, fetal photography shows the clear development of a human being."
Powerfully, the bill compares the death tolls of horrific evils throughout history to the death toll of abortion in the U.S. Between the Holocaust, Stalin's gulags, the Chinese "Great Leap Forward," the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and the Rwandan Genocide — horrific evils that claimed the lives of between 14 and 15.5 million people.
"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," the bill declares.
Democrats running for president in 2020 rushed to condemn the bill on Wednesday, defending the killing of unborn babies in the womb in the name of "science" and "women's health."
On the contrary, abortion kills a human being (with unique human DNA and a heartbeat after six weeks gestation) and does psychological and spiritual damage to the mother. This practice damages women's health, even if it expands their options. Yet the women who choose this option are not necessarily free. Tragically, nearly 75 percent of the post-abortive women surveyed said their decision to abort was subject to pressure from others — parents, boyfriends, or husbands. More than 58 percent said they aborted their baby to make others happy.
While Democrats have condemned the bill as an assault on women's rights, the bill was sponsored by a woman, State Rep. Terri Collins, and signed by a woman, Gov. Kay Ivey. Another woman, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser celebrated the bill as a "landmark victory." Many pro-life groups, like LiveAction, are run by women, like Lila Rose, who noted that fact on Twitter.
Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director and employee of the year, has led hundreds of women to leave the abortion giant. The powerful film Unplanned tells her story.
This bill is a victory for the unborn, for women who are often pressured into abortions that do them harm, and for Americans concerned about the horrific injustice of killing the most vulnerable humans among us. If this bill goes to the Supreme Court, it will challenge Roe v. Wade and could finally enable states to have their own laws on abortion. It is long past time the outdated Roe v. Wade decision is consigned to the ash heap of history.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.