by Steven Ertelt
February 23, 2007
Montgomery, AL (LifeNews.com) — According to a new survey of state legislators taken by the Associated Press, a majority favor an upcoming proposal that would amend the state constitution to say that life begins at conception. Some say its a measure that could eventually lead to legislation prohibiting abortions.
The AP survey found 62 percent of lawmakers in the House and 58 percent in the Senate say they would support such an amendment, which state voters would also have to approve.
Two legislators told AP they plan to introduce legislation during the session that would prohibit abortions.
State Sen. Hank Erwin, a Republican, will propose a constitutional amendment that would limit all abortions except in very rare cases to save the life of the mother. Rep. Gerald Allen, also a GOP lawmaker, has a similar proposal that would ban all abortions except to save the mother’s life or in cases of rape or incest.
Erwin also indicated he would likely introduce the measure stating life begins at conception.
"It would be a first step. When you define life as beginning at conception you are forced to look at all the applications of that concept and you have to deal with the issue of abortion," Erwin told AP.
Birmingham attorney Eric Johnston, the president of the Alabama Pro Life Coalition, says the proposal on life beginning at conception would put the state in the position to ban abortions of the Supreme Court ever reversed the Roe v. Wade decision and allowed states to decide on abortion.
"It would give us a constitutional provision that an unborn child is a person," he told AP, but said he wasn’t sure if the House and Senate would vote on it.
The bills come after the state health department received approval for some new rules governing abortion facilities after inspectors found health and safety violations at four different abortion businesses.