Alabama state Senators advanced a bill this week that would add the right to life for unborn babies into the Alabama Constitution.
The state Senate Health Committee approved the bill in a 8-2 vote, moving it to the full Senate for consideration, according to the Alabama Media Group. The measure passed the state House in March. If the bill passes the full Senate, the amendment also would have to be approved by voters on the 2018 ballot.
State Rep. Matt Fridy, who sponsored the bill, said the amendment would not make abortions illegal in Alabama immediately; it would protect unborn babies’ right to life in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned and the power to legislate abortion is returned to the states.
The amendment says:
“The 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.
“The state further acknowledges, declares and affirms that is the public policy of this state to ensure the protection of the rights of the unborn child, including the right to life.”
Local Planned Parenthood leaders blasted the legislation in March, saying it would “completely outlaw abortion.” Democrats in the House also expressed concerns about legal challenges, but Fridy said he does not think there will be a legal challenge because the amendment would prohibit abortions only if Roe v. Wade is overturned, according to the local news report.
Pro-lifers are hopeful that the U.S. Supreme Court eventually will overturn Roe v. Wade and restore the right to life to babies in the womb.
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President Donald Trump promised to nominate “pro-life” justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Vice President Mike Pence said those justices could pave the way to consign Roe to “the ash heap of history where it belongs.”
Trump recently nominated new U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch to the high court, and many pro-life groups lauded the nomination.
However, Trump would have to appoint several justices to the high court who are willing to overturn Roe and the Senate would have to confirm them before the infamous abortion decision has a chance of being reversed.
In January, the pro-abortion group NARAL predicted that 13 states have laws or constitutional provisions that immediately would ban abortions if the high court overturns Roe. According to the group, the states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and West Virginia.
However, this is just one of many estimates. In 2012, NARAL itself gave a different prediction, saying 17 states immediately would ban abortions if Roe is overturned. Attorney Paul Linton in the journal “Issues in Law and Medicine” estimated the number of states at somewhere between eight and 11.