Alabama Amendment Would Affirm That Unborn Babies Have a Right to Life

State   Micaiah Bilger   Oct 10, 2018   |   5:50PM    Montgomery, AL

Pro-abortion groups are fighting against an Alabama ballot measure that asks voters if the state constitution should affirm the rights of unborn babies.

Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups launched a campaign this week to stop the pro-life amendment, according to AL.com. They said the amendment eventually could lead to an end to abortions in Alabama if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, Advocates for Youth and other pro-abortion groups created a PAC, Alabama for Healthy Families, to campaign against the amendment, according to the report. So far, they have raised almost $800,000, the report states.

Amendment 2 will be on the ballot in November. The proposed constitutional amendment will ask voters to “affirm that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, most importantly the right to life in all manners and measures appropriate and lawful.” The amendment also will guarantee that “the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”

State Rep. Matt Fridy, a pro-life Republican, previously said he had the future in mind when he proposed the amendment, according to the local news. He said he was thinking about Tennessee where the state Supreme Court ruled that a woman has a “right” to abortion under the state constitution.

That ruling made it basically impossible for Tennessee lawmakers to pass even moderate abortion regulations, such as parental consent for minors or a ban on taxpayer-funded abortions. In 2014, Tennessee voters approved a ballot measure to amend their constitution to make it clear there is no right to abortion.

Fridy said he wants to prevent the same potential court trouble in Alabama.

Abortion activists contend that the amendment could prohibit all abortions in the state, even in cases of rape, incest and threats to the mother’s life – but pro-lifers say that is not accurate.

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“Amendment 2 would pave the way to ban abortions without exception in the state of Alabama regardless of if someone’s a victim of rape or incest or if the mother’s life were in danger,” said Katie Glenn, state director of Planned Parenthood Southeast.

But pro-life advocates told the news outlet that this is not true:

Parker Snider, policy relations manager for the Alabama Policy Institute, which supports Amendment 2, said the amendment would not preclude exceptions to an abortion ban if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

“That is not a fair description of the amendment,” Snider said in an email. “Exceptions, such as when the life of the mother is threatened would be worked out in the state legislature as they create pro-life legislation.”

West Virginians will vote on a similar state constitutional amendment in November. The amendment would make it easier for the state to pass pro-life laws, including a restriction on taxpayer funding for abortions. Because of a state Supreme Court ruling, West Virginia taxpayers are required to fund elective abortions for low-income women through Medicaid.