Alabama Bill Would Ban All Abortions, Protect Unborn Babies From the Moment of Conception

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 29, 2019   |   3:15PM   |   Montgomery, AL

Alabama lawmakers may consider a bill to completely ban abortions next week.

Eric Johnston, president of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition, told WAAY 31 News that he believes now is the time to challenge Roe v. Wade with legislation that protects unborn babies’ right to life.

He is working on a bill that would ban abortions through the state homicide statute by recognizing that human life deserves to be protected from the moment of conception, according to

“We’ve never introduced a bill [in Alabama] that would outlaw abortion because it didn’t seem a reasonable thing to do,” Johnston said.

In November, however, Alabama voters approved a state constitutional amendment that affirms the rights of unborn children. It states that Alabama’s public policy will “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.”

Johnston said the amendment is one of the reasons why he decided to write his bill. He said he hopes to introduce it to the legislature next Tuesday. It does not have a sponsor yet, according to the local news.

“For the first time in 46 years there’s a reasonable belief that Roe v. Wade could be reversed. That right now is the time,” Johnston said.

However, the American Civil Liberties Union said it will sue the state if the bill passes. The pro-abortion legal group is involved in multiple lawsuits challenging abortion restrictions across the country.

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Whether the bill would withstand a legal challenge remains uncertain. Even some pro-life advocates express the concerns about the strategy of such legislation, because when states lose these battles, taxpayers often are forced to pay pro-abortion groups’ legal fees.

Abortion groups have succeeded in overturning similar laws in court. In 2012, the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a personhood bill as unconstitutional because it recognized unborn babies as human beings who deserve the right to life.

When considering a similar Missouri statute in 1989, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist ruled that the statute was nothing more than a statement of position that had no bearing on banning abortions or even limiting them in any way.

Missouri had approved a statute saying, “the life of each human being begins at conception” and “unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and well-being.” The statute required that all Missouri state laws be interpreted to provide unborn children with rights equal to those enjoyed by other persons.

There is more hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain – especially after Chief Justice John Roberts recently sided with the liberal justices on an abortion case.