This week, the state of Alabama successfully passed a bill that demands the protection of human fetal development if a heartbeat is detected during gestation. Its passage is step one in testing the constitutional validity of the “right” to participate in elective abortions. Many lies are surrounding what the bill truly enforces, and many are using misleading verbiage to strike fear into an emotionally vulnerable public.
The bill is signed, and it can be foreseen that it will be tested by the circuit courts, appealed, and will eventually be brought before the Supreme Court. Here, the law will stand in absolute noncooperation with 1973’s Roe v. Wade. The probability of the Supreme Court’s historical position being overturned has just been raised. Doing so would do one simple thing: It would allow each state in the Union to choose for themselves whether to provide the elective procedure or not.
The bill will criminalize doctors who illegally perform elective abortions:
Section 6. (a) An abortion performed in violation of this act is a Class A felony. (b) An attempted abortion performed in violation of this act is a Class C felony.
The bill will NOT criminalize a woman who has had an elective abortion preformed on her:
Section 5. No woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to be performed shall be criminally or civilly liable. Furthermore, no physician confirming the serious health risk to the child's mother shall be criminally or civilly liable for those actions.
The bill gives medical exemptions for having a Dilation and Evacuation procedure, such as:
“ECTOPIC PREGNANCY, LETHAL ANOMALY, MEDICAL EMERGENCY, SERIOUS HEALTH RISK TO THE UNBORN CHILD'S MOTHER.”
The recent falsehoods asserted include the possible criminalization for women who have elective abortions. This is unequivocally false. Furthermore, it is also asserted that if a woman has a miscarriage, and she cannot prove she didn’t have an abortion she could be criminalized. Again, this is unequivocally false. The bill clearly and succinctly states that women will not be criminalized for having an abortion.
This doesn’t keep women from seeking abortion procedures in neighboring or abortion practicing states.
Those that oppose the bill will claim religious fundamentalism, fascist rule, toxic masculinity, anti-constitutionality, ethnic privilege, science denial, or hatred for women are the root inspirations for this law. They have overplayed their hand on this issue. The truth is that there are two competing definitions for human life. Due to the advancement of technology, the expansion of access to information, and the reversing of social trends, one definition of human life is being used to prevail over an outdated characterization of what was considered a form of human life.
The necessary debate for the preservation of pre-born human life is not a Republican verses Democrat one; it is a right versus wrong debate. If one cannot reaffirm their argument with empirical and coherent evidence, the assertion is unfounded. There is no need to conflate fear and persuasion.
Something phenomenal has been won with this cultural change. Now, we have to be prepared to it defend it to its next stage of significance.
By: Rosemary Dewar