Alabama’s Human Life Protection Act (HB314) was passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by Governor Ivey last week.
It is the strongest pro-life bill in the country which makes no distinction between consensual and forced sex. The state Senate approved it by a 25-6 vote with one abstention. The bill passed without exemptions in cases of rape and incest. The law will take effect in six months and includes very stiff prison sentences for medical professionals who violate provisions of the act.
Alabama is now the most pro-life state in the union. Some like that designation; some abhor it.
Republican Rep. Terri Collins from Decatur sponsored the bill which received national attention during the House deliberations. “This bill is about challenging Roe v. Wade and protecting the lives of the unborn, because an unborn baby is a person who deserves love and protection,” Collins said.
Since the bill includes the position that all unborn lives are sacred and created at conception, it can’t arbitrarily exclude a life created through an act of violence.
At the same time, it seems clear that anyone who voted for the bill as fashioned has neither been impregnated during a rape or incest event, nor had a daughter or granddaughter in that situation. A woman choosing to carry that baby to term deserves great admiration. And while she should be encouraged to do so, it will be a deeply emotional situation for years, even decades. It should be victim’s decision, NOT the state’s.
If the state is demanding that a woman goes through the nine months of pregnancy resulting from a documented rape, then the state should cover EVERY associated expense up to and including the birth.
In the cases of incest or rape, the Morning After pill also should be made available at no cost to those who file charges immediately.
Rep. John Rogers’ comments against the bill, “You can kill them now or kill them later,” drew national attention. However, he is correct in one aspect of his assessment. Some of these children will be unwanted.
So, now comes the real work. Assuming some ladies don’t bolt for abortions in another state, the number of live births in Alabama will start to increase in 15 months.
Ardent pro-lifers in Alabama have what they wanted. It is imperative that everyone step up and take some personal responsibility for these children now. Adopting or fostering one or more is the ideal solution. Those who can’t do that should do their part in other ways. Donations to children’s homes, groups that promotes adoptions, or other meaningful avenues are a must.