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Alabama House of Representatives Passes Four Pro-Life Bills

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, the Alabama House of Representative passed four pieces of Pro-Life legislation aimed at reducing the number of abortions performed in the State of Alabama.

Republicans in the House easily brushed aside filibusters of the legislation from Alabama’s outnumbered Democrat House minority.

Rep. Ed Henry (R) from Decatur said on Facebook, “All 4 Pro-Life bills have passed. The opposition just ran out of steam.”

In a low point in the lengthy filibuster, Rep. Alvin Holmes charged that 99% of Republicans present would make their daughters’ abort if the child were sired by a Black man.  Holmes has become something of a national celebrity after he called U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an ‘Uncle Tom’ and criticized him for marrying a White woman on the floor of the House.  These new remarks could earn Holmes yet another segment on Sean Hannity’s Fox News cable television program.

During the debate, Rep. Mack Butler (R) from Rainbow City said on Facebook, “Today we are truly fighting for those with no voice! Being a father is by far the greatest blessing in life!”

First the House passed HB 489.  HB 489 is sponsored by Rep. Ed Henry (R) from Decatur.  Henry said that his bill requires that a woman who wishes to have an abortion must be notified of the risk of having an abortion and that that waiting period be extended from 24 hours to 48 hours.

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Rep. Henry said that HB 489 will require a 48 hour waiting period between when a women receives information about the risk of an abortion and when she actually has the abortion. “This is a decision that will likely affect her the rest of her life and most assuredly effect the life of her unborn child. We have states in this union that require 48hrs waiting period before getting a tattoo or buying a gun, is killing an unborn child not more serious,” Henry said.  Typically a woman planning an abortion phones an abortion clinic to set an appointment.  The clinic then mails the woman a packet of materials.  The 48 hour waiting period begins from the time that she signs for that certified letter.

In a heated exchange on the House floor, Rep. Darrio Melton (D) from Selma said to Henry, “Sounds like you are not intelligent enough to deal with questions about your own bill.”  Then followed that with, “Me and my wife did not have an abortion,” referencing Rep. Henry’s admission that his first child was killed in an abortion.

Rep. John Knight (D) from Montgomery intervened and asked the Speaker to invoke rule 52.  Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R) from Auburn agreed and said, “Yes.  Melton stop interrogating Mr. Henry.  This is not an interrogation. And Mr. Henry stop being flippant with your answers.”
Despite the lengthy verbal fireworks the bill passed the House 76 to 23.

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HB 493 was sponsored by Rep. Kurt Wallace from Maplesville.  Rep. Wallace said that the Perinatal Hospice Information Act would require that a family that finds out that their child has been diagnosed with a fetal abnormality be given information about Perinatal Hospice and requires a 48 waiting period before that child can be aborted.  HB493 informs a woman whose unborn child has a lethal fetal anomaly of perinatal hospice services.  The bill passed the House of Representatives 73 to 24.

The Alabama House also passed HB 490, the Fetal Heartbeat Act, sponsored by state Representative Mary Sue McClurkin (R) from Indian Springs.  Rep. McClurkin said that the legislation, “Would make it unlawful for a physician to perform an abortion on a pregnant woman if a heartbeat is detected on an unborn child.”  The bill also requires that abortion clinic keep documentation showing that the fetal heartbeat test was performed.  The Fetal Heart Beat bill passed the House of Representatives 73 to 29.

Some Democrats complained that Republicans were costing the state tax dollars defending these pieces of legislation in court.  Rep. Butler replied on Facebook, “They keep saying these bills will wind up in court! That’s exactly what needs to happen. That is how we get Roe V Wade overturned.”

The House also passed HB 494, which strengthens Alabama’s parental consent law.  The bill was sponsored by Representative Mike Jones (R) from Andalusia.  Rep. Jones said, “This bill deals with parental consent which has already been upheld by the courts.”  HB494 toughens parental consent requirements for minors seeking an abortion.”

All four bills now go to the Alabama Senate.

The Alabama House Republican Caucus said in a written statement that House Republicans are, “Proving once again that we are dedicated to continuing our four-year record of defending the Right to Life in Alabama.”

The Alabama Right to Life Movement is kicking off their 40 days for life effort on Wednesday, March 5.

The Christian Coalition of Alabama announced that they,

“Will be marching and supporting the 40 Days For Life March in Huntsville, Alabama on March 8, 2014.  Participants in the march will assemble at 204 Lowe Avenue on the corner of Lowe and Green at 10:00 am and begin the march at 10:30 am.  This year’s march will be extended a few blocks marching past the abortion facility, then looping around the block to the West back to the vigil site at Madison and Lowe across from the AL Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives.   This march is dedicated to the memory of faithful Pro-Life prayer warrior Deacon Ron Puent of Good Shepherd parish, who passed away recently.  A Respect Life Mass will be held in advance of the march at St. Mary of the Visitation Catholic Church, 222 Jefferson St. North, at 8:30am.”

Similar efforts will be taking place in Birmingham, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, and Mobile.

Alabama Citizens for Life announced on their web site that: “40 Days for Life Vigils will take place in 306 cities from coast to coast in North America — and in eight other countries around the world. We are blessed to have so many faithful prayer warriors taking a stand for life and being a voice for the voiceless.”

For more information visit their website.

 

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Elections

Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels endorses Mike Bloomberg for president

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Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels announced his endorsement of Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg today, 4 days ahead of Alabama’s primary election on Super Tuesday. Daniels joins State Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton and Black Caucus Chair Representative A.J. McCampbell in support of Mike. In his endorsement, Rep. Daniels cited Mike’s work taking on tough fights on health care, public education, and supporting small businesses.

“We need a president who has a proven record of bringing people together to tackle the tough challenges we face in this country, and I can’t think of anyone better to do that than Mike Bloomberg,” said Rep. Daniels. “Not only is Mike the best positioned to take on Trump, but he has also proven he can deliver on his promises to make this country better for all. Alabamians should know that when I head to the polls this Tuesday, I’ll be proudly casting my vote for Mike Bloomberg.”

Rep. Anthony Daniels represents the 53rd District in the Alabama State House of Representatives, where, since 2017, he has served as minority leader. Rep. Daniels received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Alabama A&M University. A former public school teacher and small business owner, Daniels is known for championing innovative education programs, like the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering, that prepare young people for promising careers, cultivate homegrown talent, and drive economic growth. Under his leadership, the House Democratic Caucus has made significant strides in addressing key issues like support for cradle-to-Pre-K programs, proven workforce development, and job readiness initiatives, and bringing broadband access to rural areas. They have also succeeded in preventing the passage of partisan legislation that hurts working families.

“Alabamians know how important this election is for the future of our country, and that’s why they’re supporting Mike Bloomberg, a doer and not a talker with a record of not shying away from tough fights,” said Bradley Davidson, Mike Bloomberg 2020 Alabama State Advisor. “We’re honored to have the support of Rep. Daniels, a respected leader in Alabama and beyond, and we look forward to working together with him to get Mike elected.”

Mike Bloomberg will return to Alabama on Sunday, March 1 to participate in the 55th annual Selma bridge crossing to commemorate Bloody Sunday. Additionally, Bloomberg visited Montgomery earlier this month for an organizing event and to speak at the 60th annual Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) Convention, the Alabama Democratic Party’s largest Black caucus. He later received the endorsement of the group.

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Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Warren to travel to Selma

Brandon Moseley

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Sunday, Presidential candidates former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, and U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesoata, will travel to Alabama where they will participate in the events commemorating the attempted crossing of the Edmund Pettus bridge by voting rights marchers during the Civil Rights movement;

Bloomberg will participate in the 55th annual Selma bridge crossing to commemorate Bloody Sunday. In the morning, Bloomberg will attend Brown Chapel AME Church for morning worship with congregants and deliver remarks before joining Civil Rights and community leaders to participate in the bridge crossing reenactment.

Elizabeth Warren will participate in the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee Pre-March Rally, the Annual Bloody Sunday March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and the Presidential Candidate Forum hosted by the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation and The Bridge Crossing Jubilee.

Mayor Buttigieg will participate in the bridge crossing reenactment. This is Buttigieg’s second visit to Alabama. He previously participated in a healthcare round table and visited with volunteers in Montgomery.

This is Mike’s third visit to Alabama since announcing his campaign for president. Mike was in Montgomery earlier this month for an organizing event and to speak at the 60th annual Alabama Democratic Conference (ADC) Convention, the Alabama Democratic Party’s largest Black caucus. He received the endorsement of the group.

This will be Elizabeth’s second trip to Alabama. By Sunday, she will have traveled to 30 states and Puerto Rico since launching her presidential campaign.

Mike Bloomberg and Joe Biden will attend Worship and Provide Brief Remarks at Brown Chapel AME Church at 10:00 a.m. CST. The Church is at: 410 Martin Luther King St, Selma, AL 36703.

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Elizabeth Warren will attend the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee Pre-March Rally will be at 1:30 p.m. at Brown Chapel AME Church; 410 Martin Luther King St., Selma, AL 36703.

The annual Bloody Sunday March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge will be at 2:30 p.m. CST beginning at Brown Chapel AME Church. Warren, Buttigieg, and Bloomberg are all committed to attend the bridge crossing reenactment.

Warren has committed to attend the Presidential Candidate Forum is hosted by the Selma-to-Montgomery March Foundation and The Bridge Crossing Jubilee. That event will be at 4:00 p.m. (estimated) and will be held at the George Corley Wallace State Community College; 3000 Earl Goodwin Pkwy, Selma, AL 36703.

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Organizers have confirmed that Amy Klobuchar is committed to attend; but were not sure which events she will participate in.

The crossing of the Edmund Pettus bridge and the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March were key events in the Civil Rights Movement that led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The Alabama Democratic Presidential primary will be on Tuesday, March 3. Polls open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.

 

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Doug Jones praises end of state Democratic Party lawsuit

Eddie Burkhalter

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U.S. Senator Doug Jones, D-Alabama, on Thursday applauded the end of a lawsuit over control of the state Democratic party. 

Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by former Alabama Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy Worley, which means that state Rep. Chris England, who was picked to lead the state Democratic party by a reform group championed by Jones, is the party’s chair. 

“This is a great day for Alabama and her Democratic Party. Throughout much of last year, countless Democrats in our state worked to create a more open and diverse state party, while recognizing and being true to the crucial and historic role held by African-American voters,” Jones said in a statement Thursday.

“The by-laws of the Alabama Democratic Party now reflect the growing diversity in our state — including representation for Hispanic voters, Native American voters, Asian voters, voters with disabilities and voters from the LGBTQ community. And most importantly, the Alabama Democratic Party has dramatically increased leadership opportunities for young voters. Around 70 new caucus members were added to the state party Executive Committee last year—many of them young people from diverse backgrounds throughout the state. I’m proud to continue to work alongside a more unified, diverse and inclusive state party. 

“With the dismissal of this lawsuit, it is time that all who have been involved in this challenge, resolution, and expansion of the Democratic Party come together for a common good. Our state benefits from the ideas and engagement of a competitive two-party system. We have now demonstrated that we have the ability to be inclusive within our own party while working to expand the number and experiences of people who play a role in moving it forward.  

“Chairman Chris England and First Vice Chair Patricia Todd have my complete support and I call on Democrats throughout the state to unite behind them as we move forward in modernizing, re-invigorating, and expanding the Alabama Democratic Party.,” Jones said.

 

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ACLU of Alabama condemns bill banning transgender treatment for minors

Jessa Reid Bolling

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alabama has condemned a recently approved bill to prevent doctors from providing hormone replacement therapy or puberty suppressing drugs to people younger than 19 who identify as transgender.

House Bill 303, the Alabama Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, would make it a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, for doctors to prescribe puberty-blocking medications or opposite gender hormones to minors. The legislation would also ban hysterectomy, mastectomy or castration surgeries from being performed on minors.

The Alabama House Health Committee and the Senate Health Committee approved the bill on Wednesday in separate hearings, both drawing overflow crowds. The committee approval moves the bill in line for consideration by the full House. 

The ACLU of Alabama said in a statement that the bill targets transgender youth and puts their academic success and health in danger. 

“Transgender girls are girls, and transgender boys are boys,” said Dillon Nettles, policy analyst at the ACLU of Alabama. “Alabama lawmakers are considering legislation that runs counter to medical science, prevailing standards for the treatment of transgender youth and basic human dignity.

“The government shouldn’t threaten medical providers with jail for treating transgender kids and schools shouldn’t discriminate against them when it comes to participation in school sports. HB303 and HB35 are dangerous, discriminatory and put kids at risk.”

Multiple women’s sports advocacy organizations, including The National Women’s Law Center, the Women’s Sports Foundation and Women Leaders in College Sports, support trans-inclusive policies and oppose efforts to exclude transgender students from participating in sports.

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A June 2019 report from the Trevor Project on mental health issues among LGBTQ youth across the United States found that 78 percent of transgender and non-binary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity in the past year. The report also found that 39 percent of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the last year, with more than half of transgender and non-binary youth having seriously considered. 

The Trevor Project is a non-profit organization that focuses on suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBTQ youth. 

This is the second bill in the State House this year dealing with transgender youth. 

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Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, is sponsoring House Bill 35, titled the Gender Is Real Legislative Act, or GIRL Act. It would require student athletes in K-12 schools to participate as the gender listed on their birth certificate, preventing transgender athletes from competing as the gender they identify as.

 

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