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Pro-Life and Pro-Choice Offer Differing Views on Bills’ Passage

Brandon Moseley

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By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

On Tuesday, February 4 the Alabama House of Representatives passed four bills aimed at better regulating abortions which are performed in the State of Alabama.  Pro-Life groups praised passage of the landmark legislation while abortion supporters denounced the legislation that was spearheaded by the Alabama House Republican Caucus.

Alabama Citizens for Life said in a written statement that they, “…are thankful to Republican Majority Leader Speaker Mike Hubbard for the Alabama State House today’s passage of 4 prolife bills.”

Meanwhile, the Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Southeast, Nikema Williams, said in her statement, “These bills reflect an extreme and out-of-touch agenda that does nothing to make women healthier.”

The Executive Director of the ACLU of Alabama, Susan Watson, said of the passage of the abortion bills in the State House of Representatives,  “Although the fetal heartbeat bill is the most controversial, it should be noted that all of the bills present grave consequences to women.”

Director Watson said, “All of these bills are another attempt by politicians to own a woman’s body. Reproductive health choices should only be made by the woman, her doctor, her family and her faith—not by the opinions and faiths of unqualified elected officials.  They’re not in the exam room and each woman’s story is different.”

One of the Bills passed by the House was 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.”

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Alabama Citizens for Life said in their statement,

“Parental consent legislation closes a loophole that has made Alabama an embarrassment since several video expose’ of sexual abuse cover up in Birmingham was discovered…The now temporarily closed Planned Parenthood abortion mill in Birmingham’s director was caught on audio tape by Lila Rose who posed as an underage minor seeking an abortion asked that her parents not find out. To which the Planned Parenthood employee replied they could ‘bend the rules’ meaning not even notify much less receive parental consent.  This consistent disregard for alabama parental rights laws also showed up in ADPH surveys where none of the minor girls charts had parental consent forms signed by a parent.”  Lila Rose, who was portraying to be a 14year old girl pregnant by a 31 year old boyfriend.  Center staff suggested that someone other than a parent or legal guardian could give consent for a minor to have an abortion.”

Cheryl Ciamarra, the ACLs Board Director to the national right to life committee said, “This common sense amendment will begin to put into effect the original intent of the law when passed in the late 90’s.”

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Planned Parenthood complained, “HB 494 would add significant barriers to services for minors for whom it may be difficult or even dangerous to discuss sexuality with their parents.”

HB 493, sponsored by Rep. Kurt Wallace (R) from Maplesville, 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.

Rep. Kurt Wallace said on Facebook, “Woooo Hoooo! It was great day for the unborn children in the great State of Alabama tonight! All four of the Pro-Life bills easily passed the House and are now headed for the Senate. As most of you know, I carried HB493, the Perinatal Hospice Information Act, it passed by a margin of 73 – 24.”

The House also passed HB 489, sponsored by Rep. Ed Henry (R) from Decatur, the 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.

“Forcing a woman to wait even longer before she receives medical care does nothing to improve her health,” said Nikema Williams.

Alabama Citizens for Life said that their, “Primary objective for legislation has always been public education on life issues particularly giving objective information to those mothers considering an abortion decision.  ACL would like The women’s right to know amendment to include the mothers be given a list of where they could obtain a free ultrasound.  Seeing their actual babies face is the most objective information possible.  Sidewalk counselors report women are not being given the ADPH. Developed booklets with the baby development stages, which is why we have proposed a website so women can see that information in the privacy of their own homes while they consider their options.”

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.

Planned Parenthood argued that, “HB 490 would restrict abortion on pregnancies as early as 6 weeks — long before some women even realize they are pregnant.”

Bill Klein, the President of Alabama citizens for life said that he is especially pleased with the heartbeat bill! although he would like to see the exception for fetal anomalies amendment which was added by Joe Hubbard in the House Health Committee removed in the Senate as disabled babies lives deserve respect and should not be discriminated against.  Every innocent human life is precious and one life isn’t worth less than another due to perceived quality of life issues.

Susan Watson said, “We may not all feel the same about abortion, but it is important that we support a woman’s health and well-being.”

Ms. Williams said, “These bad bills put obstacle after obstacle between a woman and her doctor.  They waste taxpayer’s money and our legislator’s time. Our elected officials should be championing health care for Alabamians — not restricting it.”

Watson said, “On another note, when it comes down to litigation, it is going to cost the State dearly.  We can’t fix the conditions and over-crowding in our prisons; improve our schools; or even give teachers the raises that the governor is really fighting for.  If we can’t afford such simple things that effect hundreds of thousands of Alabamians, how can the State afford lawsuits of this magnitude?  Economically, it would be disastrous.  It’s callous and reckless behavior that proves that politician’s aren’t conscious of Alabama citizens or the financial catastrophe that this state is in.”

Rep. Butler said 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.”

Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R) from Auburn said in a written statement, “As long as liberal Supreme Court justices hold up Roe V. Wade as the law of the land, we will dare defend the right to life in Alabama. And what a difference four years makes. With a Republican Majority, we have reversed course and right to life legislation is not only prioritized it is passed.”  Hubbard vowed that the House Republican Caucus, “Will continue our efforts to advance the culture of life in our great State.

 

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Aerospace and Defense

Jones criticized for voting to limit Trump’s war powers authority

Brandon Moseley

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Thursday, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Alabama) voted in favor of S.J.Res.68, a resolution which directs the removal of United States military from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran that have not been authorized by Congress. Jones has been criticized by Republicans for voting to limit President Donald J. Trump’s war powers on Iran.

“Before a President can lead us into war, he or she must first earn the support of the American people and also fulfill their solemn constitutional obligation to seek approval from Congress,” Sen. Jones said in a statement. “While the President has the power to protect Americans in the case of an imminent attack, that authority does not extend to committing our service members to long-term hostilities unilaterally. This resolution sends a strong message that we will follow the Constitution and we will not send our troops into harm’s way without the serious consideration and consent of the Congress.”

Trump Victory National Finance Committee member Perry O. Hooper Jr. released a statement in response.

“Senator Jones once again turned his back on Alabama and voted as the leftwing Democrats commanded. He has no regard for the values, opinions or views of Alabamians,” Hooper said. “He sees us as deplorables just like the elites of the Democratic party who have funded 80 percent of his doomed campaign for re-election.:

Hooper stated, “I whole heartily support the President who stated ‘We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness… If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal. The Democrats are only doing this as an attempt to embarrass the Republican Party.’”

“The Commander-in-chief must be free to work with his staff and his military leaders to conduct covert operations like the one that eliminated Iran’s terrorist-in-chief General Soleimani,” Hooper added. “You can’t micromanage the war on terrorism. The Democrats in Congress are so filled with Trump Derangement Syndrome that no matter how much it would benefit our country and the world; they would never give Trump a “victory”. If it came down to it, they would leak everything to the media no matter what the consequences.”

Senator Jones is a cosponsor of the legislation and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Eight moderate Republicans voted with the Democrats on the resolution.

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Senator Jones has also been criticized by Republicans for his comments that he was “appalled” by Pres. Trump’s actions following his acquittal on both Articles of Impeachment.

“Newsflash for Senator Doug Jones: Most Alabamians have been appalled by his actions his entire time in office,” former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “It’s about time we send Doug home, and replace him with someone who understands our values. Alabamians deserve a Senator they can be proud of again.”

Sessions is a candidate for the Republican nomination for Jones’ Senate seat.

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The Republican primary will be on March 3.

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Moore says the Constitution is under God’s laws

Brandon Moseley

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Saturday, Senate candidate former Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) presented his views on the Constitution and the sovereignty of God to attendees of the Conservative Leadership Conference in Florence.

“The form of government is both the Declaration and the Constitution,” Judge Moore said.

Moore argued that the rights granted to the citizens in the Bill of Rights do not come from the Constitution itself; but rather from God and the Constitution is there to protect those rights that God has ordained.

“The Constitution is the supreme law of the land; but the Constitution is under the rule of God,” Moore stated. “We as Americans, as Republicans as Democrats should go back to the Constitution.”

“Democrats are trying to move us toward a socialist government,” Moore warned. “The same people who want to take our guns away want to take prayer out of schools.”

“Most Christians do not understand the Ten Commandments,” Moore said. The first four are the duties that we owe to God and the last six are the duties that we owe to each other.

Moore quoted from Washington, Blackstone, and the 1954 legislation that inserted “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Moore said that Project Birmingham used Russian style tactics to undermine the support for Roy Moore and build up support for Doug Jones. Moore also blamed Richard Shelby for his defeat.

Moore said that Democrats have used similar smears liked the ones used against him in 2017 against Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas.

“When you vote is stolen from you by tactics that is wrong,” Moore said/

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Moore warned that the greatest threat to this nation is the decline in morality. “We are at a critical point in our history.”

Moore warned that no nation could take us down from without; but that we could fall from within and warned of the growing agenda of the LGBTQ community.

“We are starting to recognize transgender rights above the right of your rights,” Moore warned.

“We are five votes (in the Senate) away from overturning everything our country is founded upon,” Moore warned if the Equality Act is passed. The Equality Act, “Which sounds good is about to take away the most precious thing our country is founded upon: our freedom of conscious.”

Moore warned that the legislation would lead to men in girls’ bathrooms and in girls’ sports.

Moore said that when man invents rights that are not from God it leads to problems. The right to privacy was invented and from that came the right to abortion, which has resulted in the deaths of millions, the right to sodomy, and the right to gay marriage. Now we are about to create a right of transgenderism.

Moore said that marriage was ordained by God as between one man and one woman. “If you can make it between two men you could make it between five men and between a man and a horse.”

“How do you correct it?” Moore asked rhetorically. “You recognize the sovereignty of God.”

“I have been mocked and removed from office twice,” Moore said.

“I am sick of seeing politicians carrying Bibles and doing nothing,” Moore said. The national debt was $5 trillion in 2005 now it is $23 trillion. They say they are Pro-Life and yet Planned Parenthood continues to get taxpayer dollars.

“We keep quiet because we are afraid it is going to offend anybody,” Moore said. “I couldn’t keep quiet about Obergefell. I wrote an opinion in API.”

Moore is a candidate for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in the Republican primary on March 3.

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McCutcheon is in “wait and see mode” on medical marijuana bill

Brandon Moseley

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Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) last Thursday was asked by reporters where he stood on pending medical marijuana legislation.

“I am in a wait and see mode,” McCutcheon told reporters. “The sponsor of the bill has done a lot of work.”

On Tuesday, State Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence) introduced a bill to legalize tightly controlled medical cannabis. The Medical cannabis bill introduced on Tuesday is Senate Bill 165.

“We have a letter from the Attorney General,” recommending that the legislature reject the bill.

Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) is arguing that while marijuana remains a federally controlled substance the legislature should not pass a state law that would be noncompliant with federal law. Marshall believes that if medical marijuana has any medical benefit then the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be the appropriate authority to approve such legislation and the state should wait for FDA to act.

33 states already have legalized medical marijuana.

“It brings up a legal question when you get a legal opinion from the attorney general office,” McCutcheon explained. “It answers some of my questions and also on the pro and the con there were some questions raised in the legal community.”

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McCutcheon said, “That is why we are in the mode that we are in.”

Melson introduced a medical marijuana bill last year during the 2019 regular session. That bill passed the Senate; but had difficulty getting out of committee in the Alabama House of Representatives. Instead of passing medical marijuana legislation the legislature passed a bill extending Leni’s Law and Carly’s law and establishing the Alabama Medical Cannabis Study Commission tasked with making a recommendation to the legislature.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Study Commission was chaired by Sen. Melson and met monthly from August to November. In December, the commission voted in favor of a draft proposal recommending that the state allow licensed medical providers to prescribe marijuana based medications to patients with a demonstrated need. The state would create the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission to regulate medical cannabis in the state. Farmers, processors, transporters, and dispensaries would have to get a license from the Commission and product would be strictly regulated.

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Despite the Commission’s recommendation, SB165 remains highly controversial in the legislature and there is expected to be considerable opposition to the bill. SB165 is 82 pages long.

SB165 has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judiciary Committee Chairman Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) told the Alabama Political Reporter that there will be a public hearing on SB165 on Wednesday, at 8:30 a.m. in the Alabama Statehouse room 825. Opponents and proponents will both be given the opportunity to voice their opinions.

Thursday was the fourth day of the 2020 legislative session.

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Elections

Congressional candidates call on Sessions, Byrne to stand up for South Alabama

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At a rare joint press conference, the Democratic Candidates for the First Congressional District called on Rep. Bradley Byrne and former Sen. Jeff Sessions to stand up for South Alabama following the Trump Administration’s proposal to cut nearly $300 million slated for projects awarded to Austal.

“The current administration’s decision to divert that funding from Austal to build the border wall is harmful to our community and will potentially put good jobs at risk,” said Dr. James Averhart, CW05, USMC retired. “This is nothing more than a political stunt on the backs of the hard-working men and women of South Alabama.”

Over the years, South Alabama has become a hub for shipbuilding and defense projects developing ships and planes for the United States military.

“While the President may be comfortable playing political games with our communities, our representatives must stand strong against this disastrous decision,” said Dr. Kiani Gardner, a scientist and professor. “We are grateful Senator Jones is speaking out against it and the devastating impacts it could have on our communities.”

This matter transcends partisan politics, our Republican representatives must stand with Senator Jones and tell President Trump to find a better way to protect our Southern border,” said Rick Collins, a longtime Mobile businessman.

This is only the latest Trump Administration proposals that could have devastating impacts for the local economy. Recently, the administration proposed new tariffs that would have a significant impact on Airbus’ local operation.

 

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