By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, April 6 Planned Parenthood Southeast Vice President of Public Policy, Nikema Williams, released a statement expressing her group’s opposition to the Pro-Life bill under consideration by the Alabama Legislature, HB405.
SB405 is the Fetal Heartbeat Bill. The Fetal Heartbeat Act, prohibits physician from performing an abortion without first determining if a fetal heartbeat is already present. Any physician who does not make determination or who performs abortion when heartbeat is detected would be guilty of a Class C felony.
VP Nikema Williams said in a prepared statement: “Planned Parenthood Southeast stands firmly against SB 405. This unreasonable, dangerous, and blatantly unconstitutional legislation is an attempt to end safe and legal abortions in Alabama regardless of the circumstances. Abortions as early as six weeks in pregnancy would be banned, before a woman may even know she is pregnant. If passed, this bill would be the most restrictive abortion law in the country and have devastating consequences for the women and families of Alabama.”
VP Willams continued, “Because of the inherently private nature of her decision, the Supreme Court has recognized that a woman should “be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion” when deciding whether to continue or terminate a pre-viability pregnancy. Legislation that arbitrarily restricts access to abortion may run afoul of federal law. In North Dakota for example, a federal court swiftly blocked the only law to ban abortion upon detection of a fetal heartbeat. In granting the order blocking the law, the court called the law “a blatant violation of the constitutional guarantees afforded to all women.”
Williams warned lawmakers, “Alabama simply cannot afford to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on defending unconstitutional legislation. Several Alabama legislators have publicly advertised that the intent of bills such as these are to get them to the Supreme Court in a vain attempt at overturning Roe v. Wade. For example, Kansas spent “more than $1 million on outside attorneys defending anti-abortion laws enacted in the past three years.””
Willams concluded, “Women don’t turn to politicians for advice about mammograms, prenatal care, or cancer treatments. Politicians should not be involved in a woman’s personal medical decisions about her pregnancy. Ultimately, decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child must be left to a woman, her family and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor. It is important that abortion remains a safe and legal medical procedure for a woman to consider if she needs it.”
HB405 is sponsored by State Representative Terri Collins (R from Decatur). The bill is under consideration by the House Health Committee.
Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the country.