By Samuel J. Mclure
Alabama Political Reporter
A new day has dawned for the pro-life movement. Never before has our generation seen the current fervor and opportunity to protect children in the womb from needless death. When Justice Blackmun penned Roe v. Wade in 1973, the Federal Government made the largest and most improper overreach of its powers that the American form of government has seen since Wisconsin opposed the Fugitive Slave Act.
Now, on this day, we have the first Vice President in history to speak at the Washington, D.C. March for Life. Now, on this day, we have more State Legislatures than ever considering bills that will totally abolish the practice of abortion. Now, on this day, the Alabama Legislature is considering an Amendment to the State Constitution that will once and for all proclaim Alabama as a pro-life State.
But, perhaps the most peculiar development of this new day is the arrival of an organization calling itself simply, Proposal 16. The Proposal 16 “Movement,” as they refer to themselves, has elicited the support of hundreds of pro-life volunteers to personally call Governor Bentley to ask him to use his Executive Powers to stop abortion, today.
To say the least, the “proposal” sounds intriguing. The Proposal 16 Movement claims that sixteen children are killed in Alabama every day through abortion, and that like Wisconsin’s nullification of the unjust and overreaching Federal Fugitive Slave Act, Governor Bentley should nullify the Federal abortion law. The Proposal 16 Movement claims that the window we now posses is unique because there is little to no risk of Federal reprisal.
On that note, I agree with Proposal 16. The Federal Government controls the states either through the use of the stick or the carrot. There is very little precedent for the Federal Government to use the stick, however, they control every state in the Union and half the countries in the world thought the use of the carrot.
What is this carrot, you ask? Alabama receives $8.4 Billion in Federal money every year. We are among the most dependent states in the Union. We dare not resist the Federal Government on any policy issue they propose, lest we stop receiving this Federal revenue stream.
We’ve all seen in the news recently Trump bluntly stating that he will pull Federal money from cities that continue to pursue a so called “Sanctuary City” policy. Proposal 16 raises this question to the people of Alabama: “Do you think the Trump administration would pull Federal money if Alabama enforced its pre Roe-v.-Wade-protection-of-babies law? What would be Vice President Pence’s counsel to President Trump if Governor Bentley stops abortion in Alabama?”
Perhaps a more salient question is whether Governor Bentley would actually consider acting on Proposal 16. In this facet, Proposal 16 may be naive. While it’s true that Governor Bentley ran on a pro-life platform, and while it’s true that he tweeted after the Pro-Life March in Washington, “Everyone is endowed with the right to life, especially the unborn. I will always #StandforLife,” it’s also true that there is little-to-no evidence of Governor Bentley ever acting on his pro-life profession.
A tree is known by its fruit. What kind of tree do we have in our Governor? We know he cares about the lottery. We know he cares about building prisons. But, does he care about protecting pre-born persons?