By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday, April 12, 2017 the Senate Health Committee gave a favorable report to House Bill 98 which would establish a Constitutional Amendment affirming Alabama’s commitment to the right to life of unborn children. HB98 was sponsored by state Representative Matt Fridy (R from Montevallo).
Fridy acknowledged that the controversial Roe versus Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision makes abortion rights the law of the land presently.
Sen. Cam Ward (R from Alabaster) was concerned that these sorts of Pro-Life bills have cost the state money defending them in court and wanted to know if this bill would lead to another legal challenge from abortionists.
Rep. Fridy said that the cost would be nothing as it does not provide for executive action. It merely explains how the Alabama Constitution is to be interpreted.
Sen. Ward said that he intends to bring an amendment on the Senate floor that the state must use in house counsel and can not use outside counsel if there is a legal challenge. Ward said, “I support this bill but I am concerned with what we are spending on outside counsel contracts.”
Senator Linda Coleman-Madison (D from Birmingham) asked, “How does this conflict with the U.S. Constitution?”
Fridy said that it does not conflict. The most important aspect of this is that it ensures that the due process clauses of the Alabama Constitution can not be interpreted as a right to abortion.
Sen. Ward said this would apply if Roe versus Wade is overturned.
Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R from Jasper) said, “This is a constitutional amendment to the Alabama Constitution and is subject to a vote of the people.”
Colonel John Eidsmoe, the Senior Counsel and Resident Scholar at the Foundation for Moral Law, said that if the Supreme Court overturns Roe versus Wade the abortion issue would go to the states. It is important that we have a provision in our Constitution for that. The Foundation for Moral Law would be pleased to help the state in any lawsuit that came up.
Ms. Duncan said the state has spent over a $million dollars defending these unconstitutional things. It is the law of unintended consequences. Duncan recounted the case of a woman in the 50s with a dead baby insider her, that could not have it removed because of the state’s anti-abortion laws at the time. “I don’t want to see this state go back to 1957.”
Columnist Maggie Ford said, “It is time to move forward. We need to start saving children. Every person in our state has a right to life including unborn children. It is not healthcare to kill children. One of the primary purposes of government is to protect the innocent.”
Randall Marshall, the legal director of the ACLU of Alabama, said that HB98 is unnecessary. It is clear that there is nothing in the Alabama Constitution establishing a right to an abortion. Roe versus Wade is not going away anytime soon but this is likely to lead to unintended consequences. I ask that you reject this proposal.
HB98 received a favorable report on an 8 to 2 vote..
The bill has already passed the House and now moves forward for consideration on the floor of the Alabama Senate.