Yolanda Flowers was one of a handful of candidates endorsed by Democrats for Life of America in primary races across the country last week.
DFLA describes itself as a “pro-whole-life” organization that seeks to support Democratic candidates who pledge to protect human life at all stages, “from the womb to the tomb.”
Flowers affirmed to APR last week that she is “pro-whole-life” but was less clear about exactly how she would address abortion from a legal standpoint if elected as governor.
“God is government,” Flowers said. “He is the ruling authority. God has laid before us life and death according to the scripture; he urges us to choose life, what we do with that is the most important thing. To go and put a law on what a woman should or cannot do with her body—That is God’s ruling, that’s his judgment.”
Flowers led the Democratic primary race for governor last Tuesday, just edging out Malika Sanders-Fortier, who currently represents District 31 in the Alabama Senate. The two candidates are now vying to earn the Democratic nomination in the June 21 runoff.
The Democratic Party platform emphasizes a right to safe and legal abortion for all women and generally opposes restrictions on abortion.
Sanders-Fortier does not mention abortion on her campaign website and did not respond to efforts to reach her for comment on this story.
However, she told Mike Cason at AL.com in 2019 that she believes in both the human right of women and unborn children.
“I think this is the one context that where this is a very challenging issue because it’s so layered,” Sanders-Fortier said. “You have women, whose bodies house babies. Every human being should have say-so over their bodies. But in this particular case, it’s not just her body that’s an issue, it’s also the life of another human being.
“So, I think what I would rather see, rather than a bill like this, is our state have a conversation that’s not a political conversation about how do we protect both the rights of women and unborn babies. And I know to some people that is impossible. I just don’t see it like that.”
Abortion has always been a hot-button issue but it has risen to the top of the conversation after Politico leaked a draft opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court that shows intent to overturn the longstanding precedent establishing a Constitutional right to abortion.
It appears the next governor of Alabama is poised to take office at a time when abortion is completely illegal in the state, as the Supreme Court is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade within the month and Alabama’s 2019 law would likely go into effect.
Flowers said she would “do research and get a panel together” to determine whether she would seek to reverse that legislation.
“I don’t want anyone to kill a baby, but I don’t want the mother to feel like she has to have that child and then abuse that child, or go out of her mind and commit suicide because she could not tell somebody about what happened,” Flowers said. “The Supreme Court established that years ago, to go back and recant that shows some instability, double-mindedness, some wavering. It shows we are not where we should be.”
The 2019 Alabama law does not include exceptions for rape and incest. Flowers specified her position that victims of rape and incest should be able to decide whether to get an abortion.
“I think of myself, what if I was to get raped?” Flowers said. “That would be a hard thing, and then to end up pregnant by my rapist, whether it’s a father, brother uncle, cousin, friend or stranger… It would take only act of God for me not to destroy that baby. I see that seed as being evil when a woman has been impregnated by someone who has forced themself on her. It’s too much, it’s not fair for legislatures to put that into law. What we have to do is learn how to love these ladies and pray that they would do what is best.”
Sanders-Fortier was the lone Democrat not to vote against the 2019 bill banning all abortions in Alabama, abstaining instead from the vote. She had voted in favor of an amendment to the bill creating exceptions in cases of rape and incest.