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Bill would repeal superfluous abortion law

The targeted law provides a misdemeanor charge for inducing an abortion, in conflict with Alabama’s landmark law establishing felony penalties.

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Before Alabama passed its landmark law criminalizing abortion throughout the entire pregnancy with no exemption for rape or incest, it passed a law that made any attempt to induce abortion a misdemeanor.

Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, has filed a bill to repeal that now-outdated law, calling it a “precautionary” move to ensure women aren’t prosecuted for seeking an abortion.

“That hopefully repeals the misdemeanor still in effect,” England said. “To be honest with you, it’s a cautionary measure if anything happens to the Human Life Protection Act. We don’t want to go back to a situation where women are going to be made targets. Even the attorney general has made it clear that no one wants to prosecute a woman. Getting rid of that old misdemeanor I think makes that clear.”

The Human Life Protection Act heightens the penalty for performing an abortion to a Class A Felony, while making explicitly clear that women receiving abortions are not to be held criminally or civilly liable. An attempt to perform an abortion is a Class C Felony under that law.

House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels, D-Huntsville, has signaled that he wants to repeal that law as well now that it has taken effect with the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

That would be an uphill battle against the Republican supermajority of the Alabama Legislature, as the Roe reversal and abortion law has been much celebrated by the party.

There have also been talks of adding exceptions for rape and incest, exceptions that were shot down in the bill’s original passage. 

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Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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