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Human Life Protection Act

  (Redirected from House Bill 314)

The Human Life Protection Act, also known as House Bill 314 (HB 314) and the Alabama abortion ban,[4] is an Alabama statute enacted on May 15, 2019, that is set to impose a near-total ban on abortion in the state starting in November 2019. The bill was passed in both chambers of the Alabama Legislature in a party-line vote and signed by Republican governor Kay Ivey. Under the Human Life Protection Act, a doctor who performs a banned abortion in the state of Alabama would be guilty of a Class A felony, and could be sentenced to life imprisonment. Several proposed amendments that would have allowed abortions in cases of rape and incest were rejected. The bill's sponsor, Republican representative Terri Collins, has stated that she hopes the law will lead to a legal challenge in which Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Human Life Protection Act
Seal of Alabama.svg
Alabama State Legislature
Full nameHuman Life Protection Act
StatusEffective six months following gubernatorial approval
IntroducedApril 2, 2019[1]
House votedApril 30, 2019[1]
Senate votedMay 14, 2019[1]
Signed into lawMay 15, 2019[1]
Sponsor(s)Terri Collins (House)[2]
Clyde Chambliss (Senate)[3]
GovernorKay Ivey

From its introduction to its signing, the Human Life Protection Act has been strongly opposed by Democratic politicians, activists, and celebrities; it has also been criticized by some Republican figures.

Contents

Legislative historyEdit

The bill was introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives on April 2, 2019, by Terri Collins, a Republican representing Decatur.[2] In the Alabama Senate, Republican Clyde Chambliss sponsored Collins' legislation.[3] Eric Johnson, the president of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition, wrote the Human Life Protection Act.[5]

ProvisionsEdit

The Human Life Protection Act[6] "defines all unborn children as persons".[7] It bans abortions at any stage of a pregnancy.[8] The law provides for exceptions in cases where a fetus has a lethal anomaly (in other words, a medical condition that would cause the fetus to be stillborn or to die shortly following birth) or in cases where an abortion would "prevent serious health risk" to a pregnant woman.[9] The law also allows abortions to be performed "upon confirmation from a psychiatrist" that a pregnant woman diagnosed with a "serious mental illness" might otherwise take an action that would lead to her own death or to the death of the fetus.[7] The law does not ban procedures to end ectopic pregnancies[10] or procedures in which a dead fetus is removed from the uterus.[7] It does not include an exception in cases of rape or incest.[9]

The Human Life Protection Act classifies the performance of an illegal abortion as a Class A felony equivalent to rape and murder. Doctors found guilty under its provisions could receive sentences ranging from 10 years imprisonment to 99 years or life imprisonment.[11] An attempt at performing an illegal abortion is classified by the bill as a Class C felony.[12] The bill also states that women receiving abortions would not be held criminally or civilly liable.[9]

A provision in the bill compared abortion to historical genocide events: "More than 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States since the Roe decision in 1973, more than three times the number who were killed in German death camps, Chinese purges, Stalin's gulags, Cambodian killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined".[13]

DebateEdit

Anthony Daniels, the Democratic minority leader of the House of Representatives, proposed an amendment to the bill that would allow abortions in cases of rape and incest, but it was rejected by a vote of 72–26. Collins opposed the amendment, and stated: "My goal with this bill is to let the Supreme Court possibly revisit [the Roe v. Wade] decision on just the issue that they made that decision, which was, is that baby in the womb a person."[14] Democratic representative Merika Coleman said: "I do support life, but there are some people that just support birth, they don't support life, because after a child is born, there are some things that need to happen. We need to make sure that child has adequate health care."[15]

A day after the bill's passage in the House of Representatives, Democratic representative John Rogers endorsed a woman's choice to choose, but then stated: "Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or kill them later. You bring them into the world unwanted, unloved, then you send them to the electric chair. So, you kill them now, or you kill them later. But the bottom line is that I think we shouldn't be making this decision."[16]

An amendment that would have allowed abortions for rape and incest victims failed in the Senate by a vote of 21–11.[17][18] After the amendment's rejection, Democratic minority leader Bobby Singleton said: "You just aborted and you raped the state of Alabama. All of you should be put in jail for this abortion that you just laid on the state of Alabama. This is just a shame. This is a disgrace. It is a travesty." The minority leader sought to filibuster the legislation, but the Senate voted to end debate after four and a half hours of argumentation.[19]

In the Senate debate, Chambliss argued that under the bill, a woman who was pregnant due to rape or incest still could legally get an abortion "until she knows she's pregnant";[12] he had previously claimed that "there's some period of time before you can know a woman is pregnant".[20] During the debate, Vivian Davis Figures asked Chambliss if he knew "what it's like to" suffer rape or incest, to which he answered that he didn't in both cases.[21] Figures proposed an amendment that would make men who have vasectomies guilty of a Class A felony, and those who attempt to have a vasectomy guilty of a Class C felony. On the Senate floor, Linda Coleman-Madison said: "This bill is about control."[22]

Vote and enactmentEdit

On April 30, 2019, the bill was passed by the House of Representatives along a party-line vote of 74–3.[23] Most of the Democrats in the House of Representatives walked out of debate on the bill and subsequently did not vote.[14] In the Alabama Senate, Republican Clyde Chambliss sponsored Collins' legislation.[3] On May 14, 2019, the bill was passed by the Senate by a vote of 25–6, also along party lines.[24]

On May 15, 2019, the day after the bill was passed by the Senate, Governor Kay Ivey signed it into law.[12] The bill is set to go into effect in November 2019.[25]

House of RepresentativesEdit

Human Life Protection Act – Vote in the House of Representatives (April 30, 2019)[23]
Party Votes for Votes against Not voting/Not present
Republican (76) 74
Democratic (28) 25
Total (104) 74 3 27

SenateEdit

Human Life Protection Act – Vote in the Senate (May 14, 2019)[24][a]
Party Votes for Votes against Not voting/Not present
Republican (27) 25
Democratic (8)
Total (35) 25 6 4

ReactionEdit

Following the passage of the Human Life Protection Act, Vice President Mike Pence applauded the state of Alabama for "embracing life".[26] Evangelist Franklin Graham said he was thankful to the Alabama governor and the legislators who passed the bill, and continued by saying: "I hope and pray many other governors will be encouraged by her boldness and do the same."[27] Conservative columnist David A. French opined that the law and other abortion restrictions could potentially lead to Roe v. Wade being overturned.[28]

Some Republican and conservative leaders have stated their opposition to the Human Life Protection Act. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah stated that he did not support it because there should be exceptions for rape, incest, and danger to the life of the mother.[29] Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republican U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski expressed opposition to the law for the same reasons.[30][31] Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, said that she was "very much opposed to the Alabama law", and that it was "completely inconsistent with Roe v. Wade".[31] On The 700 Club, conservative televangelist Pat Robertson stated, "It's an extreme law and they want to challenge Roe v. Wade, but my humble view is that this is not the case we want to bring to the Supreme Court because I think this one will lose".[32] Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren called the bill "too restrictive" and said the ban "forces women into more dangerous methods" of abortion.[33] President Donald Trump did not express opposition, but re-affirmed that he was pro-life except in situations arising from rape, incest, and danger to the life of the mother.[34]

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee of the 2016 United States presidential election, called the bill and similar legislation across the country "appalling attacks on women's lives and fundamental freedoms".[35] Other Democratic politicians expressing opposition to the law included former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden;[36] House Speaker Nancy Pelosi;[37] Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer; [27] U.S. Sens. Cory Booker,[38] Kirsten Gillibrand,[39] Kamala Harris,[40] Doug Jones;[41] Amy Klobuchar,[42][43] Bernie Sanders,[44] and Elizabeth Warren,[45][46] Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez;[47] former Rep. Beto O'Rourke;[36] former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and mayor of San Antonio Julian Castro;[36] and South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg.[36] Jena Griswold, the Democratic Secretary of State of Colorado, announced that she was banning work-related travel to Alabama in response to the bill.[48] Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot called on the state's pension system to divest itself from Alabama-based companies because of the bill.[49]

Abortion rights groups such as POWER House demonstrated in the state capital in opposition to the bill.[4] On May 19, hundreds of people protested the legislation at the state capitol.[50] After the passage of the bill, advocacy groups within the state of Alabama began receiving more donations. According to the Yellowhammer Fund, after a social media campaign that involved sports journalist Shea Serrano and U.S. senators and presidential candidates Gillibrand and Harris, the group received tens of thousands of dollars that would enable it to expand its services.[51] Planned Parenthood Southeast president and CEO Staci Fox vowed to take legal action against the state for enacting the bill.[52]

A previously-unreleased poll from 2018 conducted on behalf of Planned Parenthood Southeast found that 31 percent of people in the state of Alabama would support a bill that would ban abortion with no exceptions for rape and incest.[53]

ReferencesEdit

Footnotes

  1. ^ The reference incorrectly identifies Tom Butler as a Democrat. He has been a Republican since 2011.[citation needed]

Citations

  1. ^ a b c d "Alabama House Bill 314". LegiScan. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Alabama latest state to propose ban on most abortions as conservatives take aim at Roe v. Wade". NBC News. Montgomery: Associated Press. April 2, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Ryan, Lisa (May 15, 2019). "These Statements From Alabama's Abortion Vote Are Infuriating". New York. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Wax-Thibodeaux, Emily; Brownlee, Chip (May 15, 2019). "Governor signs Alabama abortion ban, which has galvanized support on both sides, setting up a lengthy fight". Montgomery: The Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  5. ^ "Author Of Alabama Restrictive Abortion Bill Wants To Revisit Roe V. Wade Decision". NPR. May 16, 2019. Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  6. ^ Gore, Leada (May 15, 2019). "Alabama abortion law passes: Read the bill". al.com.
  7. ^ a b c Abortion (May 16, 2019). "What You Need To Know About Alabama's New Abortion Ban". The Federalist.
  8. ^ "Near-total abortion ban signed into law in Alabama". AP NEWS. May 16, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c "Here Are the details of the abortion laws in Alabama, Georgia and Missouri". Time.
  10. ^ CNN, Caroline Kelly. "Alabama Senate passes near-total abortion ban". CNN.
  11. ^ Lou, Michelle (May 15, 2019). "Alabama doctors who perform abortions could face up to 99 years in prison -- the same as rapists and murderers". CNN. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  12. ^ a b c Smith, Kate (May 15, 2019). "Alabama governor signs near-total abortion ban". CBS News. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  13. ^ Panetta, Grace (May 17, 2019). "Alabama's new anti-abortion law compares abortion to the Holocaust and other genocides". Business Insider. Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Cason, Mike (May 1, 2019). "Democrats take walk on Alabama abortion ban". AL.com. Archived from the original on May 13, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  15. ^ Elliott, Debbie (May 1, 2019). "Alabama Lawmakers Move To Outlaw Abortion In Challenge To Roe v. Wade". NPR. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  16. ^ Mettler, Katie (May 2, 2019). "Alabama Democrat on abortions: 'Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or you kill them later'". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 14, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  17. ^ Gore, Leada (May 15, 2019). "Alabama's abortion ban: How Senators voted on rape, incest exceptions; final bill". al.com.
  18. ^ Ch, Kim; LER (May 15, 2019). "Alabama Senate passes ban on abortion, with few exceptions". AP NEWS.
  19. ^ Jarvie, Jenny (May 14, 2019). "Alabama lawmakers vote to ban all abortions in the state and to punish doctors". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  20. ^ Shugerman, Emily (May 14, 2019). "Legislator Pushing Abortion Ban in Alabama Says He's Not 'Smart Enough to Be Pregnant'". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  21. ^ Miller, Hayley (May 15, 2019). "Alabama Democrat Grills Abortion Bill Sponsor: 'Do You Know What It's Like To Be Raped?'". HuffPost. Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  22. ^ "What female state senators had to say about Alabama's abortion bill". The Guardian. May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  23. ^ a b "Vote: Motion to Read a Third Time and Pass". LegiScan. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  24. ^ a b "Vote: Motion to Read a Third Time and Pass". LegiScan. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  25. ^ Lyman, Brian (May 15, 2019). "Gov. Kay Ivey signs near-total abortion ban into law". Montgomery Advertiser. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  26. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com, The Washington Times. "Mike Pence blasts liberal states' 'extreme pro-abortion' laws". The Washington Times.
  27. ^ a b Gore, Leada (May 16, 2019). "Alabama abortion law: What they're saying; Lady Ga Ga, Reese Witherspoon, Courteney Cox". AL.com. Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  28. ^ French, David (May 15, 2019). "Alabama and Georgia Are Throwing Down the Gauntlet against Roe. Good". National Review.
  29. ^ Beavers, David (May 19, 2019). "Romney says he doesn't support Alabama abortion law". Politico. Archived from the original on May 20, 2019. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  30. ^ Sonmez, Felicia; DeBonis, Mike (May 16, 2019). "Top House Republican McCarthy says he opposes Alabama abortion law". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  31. ^ a b Bolton, Alexander (May 16, 2019). "Senate Republicans running away from Alabama abortion law". The Hill. Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  32. ^ Alsup, Blake (May 16, 2019). "Pat Robertson criticizes 'extreme' abortion bill, says Alabama 'has gone too far'". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  33. ^ Daughterty, Owen (May 16, 2019). "Tomi Lahren says Alabama's abortion law is 'too restrictive'". The Hill. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  34. ^ Aleem, Zeeshan (May 19, 2019). "Trump and top Republicans distance themselves from Alabama's controversial abortion law". Vox. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  35. ^ Ehrlich, Jamie (May 16, 2019). "Hillary Clinton: Abortion bills in Alabama and other states are 'appalling attacks on women's lives'". Washington. Archived from the original on June 14, 2019. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  36. ^ a b c d Morin, Rebecca (May 15, 2019). "'An utter disgrace': 2020 Democrats denounce Alabama's near-total abortion ban". USA Today. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  37. ^ "Pelosi Statement on Alabama's Near-Total Abortion Ban". Speaker of the House. May 16, 2019. Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  38. ^ Johnson, Roy (May 15, 2019). "Presidential hopeful Booker: Alabama abortion bill 'direct assault' on women". AL.com. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  39. ^ Ruhle, Stephanie (May 15, 2019). "Sen. Gillibrand on Alabama's strict abortion bill". MSNBC. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  40. ^ Wanshel, Elyse (May 15, 2019). "Kamala Harris Compares Alabama Abortion Law To 'The Handmaid's Tale'". HuffPost. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  41. ^ Chandler, Kim; Paterson, Blake (May 16, 2019). "Alabama Sen. Doug Jones calls new abortion ban 'shameful'". Montgomery: Associated Press. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  42. ^ Todd, Chuck; Murray, Mark; Dann, Carrie (May 13, 2019). "Abortion roars back as a 2020 issue". Washington: NBC News. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  43. ^ "Amy Klobuchar calls Alabama abortion law 'dangerous, wrong, unconstituonal'". MSNBC. May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  44. ^ Stieb, Matt (May 15, 2019). "Democrats and Activists Respond to Passage of Alabama Abortion Bill, Most Restrictive in the Nation". New York. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  45. ^ Todd, Chuck; Murray, Mark; Dann, Carrie (May 13, 2019). "Abortion roars back as a 2020 issue". Washington: NBC News. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  46. ^ "Amy Klobuchar calls Alabama abortion law 'dangerous, wrong, unconstituonal'". MSNBC. May 15, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  47. ^ O'Kane, Caitlin (May 16, 2019). "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says abortion bans are a "brutal form of oppression" and are about "owning women"". CBS News. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  48. ^ Garcia, Nic (May 16, 2019). "Colorado secretary of state forbids employee travel to Alabama after abortion ban". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  49. ^ "Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot Urges Divesting From Alabama Over Abortion". CBS Baltimore. Annapolis: Associated Press. May 17, 2019. Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved May 17, 2019.
  50. ^ Cason, Mike (May 19, 2019). "Hundreds turn out to protest abortion law at Alabama Capitol". AL.com. Archived from the original on May 20, 2019. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  51. ^ Brown, Melissa (May 16, 2019). "After Alabama abortion ban bill passes, donations roll in for local advocacy groups". Montgomery Advertiser. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  52. ^ Terry Ellis, Nicquel (May 15, 2019). "'Today is a dark day for women': Planned Parenthood vows to challenge Alabama abortion ban". USA Today. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  53. ^ Withers, Rachel (May 18, 2019). "Most Alabama voters don't support their state's exemption-free abortion ban". Vox. Archived from the original on May 18, 2019. Retrieved May 18, 2019.