Pro-life, pro-choice advocates speak on proposed abortion exception bill

WAFF 48's Claudia Peppenhorst reporting
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 6:58 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) -A proposed bill for the Alabama legislative session would allow exceptions to the state abortion ban in cases of rape or incest if passed.

Huntsville OBGYN Dr. Sanithia Williams said amendments are necessary for the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, and that this is not an argument of politics, but of compassion.

“The ability to extend compassion a certain level of compassion for folks who may undergo rape or incest and understanding the need for possible abortions in those situations is definitely something that is important,” said Williams.

Abortions are currently illegal in the state of Alabama unless the pregnancy is deemed a health risk to the mother. President of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition Eric Johnston says this proposed bill is unconstitutional under the Alabama constitution, and that his organization’s standpoint on the matter has not changed.

“Our position has always been that the unborn child is a person within the meaning of the law and that and it doesn’t matter how that child is conceived: by a married couple trying to get pregnant, by an unmarried couple, by accident, by in vitro fertilization, or rape, or incest. It’s not the child’s fault. The child is still a person,” Johnston said.

One thing Williams and Johnston do agree on is encouraging lawmakers to carefully consider their vote before they cast it.

“Absolutely it’s necessary to include language around exceptions for rape and incest but we really need to go further,” Williams said.

“The exceptions to rape and incest have never been accepted by the pro-life community in all of the 50 years since Roe was decided,” Johnston said.

Senate bill 35 will soon be debated as it is currently in the committee. Senate Bill 35 was proposed by Senator Vivian Figures.

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