AL legislator plans abortion bill after SCOTUS doesn't hear ND law

Published: Jan. 25, 2016 at 10:56 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2016 at 11:02 PM CST
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DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - The United States Supreme Court will not hear arguments on North Dakota's controversial fetal heartbeat law.

Pro-choice groups are calling it a major win. A lower court already ruled the legislation unconstitutional.

Officials said had the legislation been enforceable, then it would have banned abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

An Alabama legislator has plans to file a similar bill for our upcoming session.

Representative Terri Collins out of Decatur said she tried to pass the exact same bill during last year's session. It didn't make it.

According to, The Fetal Heartbeat Act would prohibit a physician from performing abortion without first determining a fetal heartbeat. If a doctor does not make a determination or performs an abortion when a heartbeat is detected, then they could be found guilty of Class C felony.

That carries a prison sentence of one to ten years. It's similar to the North Dakota law the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear arguments for on Monday.

Choose Life of North Alabama's Austin Boyd said he was disappointed by the Supreme Court's decision but hopes pro-life supporters in Alabama continue to fight and said six pro-life bills are already in the works here.

Opponents of the fetal heartbeat laws called Monday's Supreme Court decision a major victory in the fight for women's rights.

"I think it's great that women are going to be able to decide their own fate when it comes to their own bodies and their own pregnancies," said Jayme Calhoun. Calhoun is a spokesperson for Alabama Reproductive Rights Advocates. "When they start placing restrictions earlier and earlier a lot of women don't understand that they're still pregnant at that time."

"I was disappointed by the law result but not surprised," said Boyd. "Disappointed in the sense that I'd like to see the Supreme Court validate that a beating heart is representative of a life."

Alabama's legislative session starts next week.

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