Alabama Republican Representative Terri Collins is proposing a bill that would make abortion punishable by death in her state. Essentially, Rep. Collins wants to overturn Roe V. Wade (the Supreme Court decision that made abortions legal). This new legislation, if passed, would counter the historic law that gives women the right to choose.
Under her bill (HB314), abortion would be banned entirely and criminalized after two weeks of conception. The only exception will be if the mother’s life is in danger. However, the bill forbids women to seek an abortion if rape or incest is involved.
“Just last year, roughly 60 percent of voters across the state ratified a constitutional amendment declaring Alabama as a pro-life state, and this legislation is the next logical step in the fight to protect unborn life,” Collins said in a press release, according to AL.com. “With liberal states like New York rushing to approve radical late-term and post-birth abortions, passage of this bill will reflect the conservative beliefs, principles, and desires of the citizens of Alabama while, at the same time, providing a vehicle to revisit the constitutionally-flawed Roe v. Wade decision.”
Rep. Collins’ bill is one of the harshest abortion legislation to be proposed because she’s also seeking to ban the use of prescription drugs (that are used to end a pregnancy) as soon as a woman is “known to be pregnant.” Any attempt to end the pregnancy is considered a felony in Alabama and the woman would face the death penalty, which is the same if an assailant were to harm or kill a pregnant woman’s baby.
The bill does have support in the Alabama House. According to Rep. Collins, 63 out of the 105 members are co-sponsoring the proposal. A similar bill has also been proposed in South Carolina. The “heartbeat” bill would ban abortions after six weeks.
“I have seen, I have heard that beating heart at six weeks,” supporter Alexia Newman said, according to TheState.com, “Because that heart is beating, those babies deserve protection under the law.”
Pro-choice advocates say that these proposals, while dangerous, are assured the bills won’t pass because they haven’t before. The Supreme Court has repeatedly shut them down.
“Here’s the problem: This bill is unconstitutional,” Vicki Ringer, director of Public Affairs Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, said during a subcommittee debate of the South Carolina bill, according to ABC News. “You believe that (Justice Neil) Gorsuch and (Justice Brett) Kavanaugh will save you on the Supreme Court. That court has already blocked an abortion bill.”
Rep. Collins said, according to ABC News, that it’s not essential to her whether the Supreme Court rejects the bill. She’s more interested in them discussing the issue again because “people are seeing a possibility that the Supreme Court might have a more conservative-leaning balance.”