AuthorTopic: 👶 Georgia Just Criminalized Abortion. Women Who Terminate Their Pregnancies  (Read 235 times)

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This will not end well.

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https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/05/hb-481-georgia-law-criminalizes-abortion-subjects-women-to-life-in-prison.html

Georgia Just Criminalized Abortion. Women Who Terminate Their Pregnancies Would Receive Life in Prison.


By Mark Joseph Stern
May 07, 20192:03 PM

Anti-abortion activists participate in the March for Life, an annual event to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 18.
Anti-abortion activists participate in the March for Life, an annual event to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 18.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
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On Tuesday, Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a “fetal heartbeat” bill that seeks to outlaw abortion after about six weeks. The measure, HB 481, is the most extreme abortion ban in the country—not just because it would impose severe limitations on women’s reproductive rights, but also because it would subject women who get illegal abortions to life imprisonment and the death penalty.

The primary purpose of HB 481 is to prohibit doctors from terminating any pregnancy after they can detect “embryonic or fetal cardiac activity,” which typically occurs at six weeks’ gestation. But the bill does far more than that. In one sweeping provision, it declares that “unborn children are a class of living, distinct person” that deserves “full legal recognition.” Thus, Georgia law must “recognize unborn children as natural persons”—not just for the purposes of abortion, but as a legal rule.

This radical revision of Georgia law is quite deliberate: The bill confirms that fetuses “shall be included in population based determinations” from now on, because they are legally humans, and residents of the state. But it is not clear whether the bill’s drafters contemplated the more dramatic consequences of granting legal personhood to fetuses. For instance, as Georgia appellate attorney Andrew Fleischman has pointed out, the moment this bill takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020, the state will be illegally holding thousands of citizens in jail without bond. That’s because, under HB 481, pregnant inmates’ fetuses have independent rights—including the right to due process. Can a juvenile attorney represent an inmate’s fetus and demand its release? If not, why? It is an egregious due process violation to punish one human for the crimes of another. If an inmate’s fetus is a human, how can Georgia lawfully detain it for a crime it did not commit?

But the most startling effect of HB 481 may be its criminalization of women who seek out unlawful abortions or terminate their own pregnancies. An earlier Georgia law imposing criminal penalties for illegal abortions does not apply to women who self-terminate; the new measure, by contrast, conspicuously lacks such a limitation. It can, and would, be used to prosecute women. Misoprostol, a drug that treats stomach ulcers but also induces abortions, is extremely easy to obtain on the internet, and American women routinely use it to self-terminate. It is highly effective in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Anti-abortion advocates generally insist that they do not want to punish women who undergo abortions. But HB 481 does exactly that. Once it takes effect, a woman who self-terminates will have, as a matter of law, killed a human—thereby committing murder. The penalty for that crime in Georgia is life imprisonment or capital punishment.
It is entirely possible that Georgia prosecutors armed with this new statute will bring charges against women.

HB 481 would also have consequences for women who get abortions from doctors or miscarry. A woman who seeks out an illegal abortion from a health care provider would be a party to murder, subject to life in prison. And a woman who miscarries because of her own conduct—say, using drugs while pregnant—would be liable for second-degree murder, punishable by 10 to 30 years’ imprisonment. Prosecutors may interrogate women who miscarry to determine whether they can be held responsible; if they find evidence of culpability, they may charge, detain, and try these women for the death of their fetuses.

Even women who seek lawful abortions out of state may not escape punishment. If a Georgia resident plans to travel elsewhere to obtain an abortion, she may be charged with conspiracy to commit murder, punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment. An individual who helps a woman plan her trip to get an out-of-state abortion, or transports her to the clinic, may also be charged with conspiracy. These individuals, after all, are “conspiring” to end of the life of a “person” with “full legal recognition” under Georgia law.

It is entirely possible that Georgia prosecutors armed with this new statute will bring charges against women who terminate their pregnancies illegally. In 2015, a Georgia prosecutor charged Kenlissia Jones with murder after she self-terminated; he only dropped the charges after concluding that “criminal prosecution of a pregnant woman for her own actions against her unborn child does not seem permitted.” Starting in 2020, however, Georgia law will permit precisely this kind of prosecution. There is no reason to doubt that history will repeat itself, and more prosecutors will charge women who undergo abortions with murder.

For now, Supreme Court precedent protecting women’s reproductive rights should bar such prosecutions—and indeed, require the invalidation of HB 481. But the court’s conservative majority may be on the verge of dismantling Roe v. Wade. If that happens, Georgia and other conservative states will be free to outlaw abortion, and to imprison women who self-terminate. HB 481 is further proof that once Roe is gone, it won’t just be abortion providers who risk legal jeopardy: Women will be punished, too.
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How long before this gets to the SCOTUS?

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https://www.npr.org/2019/05/10/722021684/amid-chaos-alabama-senate-postpones-vote-on-nations-strictest-abortion-ban

Amid Chaos, Alabama Senate Postpones Vote On Nation's Strictest Abortion Ban

May 10, 20194:17 AM ET

Laurel Wamsley


The Alabama Senate postponed a vote on a highly restrictive abortion bill after controversy over an amendment that would provide an exception in cases of rape or incest. The Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery is seen here in 2017.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A vote on what would be the country's most restrictive abortion ban was postponed in the Alabama Senate on Thursday, after chaos erupted over the stripping of an amendment to allow exceptions in the case of rape or incest.

Shouting broke out on the Senate floor when the rape and incest exemption was removed without a roll call vote. Troy Public Radio's Kyle Gassiott reports from Montgomery: "Democrats loudly challenged Republicans, saying blocking the amendment violates Senate rules. ... These exceptions were added by the Senate judiciary committee over the objections of the bill's sponsor, who proposed it with the eventual goal of challenging Roe V. Wade in the U.S. Supreme Court."

Democrats and some Republicans objected to the amendment being tabled so hastily.

"You've got 27 men over on the other side ready to tell women what they can do with their bodies," Democratic Sen. Bobby Singleton said, according to The Associated Press. "You don't have to procedurally just try to railroad us."

Republican Sen. Cam Ward agreed that there was no need to hurry. "If we're going to debate this issue in a serious manner that it should be debated, I will stand here and ask all of you to go bring your lunch, and your dinner, and your breakfast in," he said. "I am not going to move until we get a fair procedure in this process."
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Democrats want a roll call vote so there is a record of the Republican lawmakers who support a bill without exceptions for women who were raped.

"I want the people of the state of Alabama to know how we vote," Singleton said, according to The Washington Post. "I think the people have a right."
Alabama Lawmakers Move To Outlaw Abortion In Challenge To Roe V. Wade
National
Alabama Lawmakers Move To Outlaw Abortion In Challenge To Roe V. Wade

Alabama's House passed the bill last week. As NPR's Debbie Elliott reported, the House version would mean a near-total ban on abortion: "The bill criminalizes abortion, meaning doctors would face felony jail time up to 99 years if convicted. The only exceptions are for a serious health risk to the pregnant woman, or a lethal anomaly of the fetus. There are no exceptions for cases of rape or incest. A woman would not be held criminally liable for having an abortion."

The bill is meant to force a challenge to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that made abortion legal nationwide. In a statement following Thursday's uproar, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth makes that clear:

    "It's important that we pass this statewide abortion ban legislation and begin a long overdue effort to directly challenge Roe v. Wade. ... Now that President Donald Trump has supercharged the effort to remake the federal court system by appointing conservative jurists who will strictly interpret the Constitution, I feel confident that the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Roe and finally correct its 46-year-old mistake."

A Bill Banning Most Abortions Becomes Law In Ohio
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A Bill Banning Most Abortions Becomes Law In Ohio

Alabama is among more than two dozen states seeking to restrict abortion rights this year, testing federal legal precedent that prevents states from banning abortion before the point at which a fetus could survive outside the womb. Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have all recently passed legislation that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, in about the sixth week of pregnancy. Federal judges in Kentucky and Iowa have blocked the laws or struck them down as unconstitutional.

The AP notes that State Rep. Terri Collins, the bill's sponsor, argued against any exceptions for rape or incest, "saying any exceptions could hurt the goal of creating a court case to weigh whether embryos and fetuses are people with rights of personhood. She has argued that lawmakers could come back and add exemptions if states regain control of abortion access."

Debate on the bill will re-open Tuesday, and it's expected to pass in the Senate and be signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican.

The ACLU of Alabama says it will sue if the abortion ban becomes law. "Passing bills that they know will be struck down in federal court are a waste of millions of taxpayer dollars that could be going to address the urgent needs in our communities, like schools, healthcare, infrastructure, prisons and so much more. ... If the full Senate and Governor insist on passing this bill, they will see us in court."
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👶 Alabama Lawmakers Pass Bill Banning Nearly All Abortions
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2019, 08:33:06 AM »
At least for the time being, women who want an abortion will simply cross the border into FL or TN to get one.  This only becomes a real problem of it goes national and the SCOTUS overturns Roe v Wade.

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https://www.npr.org/2019/05/14/723312937/alabama-lawmakers-passes-abortion-ban

Alabama Lawmakers Pass Bill Banning Nearly All Abortions

May 14, 201910:04 PM ET

Debbie Elliott


The Alabama Senate has passed an abortion ban that would be one of the most restrictive in the United States. The bill would make it a crime for doctors to perform abortions at any stage of a pregnancy unless a woman's life is threatened or in case of lethal fetal anomaly.
Dave Martin/AP

Updated at 11:19 p.m. ET

The Alabama Senate passed a bill Tuesday evening to ban nearly all abortions. The state House had already overwhelmingly approved the legislation. It's part of a broader anti-abortion strategy to prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the right to abortion.

It would be one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the United States. The bill would make it a crime for doctors to perform abortions at any stage of a pregnancy, unless a woman's life is threatened or in case of a lethal fetal anomaly.

The vote was 25-6, with one abstention.

Doctors in the state would face felony jail time up to 99 years if convicted. But a woman would not be held criminally liable for having an abortion.

Laura Stiller of Montgomery protests outside the Alabama State House as the Senate debates an abortion ban. Stiller calls the legislation political and an "affront to women's rights."
Debbie Elliott/NPR

The only exceptions are for a serious health risk to the pregnant woman or a lethal anomaly of the fetus. There are no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, and that was a sticking point when the Alabama Senate first tried to debate the measure last Thursday. The Republican-majority chamber adjourned in dramatic fashion when leaders tried to strip a committee amendment that would have added an exception for cases of rape or incest.
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Amid Chaos, Alabama Senate Postpones Vote On Nation's Strictest Abortion Ban
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Amid Chaos, Alabama Senate Postpones Vote On Nation's Strictest Abortion Ban
Alabama Lawmakers Move To Outlaw Abortion In Challenge To Roe v. Wade
National
Alabama Lawmakers Move To Outlaw Abortion In Challenge To Roe v. Wade

Sponsors insist they want to limit exceptions because the bill is designed to push the idea that a fetus is a person with rights, in a direct challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision that established a woman's right to abortion.

"Human life has rights, and when someone takes those rights, that's when we as government have to step in," said Republican Clyde Chambliss, the Senate sponsor of the abortion ban.

The amendment has divided Republicans. Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, who presides over the Senate, posted on Twitter that his position is simple — "Abortion is murder." But other Senate leaders have insisted that there be exceptions for rape and incest.

Democrats didn't have the votes to stop the bill but tried to slow down proceedings during the debate.

Democratic Sen. Vivian Davis Figures questioned why supporters would not want victims of rape or incest to have an exception for a horrific act.

"To take that choice away from that person who had such a traumatic act committed against them, to be left with the residue of that person if you will, to have to bring that child into this world and be reminded of it every single day," Figures said.

The ACLU of Alabama is on record saying it will sue if the bill becomes law. Republican Gov. Kay Ivey has not said whether she will sign it, and said she was waiting for a final version of the bill. She is considered a strong opponent of abortion.

Chipping away at abortion rights

In recent years, conservative states have passed laws that have chipped away at the right to abortion with stricter regulations, including time limits, waiting periods and medical requirements on doctors and clinics. This year state lawmakers are going even further now that there's a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court.

"The strategy here is that we will win," says Alabama Pro-Life Coalition President Eric Johnston, who helped craft the Alabama abortion ban.

"There are a lot of factors and the main one is two new judges that may give the ability to have Roe reviewed," Johnston said. "And Justice Ginsburg — no one knows about her health."

So states are pushing the envelope. Several, including Alabama's neighbors Georgia and Mississippi, have passed laws that prohibit abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. But the drafters of the Alabama bill think by having no threshold other than if a woman is pregnant, their law might be the one ripe for Supreme Court review.

The National Organization for Women denounced the ban's passage.

"This unconstitutional measure would send women in the state back to the dark days of policymakers having control over their bodies, health and lives," the organization said in a statement. "NOW firmly believes that women have the constitutional right to safe, legal, affordable and accessible abortion care and we strongly oppose this bill and the other egregious pieces of legislation that extremist lawmakers are trying to pass in what they claim is an attempt to force the Supreme Court to overturn Roe."
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https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2019/05/15/alabama-ohio-abortion-heartbeat-restrictions-choice-column/3679623002/

I was 12 years old and pregnant. Alabama's abortion ban bill would punish girls like me.
Shannon Dingle, Opinion contributor Published 1:52 p.m. ET May 15, 2019 | Updated 4:07 p.m. ET May 15, 2019

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed a near-total abortion ban into law. USA TODAY
Critics might say I'm the exception, not the norm, but that's exactly why abortion cannot be dictated by legislators. Every pregnancy is unique.



The author at a friend’s birthday party in Brandon, Florida, in August 1994,
 a month after she found out she was pregnant. (Photo: Family handout)
I was that 11-year-old pregnant by rape in Ohio, except I had just turned 12 and lived in Florida. There will be more children like us, including in Alabama when its near-total abortion ban, which doesn't include exceptions to rape victims, goes into effect.

Police reports tell the little girl's story: 26-year-old rapist, raped multiple times, pregnant but wouldn’t be allowed to have an abortion under a new Ohio law going into effect this July.

News commentators tell her story: some as an example, some as a detractor, some with more concern for their political message than her painful realities.

Twitter is debating her story: her age, her worth, her rapist, her pregnancy, her baby, her fetus, her rights, its rights.

She is 11. She has experienced and is experiencing violating trauma. Maybe someday she will tell her story, but today is not that day.

I can tell my story, though. I was newly 12. I lived in a suburb of Tampa. I had gotten my period a couple years before, and it came regularly once it started. I knew to expect it every 32 days.
An underage rape victim out of options

It was July, the summer between sixth and seventh grade, when days 33, 34, 35 and more passed with no period. I had read in one of my sister’s Seventeen magazines that periods aren’t always regular, so I figured this was my first one of those.

It wasn’t.

Read more commentary:

'Heartbeat bills' reveal extremist anti-abortion view that values unborn over women

Pro-life friends supported our children’s adoptions. But they balk at policies keeping them alive.

I had a later abortion because I couldn't give my baby girl both life and peace

When I was two weeks late, I threw up for the first time. I was confused initially, because it didn’t feel like my experiences with stomach bugs or bulimia.

Then I remembered when Becky from "Full House" had been sick and pregnant with their twins. I did the math. Then I walked a mile-and-a-half to the store, lied to the clerk about needing to get one for my mom, stuck the bag in my fanny pack and began the walk home. Once I got to a familiar grove of trees, I walked in deep, smacking at mosquitoes along the way, until I knew it was safe. I took off my sandals and shorts and underwear, the kid kind with some cartoonish character on them. I read the instructions in detail, three times.
The author at a friend’s birthday party in Brandon, Florida, in August 1994, a month after she found out she was pregnant.

The author at a friend’s birthday party in Brandon, Florida, in August 1994, a month after she found out she was pregnant. (Photo: Family handout)

Then I took the test, put on my clothes again and climbed a tree, test in pocket, to wait for the answer. While I waited, I picked at my skinned knee until it started bleeding.

As soon as I saw the results, I scrambled back down the tree to double-check the box. The results were clear. I was six weeks pregnant, and seventh grade was starting at the end of the month.

I’ve left out a key detail. I never chose to have sex at such a young age, but abusers in my family chose to rape me. I had lost count of the number of times by then. With a dad high ranking in the county sheriff’s office, I didn’t trust going to the police. I had tried to tell teachers and church volunteers, but that never went anywhere, either.

But I felt like this pregnancy brought hope, so much so that I named the baby inside me Hope. I was sure Hope’s existence would bring about change. No one could deny my abuse with genetic proof. I thought my parents would make me quietly get an abortion if I told them, so I didn’t. I carried Hope and secrets into seventh grade.
Little girls shouldn't have full wombs

I’m not going to share the sacred details of when my hope and my Hope died a couple months later, as I had a miscarriage before I knew what one was. But I thought about those moments when I read about the 11-year-old girl in Ohio. She can’t tell her story, so I’m telling mine.

I need you to know that any child’s pregnancy is the result of rape, because no child can consent to sex. I need you to know that any child’s pregnancy is traumatic, no matter the outcome, because little girls aren’t supposed to have full wombs. I need you to know that I didn’t know I had options, because I knew girls who got pregnant were called sluts and girls who had abortions were called murderers.

And I need you to know that if I had lived under the Ohio law recently passed, I would have been too late to consider abortion by the time I realized I was pregnant. And if I had lived under the Alabama bill likely to be signed into law, being a repeated rape victim wouldn't given me any options.

If my life were in imminent danger, the Ohio law would permit a later abortion, but being gangly and pregnant at age 12 isn't a life risk.

I know responses to my story will include ones about how what happened to me is rare. I’m the exception, not the norm, they’ll say.

But I need you to know that every story is unique. Every discussion of abortion between a woman and her doctor is different. Something that might put one mother’s life or health at risk might not be a problem for someone else.

This is why abortion can’t be dictated by legislators. This is why abortion decisions must be made individually, between a woman and her doctor.

That Ohio girl’s story is being used as a prop in political discourse, but abortion rights matter because she isn’t an object. She is a person, same as me when I was 12 and pregnant.

Our humanity matters, in both debates and legislation.

Shannon Dingle is a mother of six and a writer working on her first book, "Living Brave," with HarperOne. Follow her on Twitter @shannondingle
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3 down, 47 to go...

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Missouri's House passes bill banning abortions at 8 weeks of pregnancy
The bill includes exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for rape and incest.
Missouri House passes bill to ban abortions after eight weeks

May 17, 2019, 9:11 AM AKDT / Updated May 17, 2019, 10:00 AM AKDT
By Elisha Fieldstadt and Associated Press

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ij9-ccUAesI" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ij9-ccUAesI</a>

Missouri's Republican-led House passed a bill banning abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy with an exception for medical emergencies but not for rape or incest.

Republican Gov. Mike Parson is likely to sign the bill, following the governors of Alabama, Georgia and several other states who have also recently signed stringent abortion legislation.

"Until the day that we no longer have abortions in this country, I will never waiver in the fight for life," Parson said during a rally Wednesday.
Related
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The Supreme Court and abortion: Will Roe v. Wade survive the new onslaught?

Under the bill, which passed in the House by 110 to 44, doctors who perform an abortion after the eight-week cutoff could face five to 15 years in prison. Women who receive abortions would not be criminally penalized.

The debate before the vote Friday was briefly interrupted by abortion-rights supporters chanting "when you lie, people die" and "women's rights are human rights." They were escorted from the chamber, but following the vote shouted "shame, shame, shame" while marching through the Capitol.

Missouri's Republican-led Senate passed the bill, called Missouri Stands With the Unborn, by a vote of 24-10 on Thursday morning. Friday was Missouri lawmakers' last day for the current session.

Once enacted, the law will only kick in if Roe v. Wade is overturned, and Planned Parenthood was assuring women in the state that facilities that provide abortions are still open in Missouri and neighboring Illinois.

"Gov. Parson is willfully aiding in the systematic downturn of health outcomes across our state, and banning safe, legal abortion is just the latest effort," said M’Evie Mead, the director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Missouri in a statement. "Shame on him for suggesting the government should have a say in when and whether someone becomes a parent."

Anti-abortion advocates across the U.S. are pushing for new restrictions on the procedure in hopes that the now more-conservative U.S. Supreme Court will overturn more than 40 years of federal abortion protection under Roe v. Wade.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Nicholas B. Schroer, said Friday that the purpose of the bill wasn't to provoke court challenges.

"This legislation has one goal, and that is to save lives ... to withstand judicial challenges and not cause them," he said.

If the courts block the eight-week ban, the bill has built-in concessions of less-restrictive time limits that would prohibit abortions at 14, 18 or 20 weeks or pregnancy.
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"While others are zeroing in on ways to overturn Roe v. Wade and navigate the courts as quickly as possible, that is not our goal," Schroer said. "However, if and when that fight comes we will be fully ready."

In the past two weeks, both Alabama and Georgia have passed strict abortion laws, although they have not yet taken effect, and may never be implemented, depending on results of court challenges.
Alabama

Alabama's law, signed by Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday, makes it a felony for a doctor to perform or attempt an abortion during any stage of pregnancy.

The state's House approved the bill with an exception for cases when a mother's health is at serious risk. The Senate considered but rejected also adding exemptions for when the pregnancy results from rape and incest.

The law is not due to go into effect for six months after the signing. Under current law, abortions can be performed up to 21 weeks and six days. As it is, there are only three abortion clinics left in the state of Alabama.
Georgia

Georgia's law, signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected — which can happen as early as six weeks, before many woman are aware they are pregnant.

The law includes rape and incest exceptions, if the woman filed a police report. It also includes exceptions to save the mother's life and if a fetus is determined to not be viable because of serious medical issues.

Under current law, abortions can be performed during the first 20 weeks of a pregnancy. The new ban is not due to go into effect until Jan. 1, 2020.

Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have also approved bans on abortion once fetal cardiac activity can be detected. Some of those laws already have been challenged in court, and similar restrictions in North Dakota and Iowa previously were struck down by judges.
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👶 Hundreds turn out to protest abortion law at Alabama Capitol
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2019, 02:17:26 AM »
https://www.al.com/news/2019/05/hundreds-turn-out-to-protest-abortion-law-at-alabama-capitol.html

Hundreds turn out to protest abortion law at Alabama Capitol
Updated May 19, 8:29 PM; Posted May 19, 7:17 PM

Hundreds of people marched at the State Capitol in Montgomery on Sunday to protest Alabama's new law making it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion. (Mike Cason/mcason@al.com)

Hundreds of people marched at the State Capitol in Montgomery on Sunday to protest Alabama's new law making it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion. (Mike Cason/mcason@al.com)

By Mike Cason | mcason@al.com

Hundreds of people chanted, carried signs and cheered speakers at a march today at the state Capitol opposing Alabama’s new law to ban abortion.

Megan Skipper of Montgomery, one of the organizers, said she was overwhelmed by the turnout for the event, initially announced on Facebook a few days ago.

“We never planned for it to be this big,” Skipper said. “But I think this size shows us that people are mad. And we are the majority. And that abortion rights are human rights and that’s what we want for the state of Alabama.”

Gov. Kay Ivey last week signed into law a bill to make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion in Alabama. The law won’t go into effect for six months, so abortion remains legal in Alabama for now. The supporters of the legislation expect it to be blocked by federal courts and say their goal is an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court to lead to a review of the Roe v. Wade national abortion rights decision.

Today, the crowd opposing the law cheered speakers from the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, Yellowhammer Fund and other organizations who denounced the law. Other speakers described their own experiences with abortion, including one who said she was a rape victim.
People carried signs, chanted and cheered speakers on Sunday at a rally at the Alabama Capitol protesting the state's new abortion ban. (Mike Cason/mcason@al.com).

People carried signs, chanted and cheered speakers on Sunday at a rally at the Alabama Capitol protesting the state's new abortion ban. (Mike Cason/mcason@al.com).

Other states are also passing restrictive abortion legislation that is expected to be blocked by courts, including laws that ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, about six weeks into pregnancy. Alabama’s new law is the most restrictive, banning abortion at any time during a pregnancy except to protect the woman from a serious health risk. There is no exception for rape and incest victims.

At today’s rally, Brynleigh Davis of Prattville, 20, carried a sign saying “Mind your own uterus.”

Davis said she came to the rally partly to represent friends who feel the same way as her but are afraid to speak out. She said it was not hard for her to speak her mind.

“I’m mad, I’m angry and I am here for the long run,” said Davis, who will be a junior at AUM this fall. “I’m here to see this just be stripped away.”

Supporters of the legislation say their goal is to protect human life and that much more is known about fetal development than was the case when Roe v. Wade was decided 46 years ago. They noted that Alabama voters approved Amendment 2 last year, which affirmed the state’s recognition of the rights of the unborn, including the right to life, and that Alabama law recognizes the unborn as victims in homicide cases.

Davis, asked what she would say to those who view abortion as the taking of a human life, said, “I would tell them that it’s OK to have their own opinion but that is not what I believe and I don’t think that they should tell anyone else what they should do with their body.”

Anna Belle May, 20, of Prattville, also said she was angry about the new law.

“It’s not something that should have happened," May said. "We shouldn’t be having to have a protest about this. There’s separation of church and state for a reason, and we’re bringing the church into the Legislature.”

May said Sunday’s rally was her first time to attend a political protest. But she said she votes, and voted against Amendment 2 last year.

Travis Jackson of Montgomery, who volunteers as an escort for women receiving services at the abortion clinic in Montgomery, called the turnout for Sunday’s rally “magnificent.” He attributed it to the national attention on the Alabama law.

“If it was just the state’s attention, you wouldn’t have as many people out here as you see right now,” Jackson said. “But since it has the attention of America, it is a wonderful thing. It makes everybody aware of what’s really going on in the state of Alabama.

“Where there is more people there is going to be more power.”
Hundreds marched up Dexter Avenue in Montgomery to the State Capitol today in protest of Alabama's new law criminalizing abortion. (Mike Cason/mcason@al.com)

Hundreds marched up Dexter Avenue in Montgomery to the State Capitol today in protest of Alabama's new law criminalizing abortion. (Mike Cason/mcason@al.com)

Capt. Regina Duckett of the Montgomery Police Department said organizers expected about 500 people and she estimated the crowd was close to that.

Duckett said the event was peaceful with no arrests. She said there was a counter protest with a handful of participants but there were no incidents.

The speakers at the rally urged the marchers to continue to stay engaged on the issue and at the voting booth.

“I think it’s going to take people committing to this fight and making sure that they’re engaging with their elected officials but that they’re also being compassionate and giving to local organizations like Yellowhammer Fund to help women get access to abortion.

“It’s going to take a particular resolve and making sure that people are aware of electoral politics and that they’re staying involved in voting and contacting their legislators.
Save As Many As You Can

Offline UnhingedBecauseLucid

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Serious pockets of humanity out there man... serious fucking pockets of humanity.
Absolutely  s u r r e a l  ...

 

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