Myths about Alabama’s abortion law – and the truth (for NZ media)

LiveAction May 2019
Family First Comment: The media (including in NZ) are misrepresenting (possibly deliberately) the Alabama abortion law, including “Men are leading the way to ban abortion” (false) and “Women will be criminally prosecuted for abortions.” (also false).
Instead of hearing the myths, here’s the facts….

CLAIM: Men are leading the way to ban abortion

FALSE: This bill, HB314, was sponsored by a female lawmaker, Representative Terri Collins, and was signed into law by female Governor Kay Ivey.

Pro-life organizations are led by women.

The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, on the other hand, was imposed by all men.

In fact, the decriminalization of abortion was led by men. Live Action News previously detailed eight ways pro-abortion men pushed abortion in the days leading up to Roe.

CLAIM: Women will be criminally prosecuted for abortions.

FALSE. The bill clearly states that women will not be held criminally liable.

“Relating to abortion… to provide that a woman who receives an abortion will not be held criminally culpable or civilly liable for receiving the abortion….”

Section 5 states, “No woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to be performed shall be criminally or civilly liable….”

CLAIM: The Alabama law does not allow for any exceptions.

FALSE: The bill states, “An abortion shall be permitted if an attending physician licensed in Alabama determines that an abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother. Except in the case of a medical emergency as defined herein, the physician’s determination shall be confirmed in writing by a second physician licensed in Alabama….”

The bill, however, does not permit abortion for rape or incest. Statistics show that only a very small fraction of abortions are committed for rape, incest, or mother’s health. U.S. law is intended to punish the criminal — in this case, the rapist — not the victims, which are in this case the baby and mother.

CLAIM: Pro-lifers want to punish children who are victims of rape/incest.

FALSE: The pro-life community seeks support, equality, and protection for both the mother and child. But abuse does not justify abortion. The guilty party in a sexual assault case is the rapist, who should be punished as severely as the law permits. Rapists, however, don’t face the death penalty — so why should an innocent child be sentenced to death for the crimes of his father?

With this Alabama law, children conceived in unfortunate circumstances will be legally protected by law and given a chance at life. Abortion does not undo rape. Adding the violence of abortion on top of sexual assault only further inflicts violence upon an innocent woman. Every person’s humanity is determined not by how wanted he or she is, or the circumstances surrounding his or her conception, but by the fact that he or she is a human being.

CLAIM: Doctors would receive 99 years in prison if convicted under this new law.

FALSE: As with any felony, the law provides a range of punishment options. According to local media, “Under the law, performing an abortion would be considered a Class A felony, which carries a sentence of life or 10 to 99 years in prison.”

  • Section 7: “This act shall notapply to a physician… performing a termination of a pregnancy or assisting in performing a termination of a pregnancy due to a medical emergency….”

legal site explains how the state organizes felonies: “The state of Alabama organizes felony crimes into three levels: Class A, Class B, and Class C felonies. Class A felonies include crimes that are considered the most serious, while Class B and Class C crimes are less serious…Every felony offense in Alabama is punishable by at least one year and one day in a state prison. Depending on the circumstances of the crime and its severity level, a felony conviction can result in a wide range of sentences.”

  • Class A. No less than 10 years and no more than life or 99 years.
  • Class B. No less than two years and no more than 20 years.
  • Class C. No less than one year and one day and no more than 10 years.

CLAIM: Thousands of women will die from back-alley abortions.

FALSE: These false claims date before Roe and have been debunked numerous times. Read how the numbers were flawed at Live Action News here and here.
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