Last week 25 men in Montgomery made a decision to vote on a bill that has absolutely nothing to do with them.
They will never become pregnant or have to agonize over whether to have the child or not.
It’s pretty obvious why that was an easy decision for them to make.
Our Alabama senators voted to pass a bill that became law with the signature of Gov. Kay Ivey that effectively prohibits all abortions in the state. It is being called the most restrictive abortion bill in the country. The law bans the procedure in nearly all cases including rape and incest. It criminalizes abortion and sets sentences for doctors who perform the procedure subject to 99 years in prison.
The bill was initially introduced by State Rep. Terri Collins, a registered Republican who calls herself a pro-life woman.
I have news for Ms. Collins. Most women I know are pro-life, but they also become offended when politicians try to interfere with their uteruses.
Our concerned 25 male senators took their bill farther than any other abortion ban being passed by neighboring states. In their great wisdom, they decided to not allow exceptions to the law for women who have been raped or who become victims of incest.
That decision calls into question their “belief that every life is precious” claim.
Or maybe those senators subscribe to the same theory that several of their counterparts do. Missouri GOP senator nominee Todd Akin claimed that rape doesn’t result in pregnancy because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Or perhaps it was this comment from GOP nominee Richard Mourdock of Indiana who proclaimed that a pregnancy resulting from rape as a “gift from God.”
God blessed women with body parts to create life and carry a child, but no one should force them to carry a child if it was conceived by the actions of a rapist.
Doctors who perform the abortions can face up to 99 years in prison.
Incest and sexual abuse crimes are considered Class C felonies with a minimum sentence of 1 year and 1 day with a maximum sentence of 10 years. If the victim is between 12 and 16 years old, it is a Class b felony with a maximum sentence of 20 years.
What does it say about us as a society when the doctor who helps a woman gets more jail time than the man who assaulted her?
According to the Rape and Incest National Network, women between ages 16 and 19 are four times more likely to be victims of rape and incest.
What kind of psychological ramifications will a 12-year-old rape victim experience if she is forced to carry the child of a man who assaulted her? What about her life?
Alabama is a conservative, pro-life state but according to a poll conducted last year shows just 31 percent of voters support banning abortions in all cases while 65 percent of voters oppose banning abortion in cases of rape and incest.
The poll was conducted by Anzalone Lizst Grove Research on behalf of Planned Parenthood Southeast and surveyed likely voters in the mid-term election in Alabama. The poll showed that even conservative and religious voters supported exceptions for rape and incest. The survey found that 60 percent of Alabamians think access to abortion should be, at most, limited.
In Rose vs Wade the Supreme Court held that a woman’s right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy protected by the 14th amendment. It ruled that “unduly restrictive state regulations of abortion are unconstitutional.”
But that was another time. It was a time when a woman’s medical decisions were personal and not fodder for political agendas. It was also a time when women didn’t get abortions because they chose not to use birth control or because having a child would be inconvenient.
The Alabama abortion ban isn’t scheduled to take effect for another six months, but most likely never will, according to legal experts. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood have already announced plans to sue the state in federal district court, where they are most likely to win an injunction to prevent the law from being enforced until the case is litigated.
Even Gov. Ivey admitted the law isn’t enforceable as long as Roe vs Wade stands as law.
The chances of the case ever getting before the Supreme Court are slim as there are several similar cases currently pending before the court. All of them could provide an opportunity for the high court to dismantle protections or overturn Roe vs Wade long before the Alabama law gets there.
Until Rose vs Wade is overturned, abortions are legal, and we should leave the judgements about the women seeking them to their Creator.
It’s also possible the six men and three women of the Supreme Court will have a different opinion than the Alabama senators.