On May 15, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a sweeping piece of legislation that is leading the pro-life movement to rejoice. This bill “would make abortion and attempted abortion felony offenses except in cases where abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.” A late measure seeking to include an exception for rape and incest failed, by a vote of 21-11.
This bill will not criminalize women who seek or who have an abortion in any way, but attempted or successful abortions performed by doctors will be punishable by 10-99 years in prison. This bill is a huge step for pro-lifers, whose recent victories in Georgia, and now Alabama, have thrust abortion into the national spotlight.
However, these bills are not meant to only protect life in their respective states. They are also a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade (1973), the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion in the United States.
In 1973, the Supreme Court decided using obscure reasoning and citing wide aspects of the Constitution that a woman could have an abortion through the “right to privacy.” Despite this ruling, the Court acknowledged that the explicit right to privacy is not even in the Constitution. Unable to cite one direct part of the Constitution as direct evidence of a generalized right to privacy and subsequent right to abortion, the Court cited a wide range of constitutional amendments, from the First to the Ninth to the Fourteenth. Also cited were inconveniences to the mother, whether physical, mental, or emotional.
Not only do pro-lifers see Roe v. Wade (1973) as being poorly decided and reckless in its constitutional malfeasance, but legal scholars on both sides of the aisle view the decision as poorly deliberated and decided.
The Alabama law is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade (1973) in that it specifically and intentionally defines life as beginning at conception. Any exceptions besides cases in which the mother’s life is endangered would not adequately challenge the 1973 case. Instead, it would be deliberated against Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which dealt with states’ rights to restrict abortion “post-viability.” This case, similar to Roe v. Wade (1973), looked to center the decision on arguments of viability, which deliberately ignores the only important question.
The Alabama Human Life Protection Act is in direct violation of Roe v. Wade (1973), and everyone knows it. The U.S. has long been bifurcated sharply between pro-life and pro-choice and the debate is now escalating. By challenging the central tenants of Roe v. Wade’s (1973) decision, Alabama is hoping to force the Supreme Court to revisit the case.
This a huge step for the pro-life movement, and a message to those on the left that we will not roll over on this issue. Despite this and many other successes, as of now, the chances of Roe v. Wade (1973) being overturned are minimal. Justice Kavanaugh, the most recent Trump nominee, has not been as conservative as advertised, and, combined with Justice Roberts, are unlikely to side with any measure that attempts to overturn the landmark case.
The next step for conservatives and pro-lifers alike is to take over and change the narrative on abortion. For years, the media and Planned Parenthood have worked hand in hand to create the fallacious lie that an abortion is a safe procedure that does nothing but remove a clump of cells. Abortion needs to be thoroughly explained without euphemistic language and exposed for the barbaric act that it is.
By changing the narrative and dragging abortion out into the public circle, the Supreme Court will be forced to determine whether a woman’s alleged “right to privacy” usurps an unborn child’s right to life. Alabama’s newly passed law is a step in the right direction toward making that vital distinction.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.