MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) – A House Bill which would ask Alabama voters to decide if life begins at conception could potentially outlaw abortion in the state across the board with no exceptions, including rape or danger to the mother.
A co-sponsor of the bill, State Representative Jack W. Williams of Mobile, says the Personhood Amendment would allow Alabama voters to answer the question of whether or not life begins at conception through a referendum vote on the November ballot. If enacted as is, Williams says the bill will totally ban abortion at any time during pregnancy with no exceptions.
He does expect amendments to be added to the bill to address situations of pregnancy resulting from rape or pregnancies that pose life-threatening complications for the mother.
It passed a committee on Wednesday and Williams says he is hoping to have it on the floor of the House of Representatives next Wednesday.
“It would pretty much rule abortion out. It would rule abortion out,” said Williams.
If the bill becomes law the Republican lawmaker from Mobile says Alabama would be the first state in the nation to enact a total ban on abortions.
“Oh I feel very personally. I’m all against abortion completely. I’ve lost a daughter myself I know how precious life is. I just don’t see how anyone can at four months abort a child and throw it in the garbage can when we’ll spend $1 million on a 4 1/2 month old preemie,” said Williams
The Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama released the following statement opposing the legislation.
“The Personhood Amendment could essentially ban all abortions and some forms of birth control. We may not all agree about abortion or the question of when life begins, but we should agree that these personal decisions should remain between a woman and her family and her faith. That is why, time and again, when voters have been asked to weigh in on such extreme restrictions, they have voted to protect women’s access to reproductive health care. Similar proposals have failed by a wide margin every time it has been on the ballot.” – Susan Watson, ACLU of Alabama.