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Those who support abortion, and those who oppose it, are now forced to envision an America where Roe v. Wade is no longer a reality. 

Since the first draft of an opinion by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) seemingly striking down Roe v. Wade was leaked, both sides of the abortion debate have been planning their next steps nationwide.

In Alabama, the vehemently pro-choice organization POWER House is located in Montgomery, next to an abortion clinic.

People Organizing for Women’s Empowerment Rights (POWER) is run by clinic escorts, who ferry mothers into the clinic and act as a home base for various other community activism organizations. 

POWER responded to the SCOTUS leak, saying that, although they may not have a future supporting the abortion clinic next to them, they would still be available to help Alabamians procure out-of-state abortions. 

“WE. AREN’T. GOING. ANYWHERE,” POWER said in a social media statement. “Even if the clinic closes, we will stay open to help those who will need to travel outside of Alabama to obtain abortion care. There’s not many people who can navigate the complex laws and abortion clinic systems than people who have worked inside clinics and volunteered at clinics - that’s us. As long as we can pay the bills to keep the house running, we will be there.”

While the opposition to abortion in the U.S has been designated pro-life, some in Alabama and the nation separate themselves from the designation “pro-life.”

Abortion abolitionists consider themselves separate from the “pro-life industry” and adopt the title of the anti-slavery advocates of the 19th century.

A core tenant of abolitionism is treating the unborn baby with full rights under U.S law, thereby giving the unborn child the same rights as anyone. Abolitionists believe that abortion is truly murder, and therefore, both doctor and mother should be treated as equally culpable in the murder. Abolitionists also oppose any legislation that seeks to regulate abortion. Instead, they insist on the total elimination of the practice.   

Abolitionists point to the more incremental approaches of popular pro-life organizations, stating that pro-life legislation will keep abortion legal in certain states even if Roe is overturned. 

The Christian abolitionist organization, End Abortion Now (EAN) claims that pro-life laws which do not completely treat abortion as murder will keep the practice legal even if the SCOTUS strikes down Roe. 

“The pro-life industry through its incremental legislation that is put on the books in many states has actually legalized abortion in these states,” the EAN website says. “So that if Roe fell tonight, tomorrow it is still legal in the states because of the pro-life legislation.”

The Alabama-based abolitionist organization, End Abortion Alabama (EAA), has suggested the state should ignore Roe and establish laws that offer equal protection for the unborn.  

“A ‘right to an abortion’ is not only unconstitutional, it is anti-constitutional and evil,” The EAA website says. “When a court decision ignores the Constitution, our civil leaders are oath-bound to ignore that decision, so help them, God.”

Since the SCOTUS draft was leaked, Democrats in the U.S Senate have suggested the possibility of codifying the right to abortion. In a press conference, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said that the U.S Senate would be voting to make the right to abortion federal law. 

Opponents of abortion are pointing to Schumer’s statement as evidence that states should have been ignoring Roe from its inception since a SCOTUS opinion does not carry the force of law. 

Pastor Jeff Durbin, one of the founders of EAN, released a statement via social media pointing to this issue in response to Schumer’s statement. 

“The necessity is for lesser magistrates to ignore/defy an opinion from the Supreme Court that is not law,” the EAN website says. “Our original system of government, according to the Constitution, states that only Congress has the authority to make law. Therefore, Roe v. Wade is not a law. It was a federal ruling based on the false premise that unborn children are 'potential human beings.' The overwhelming testimony of Scripture and biological science states otherwise, and so Roe must be ignored and defied by local government to protect all of its citizens.”

In Alabama, State Rep. Terri Collins (R- Decatur) sponsored the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, which was signed by the governor in 2019. The act banned abortions with exceptions only for a serious health risk to the mother. A federal judge later blocked the law.

In light of the SCOTUS leak, Collins says she would be in favor of allowing abortions until a fetal heartbeat is detected, as well as exceptions in cases of rape and incest. 

The compromises that Collins suggests are unacceptable to EAA and abolitionists as a whole. 

“Unfortunately, several Alabama lawmakers are already talking about how we don’t need to protect preborn children in every instance,” an EAA article reads. “Some are even talking about walking back the Human Life Protection Act to allow for more instances where children can be killed.

“Collins’ view does not align with what the Constitution requires (equal protection of the law), and it certainly does not align with the Scriptures.”

Regardless of the court’s final decision, the EAA maintains that it will continue to fight for equal rights for the unborn.

“Even if the Supreme Court overturns Roe, we must continue urging our lawmakers in Montgomery to provide equal protection of the law to preborn children by abolishing abortion in Alabama,” said Paul Abbott with EAA. “Abortion is murder, and our laws should reflect that.”

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