During last week's broadcast of Alabama Public Television's "Capitol Journal," Stephen Stetson, the director of Planned Parenthood Alabama, warned there would be consequences for Alabama in proceeding with its abortion ban under the 2019 Human Life Protection Act.
Stetson said that based on the leaked draft opinion from earlier this year, his organization was preparing for the ban. However, he said it did not make it "any less devastating."
"I've been kind of comparing it to one of the Gulf hurricanes that you see it coming, but it doesn't make it any less devastating when it arrives," Ststson said. "We knew this was coming, but the impact has still been catastrophic. There is a lot of fear, and I felt some of that fear. There is a lot of anger, and I felt a lot of that anger, as well."
Stetson said Planned Parenthood in Alabama was going to remain active but was going to make sure that it was compliant with Alabama law, acknowledging abortion was "probably illegal" in the state.
He said he anticipated a "political reckoning" once people realized abortion on demand was no longer a "right."
"[I] certainly think that in the state of Alabama, politicians are going to be less inclined to take a stand that they feel is out of sync with their constituents, but that's in the face of numbers that we've seen that show that 80% of the people in the United States think Roe should've stayed law," Stetson said. "And I don't know the exact numbers for Alabama, but it's probably a healthy majority. I also think that's going to run up against narratives that are going to begin to emerge where individuals thought they had a right to do something and then realize that they don't are going to translate that into a political will that, as you have said, we haven't had to reckon with this before. People have taken for granted that we've had this right, and when they realize they don't, I think there may be a political reckoning from that."
Stetson speculated the backlash would stem from "compulsory pregnancies" and would impact low-income communities of color.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email jeff.poor@1819News.com.
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