An amendment to insert the right to abortion in the Alabama Constitution and repeal the section that affirms the state recognizes "the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children" has been filed in the Alabama Senate.
The state amended Alabama's Constitution in 2018, adding a section that affirmed a statewide affirmation of the rights of unborn children. A year later, Gov. Kay Ivey signed a near-total ban on all abortions, which only went into effect in 2022 after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe V. Wade.
It reads as follows:
“This state acknowledges, declares, and affirms that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life.”
“This state further acknowledges, declares, and affirms that it is the public policy of this state to ensure the protection of the rights of the unborn child in all manners and measures lawful and appropriate. Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.”
Senate Bill 13 (SB13) by State Sen. Vivian Figures (D-Spanish Fort) would repeal the 2018 amendment and replace it with a codification of the right to abortion in the state's Constitution.
SB13 reads as follows:
“Every individual has the right to make and carry out one's own reproductive decisions, including, but not limited to, decisions on each of the following:
• Fertility treatment.
• Continuing one's own pregnancy.
• Miscarriage care.
“The state shall not directly or indirectly burden, penalize, prohibit, interfere with, or discriminate against either of the following, unless the state demonstrates that it is using the least restrictive means to advance the individual's health in accordance with widely accepted and evidence-based standards of care.”
The bill does stipulate that abortion "may be prohibited" in cases where the baby is viable.
"Abortion may not be prohibited if, in the professional judgment of the pregnant patient's treating physician, it is necessary to protect the pregnant patient's life or health," the bill continues. "As with all Constitutional amendments, it would require a vote by Alabama residents to grant it final approval."
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