House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) expressed uncertainty about a recently filed bill to criminalize abortion as murder in Alabama.

The bill to offer "equal protection for the unborn" was filed in the Alabama House of Representatives last week.

House Bill 454 (HB454), also called the Equal Protection Act, is sponsored by State Rep. Ernie Yarbrough (R-Trinity).

After the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) overturned Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision last JuneAlabama's abortion laws went into effect.

Alabama's current law makes it a felony to perform an abortion with limited exceptions, but there is no punishment for mothers who procure an abortion.

Yarbrough's bill would create "equal protection" for unborn children, meaning abortion would be treated the same way as the murder of a born individual.

On Thursday, Ledbetter said he had some concerns about the bill since it would, in theory, lead to the criminal prosecutions of mothers who procure an abortion after an instance of rape or incest.

"The thing is, we'll look at it, and we'll kind monitor it and see," Ledbetter said. "I have a little bit of a concern. The way our bill is, rape and incest is in there. I mean, you're talking about a 14-year-old kid that something might happen to, and we got to be cognizant of that. One thing we want to make sure is that we don't go overboard and hurt the people trying to help, as far as saving children."

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