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The future of Alabama's abortion law may be less sure than it once was, with the Biden administration vowing to enact new federal laws that could threaten the state's current ban.
If Democrats can expand their control of the U.S. Congress in the upcoming midterm elections, President Joe Biden has pledged to codify "abortion rights" into federal law.
Alabama's 2019 Human Life Protection Act currently bans all abortions with limited exceptions for the safety of the mother. However, since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, some state officials have discussed adding more exceptions.
State Rep. Scott Stadthagen (R-Hartselle) said the Republican Caucus has yet to reach unanimity on the subject, and the future of the law is currently uncertain.
"I have been traveling around the state meeting with Republican nominees for the Alabama House of Representatives, both incumbents and rising freshmen, and there are differing opinions when it comes to this issue," Stadthagen said. "After the members of the House GOP Caucus are elected, and we know exactly who the members are after the November 8 elections, we will have to determine what the appetite is amongst the members in regards to readdressing this issue."
Stadthagen also said Biden's promise to federalize the right to abortion is a nonissue.
"As a Republican House Caucus, we have never had a problem standing up to the threats of the Biden Administration, and that won't change in the next quadrennium," Stadthagen concluded. "As to the issue of the federalization of abortion, the United States Supreme Court made it clear in their ruling that this issue is one that should be left up to the states. Furthermore, I am confident that the era of the Democrats having control of both the House and the Senate in Washington, DC, will be over on November 8, which should make Biden's threats a moot issue."
State Sen. Larry Stutts (R-Tuscumbia), who also sponsored the bill, does not expect to see any walking-back of the law.
"The Supreme Court said that it was up to the states," Stutts said. "If, as we expect, the Republicans get control of both Houses in this midterm election, I don't see that going anywhere in Congress. I think Biden is just trying to hype that up before the midterms to try and make that an issue rather than the Congress. That's what the Democrats are counting on — any boost they can get before the midterm elections."
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