A bill criminalizing abortion as murder and offering "equal protection for the unborn" was filed in the Alabama House of Representatives.

House Bill 454 (HB454), also called the Equal Protection Act, is sponsored by State Rep. Ernie Yarbrough (R-Trinity). The bill seeks to outlaw abortion as murder and provide "equal protection of the law for preborn children, ensuring the lives of those in the womb are equally valued as those outside the womb."

The bill filed Tuesday currently has four House co-sponsors: Ben Harrison (R-Elkmont), Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City), Mark Gidley (R-Gadsden) and Ritchie Whorton (R-Owens Cross Roads).

"The majority of Alabamians agree that abortion is murder. It's time our laws reflect that," stated Rep. Ernie Yarbrough. "Perhaps the most important duty of a legislator is to provide justice for the citizens of our state, and that's what this bill attempts to accomplish."

End Abortion Alabama (EAA) is an Alabama-based abortion abolitionist group that supports the bill.

"Contrary to popular belief, self-managed (DIY) abortions remain legal in Alabama due to a pro-abortion loophole in state law," said Paul Abbott II, an EAA activist. "The Equal Protection Act repeals that loophole and truly treats babies in the womb as fully human."

Maegan Pierce, also with EAA, praised the bill for recognizing all human life as deserving of protection. 

"The Equal Protection Act recognizes that all human life, including preborn life, is created in the image of God and must be protected from fertilization by the same laws that protect born people," Pierce said.

If passed, the Equal Protection Act would do the following:

  • Define abortion as murder, providing equal protection of the laws for children in utero.

  • Make it a crime for anyone to force or coerce a mother into getting an abortion.

  • Protects access to life-saving medical care while clarifying that the mother and preborn child are equally valuable under the law.

The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, where it must pass before making it to the floor for a vote.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email craig.monger@1819news.com.

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