In an effort to force the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit the Roe v. Wade ruling, Alabama lawmakers have proposed a bill that would make performing an abortion a Class A felony, subject to up to 99 years in prison.
The bill has more than 60 co-sponsors in the 105-member Alabama House of Representatives.
“It simply criminalizes abortion,” one sponsor, Republican Rep. Terri Collins of Decatur, said in a report by the Daily Mail of London.
“Hopefully, it takes it all the way to the Supreme Court to overturn [Roe versus Wade],” she said.
Georgia and South Carolina have proposed similar bills.
“Here’s the problem: This bill is unconstitutional,” claimed Vicki Ringer, director of Public Affairs Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, regarding South Carolina’s bill.
But Collins said the “whole point is to get the courts to relook at this issue.”
“I think people are seeing a possibility that the Supreme Court might have a more conservative-leaning balance,” she said.
Even Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, who wrote the 1973 opinion that created a “right” to abortion, was far from certain about the decision.
He explained Supreme Court justices at that time didn’t have the scientific evidence to determine if an unborn baby is a person.
But that now has been documented.
Blackmun wrote: “(If the) suggestion of personhood [of the preborn] is established, the [abortion rights] case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment.”
The bill was introduced into the Alabama state Senate and House on Tuesday. It would make even attempting an abortion a Class C felony.
The law would not punish women who seek or obtain abortions, and it exempts cases in which abortion would prevent serious health risks to the mother.
President Trump’s appointment of two conservatives to the Supreme Court has moved the court to the right. If another vacancy arises while he is in office, Democrats certainly will make the possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade the No. 1 issue.
The Daily Mail reported Kentucky and Mississippi recently approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which usually is six weeks into pregnancy. Georgia and South Carolina are among other states that could do the same.
Also, the Alabama Supreme Court in 2018 ruled that an unborn baby is a “person” under the law. Consequently, the death of that person can be punished with execution.
Further, in a special concurrence, Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker called on the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade.
“I write specially to expound upon the principles presented in the main opinion and to note the continued legal anomaly and logical fallacy that is Roe v. Wade,” he said. “I urge the United States Supreme Court to overrule this increasingly isolated exception to the rights of unborn children.”
Parker affirmed the Alabama court’s rationale that “unborn children are persons entitled to the full and equal protection of the law.”
He asserted Roe v. Wade is “without historical or constitutional support, carved out an exception to the rights of unborn children and prohibited states from recognizing an unborn child’s inalienable right to life when that right conflicts with a woman’s ‘right’ to abortion.”
“This judicially created exception of Roe is an aberration to the natural law … and common law of the states,” Parker said.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals last year struck down an Alabama law banning the gruesome, second-trimester abortion procedure in which limbs are removed from a baby’s body in the womb.
At the time, Chief Judge Ed Carnes lamented in his opinion that he was bound by U.S. Supreme Court precedent to rule against the state, writing that “dismemberment” is the best description of the procedure, which clinically is known as dilation and extraction.
“In our judicial system, there is only one Supreme Court, and we are not it,” he wrote, calling the high court’s history of abortion rulings an “aberration” of constitutional law.
And Judge Joel Dubina wrote separately to express his agreement with Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia in Gonzales v. Carhart in which Thomas wrote, “I write separately to reiterate my view that the Court’s abortion jurisprudence,” including in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade, “has no basis in the Constitution.”