So many people were focused on the horrible "personhood" abortion bill in the Alabama Legislature, SB301, that very little has been said about the bill that did pass both houses and was signed by Gov. Dr. Bentley yesterday. This bill, now Alabama law, bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy (about 1.5% of all abortions) regardless of fetal viability and with only the most narrow of exceptions.
"I believe that life begins at conception and I signed this bill to further commit my promise to protect the life of an unborn child," Bentley, a Republican, said in a statement.
Well, the real issue for the governor ought to be what is or is not legal, instead of his personal beliefs. And entirely left out of Dr. Bentley's belief is the welfare of the woman involved in the pregnancy. According to a recent Alabama ACLU action alert:
Under this bill, rape and incest victims, women whose pregnancies go awry with a serious fetal anomaly and other women would be forced to carry their pregnancies to term. If a woman is undergoing treatment for a serious illness, such as cancer, and is forced to carry her pregnancy to term under HB 18, she may have to forgo life-saving medical treatments that are incompatible with her pregnancy.
Big government right up in your business, between your doctor and your decisions. That's what Republicans want to impose.
They want to stop abortions entirely ... if you ask these people they'll tell you that. It's an impossible dream. Abortion didn't start with Roe V. Wade; as long as there have been pregnancies, there has been abortion. The choice is whether abortion should be a dangerous procedure done in the dark with a high rate of complications, or a safe, legal procedure performed in a hospital or clinic.
The way to reduce the number of abortions is to offer effective family planning help and make birth control widely available -- two things conservatives vehemently oppose. These anti-abortion laws they are passing will never stop abortion and they know it. It's all about making sure women who have an abortion pay dearly for it ... in blood and money ... and about pandering to religious fundamentalists for votes.