MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama Representatives passed a bill Thursday to add an amendment to the constitution declaring Alabama a pro-life state.
The bill was the first of four the Alabama House of Representatives voted on from the special order calendar. However, all four bills faced opposition. The opposing argument: There are more important things the House should be focused on before the legislature takes a two week break.
“This day is a wasted day. It’s not a day that Alabama should be proud of,” said Rep. Barbara Drummond, D-Mobile.
Pro Life Day at the State House came under fire from House Democrats.
“There is no reason why we would take an entire day to address the issue that’s on the calendar today,” said Rep. John Knight, D-Montgomery.
The day was organized by the Republican Caucus as promised in their Alabama Proud legislative agenda.
“If we could get through these bills quickly, we could return to the regular order calendar and in doing so we could get to the bills that the Democrats are complaining that we’re not getting to, but instead they’ve decided to bog down this whole day,” said Rep. Matt Fridy, R-Shelby County.
After a morning-long debate about the special order calendar itself, lawmakers took on the first bill. A proposed amendment to the state Constitution declaring Alabama a pro-life state
“It’s a proactive measure to make sure that our constitution and the due process clauses included in it do not confer a right to an abortion,” explained Fridy.
The bill says the state Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion or require the state to fund it.
Carol Norton and Linda Gancy drove down to Montgomery from Homewood because of Pro-Life Day. They’re pro-choice advocates. They’ve been watching from the upstairs gallery.
“They can waste a whole day on something like this, where it’s a foregone conclusion how they’re going to vote. They all put on little stickers, pro life stickers, and if you looked around you could see just what everyone was doing,” said Norton.
“It sounds wonderful, pro-life, but that’s not the total issue,” said Gancy.
The bill will go to the Senate, and if it passes, go to the people of Alabama for a vote in 2018.
To see the full text of the bill, click here (HB-98).
The other bills voted on today include HB-95, by Rep. Mooney, authorizing healthcare providers to decline to perform services that violate their consciences, HB-96, by Representative Butler, the Assisted Suicide Ban Act, and HB-24, by Representative Wingo, the Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act.