The House Health Committee met Wednesday to take up HB300 from Rep. Ed Henry (R-Decatur). The bill proposes a constitutional amendment that would “include all humans from the moment of fertilization” in the legal definition of “persons.”
If the bill clears both Alabama houses of government, and goes on to be approved by Alabama voters, it will effectively outlaw abortions in Alabama. Similar amendments have failed in other states and, if approved, would likely be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
During the meeting, Henry claimed that “science makes it clear” that life begins at fertilization.
People on both sides of the issue spoke during the hearing, though Brock Boone of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama was the only one to speak against the legislation.
Boone noted that the legislation makes no exception for victims of rape and incest or mothers who might die as a result of giving birth. Further, he remarked that the bill would effectively outlaw many forms of contraception and put mothers suffering from a miscarriage under legal scrutiny.
Boone also noted that if proponents of the legislation truly cared about children they would pass legislation to ensure that children born as a result of the ban were provided proper care for their children.
Jim Belyeu, an Alabaster obstetrician, agreed with Henry’s claim that life begins at the moment of fertilization and a mother and fetus are separate from one another.
“”The mother only contributes the egg and the incubator,” Belyeu said. “The mother provides only nutrition and protection.”
A representative from Personhood Alabama also spoke in favor of the legislation, saying that the law would put the rights of unborn children on an even keel with the rights of the mother.
Lawmakers did not take a vote on the bill and will likely take it up again after spring break.