Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed two pro-life bills into law Thursday, one of which could wind up closing multiple abortion clinics in the state.
The first, sponsored by Republican Senator Paul Sanford, bans abortion clinics from within 2,000 feet of any K-8 public school.
“It’s a real milestone not only in Alabama but across the country because, to our knowledge, this is the first time this approach has been used,” said Reverend James Henderson, an Alabama pro-life activist. “And now that it’s successful in Alabama, we believe it will be a template or pattern for other states in the future to follow with the strong prospect of it holding up in federal court.”
Henderson believes proponents of the ban have a good chance of fighting off challenges to the law in court. He added that groups like the ACLU, who promised to fight the measure, will be “exposed” for “what they are as far as their pattern of standing against basic morality and Christian values.”
The second bill signed by the governor, with little fanfare, is the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” sponsored by Rainbow City Republicans Sen. Phil Williams and Rep. Mack Butler. The new law prohibits dilation and evacuation “D&E” abortions, which account for approximately 95 percent of all abortions in the second trimester. The new law allows exceptions only in the event of a “serious health risk to the mother.”
“Dismemberment abortions are a heinous practice, and I am glad the Alabama Senate has taken this step to promote and protect a culture of life by outlawing these procedures,” Williams said following the bill’s passage in the Senate. “The abortion of unborn children through violent dismemberment is something all right-thinking Americans should condemn.”
“Eagle Forum of Alabama is proud to stand with the women who have been harmed physically and emotionally by dismemberment abortions and the children whose lives are destroyed by this practice,” Eagle Forum of Alabama Executive Director Deborah Love told Alabama Today. “We are proud to stand for fundamental human rights. All of the world’s major religions, as well as a secular ethic informed by science or humanism, reject inflicting harm on innocent human beings. Respecting fundamental human rights is foundational to being human. It is what unites all human beings.”
Alabama is the fifth state to ban dismemberment abortion, joining Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Mississippi.