It’s the state of Selma, of Martin Luther King Jr. It was where Rosa Parks took a stand by taking a seat. Now, that same Alabama isn’t just home to the civil rights movement, but a human rights movement. And liberals couldn’t be more irate. That’s because this bill isn’t about ending abortion in Dixie. It’s about ending abortion period.
H.B. 314 may say Alabama at the top, but both sides know: the bill’s real target is a lot bigger. And State Rep. Terri Collins (R) isn’t shy about saying so. “This bill is about challenging Roe v. Wade,” she insisted – a decision that claims “the baby in the womb is not a person …” Well, Collins argued, “[O]ur law says it is.” It’s time for the Supreme Court to rethink 46 years of abortion in America, she says. “I have prayed my way through this bill. This is the way we get there eventually.”
To give the legislation a better shot at the high court, the bill’s sponsors outlawed abortion in every case but one: if the life of the mother is at stake. State Senator Bobby Singleton (D) tried to add an exception for rape and incest, but his amendment was gaveled down. In a meltdown that went viral, Singleton erupted in a nonsensical tirade at pro-lifers, shouting, “You just aborted the state of Alabama. You just raped Alabama with this bill that you about to send out here! And the governor, when you sign it, you just raped the state of Alabama yourself! … You just raped every little baby; you just raped every little girl; you just raped every woman who been raped by men; you just raped her all over again!” he repeated. “Yes I said it! And I hope your conscience is eating your head up! ... She was pregnant with this bad bill, and you just aborted her!”
If the Human Life Protect Act was controversial, no one told the Alabama House or Senate, who sent the bill sailing to Governor Kay Ivey’s (R) desk with two landslide votes: 74-3 and 25-6. Most of them agree with Ainsworth, who said simply, “Abortion is murder. Those three simple words sum up my position on an issue that many falsely claim is a complex one.” Based on polling, that doesn’t just sum up his position, but the position of almost 60 percent of state voters. Abortion extremists can pressure Alabama all it wants, Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R) told reporters, but make no mistake: “This bill will become law because Alabamians stand firmly on the side of life.”
When Governor Ivey officially gets a copy of the bill this afternoon, the clock will start ticking on her six-day window to sign the law. And you can bet liberal Democrats will spend every minute pressuring her to take the cowardly way out. Already, a string of hair-on-fire abortion activists – from Planned Parenthood’s southern network to half the field from 2020 – are leaning on Ivey to stop the bill. Calling it “outrageous,” “dangerous,” even “exceptionally cruel” the Democratic candidates were tripping over themselves to be more incensed than the next guy. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) -- the same Democrats hoping to persuade voters that killing a newborn baby is a “personal choice” – reminded everyone just how out of step they are by arguing that pro-lifers had no business being legislators.
Others, like the ACLU, Cecile Richards, and Leana Wen, took issue with the fact that Alabama refuses to punish an unborn baby for the circumstances of her conception. People like Rebecca Kiessling understand. They’re living proof that even through something as horrendous as rape, God can still do something miraculous. Because of her mothers’ courage, she’s been able to engage in a pro-life movement that’s changed thousands – if not millions – of hearts.
Back in 2012, Kiessling had a chance to sit down with Texas pro-life Governor Rick Perry and explain to him, “When you make that rape exception, it’s like you’re saying to me that I deserved the death penalty for the crimes of my father. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, my father didn’t even deserve the death penalty. The Supreme Court has said there is no death penalty for rapists. But you say that I, as the innocent child of rape, deserved the death penalty?” He never fought for a rape exception again.
And there are more Rebecca Kiesslings that people might think. At the March for Life a few years back, NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez posted a powerful picture of a group of pro-lifers, who were all conceived in rape. “These lovely women want you to know that they are people, not hard cases.” Just last week, Ryan Bomberger – who’s never met his birth mother – made a moving video on his birthday, May 5, dedicated to his mom. “On this day, many years ago, I was born. Some say I should’ve been aborted. I was adopted & loved instead.” We should all be grateful that Alabama understands what the rest of the left does not: every life has potential.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.
Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by the Family Research Council yesterday. Update: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) has since signed the Alabama pro-life bill into law.