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Thomas Gallatin / May 15, 2019

Alabama Hopes to Challenge Roe v. Wade

The objective is to have SCOTUS rule on whether an unborn child is indeed a person.

Georgia passed a law last week that makes abortion illegal once a baby’s heartbeat is detected in the womb, which is approximately six weeks after conception. On Tuesday, Alabama took it a step further with a new law that essentially bans all abortions except in cases of a mother’s health. Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill Wednesday. However, unlike New York’s infanticide law, which can take effect immediately, Alabama and Georgia’s laws will be tied up in courts for years and may never actually take effect.

Much of the Leftmedia’s reporting on the laws has been inaccurate at best and is at worst flat-out fake news. For example, reporting on the Georgia law, Business Insider’s headline falsely and ridiculously asserts, “Women could get up to 30 years in prison for having a miscarriage under Georgia’s harsh new abortion law.” Slate is no better, vacuously alleging, “Georgia just criminalized abortion. Women who terminate their pregnancies would receive life in prison.” Glamour also trumpets the same baseless nonsense, writing, “Women who have an abortion in Georgia could be sentenced to life in prison.”

Rich Lowry actually gets to the facts of the law, pointing out, “The relevant section of Georgia abortion law makes it clear that it applies to third parties, and has been interpreted as such by the Georgia courts. Nor does it call for life imprisonment of anyone.” Likewise, Alabama’s law only holds penalties for those who administer an abortion procedure, making it a felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison.

What everyone seems to see is that these laws are intended to push the issue of abortion back to the Supreme Court with the aim of reexamining the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. As Alabama House Republican Rep. Terri Collins, the bill’s sponsor, stated, “This bill’s purpose is to hopefully get to the Supreme Court and have them revisit the actual decision. … It’s to address the issue that Roe v. Wade was decided on. Is that baby in the womb a person?” Indeed, both Georgia and Alabama endeavor to define a baby in utero as a human being, which might be the legal key to undoing the damage of Roe.

Meanwhile, Democrat objections to reexamining Roe on the grounds that it set unassailable judicial precedent holds little historical weight, as past controversial landmark rulings such as Dred Scott v. Sandford or Plessy v. Ferguson were later challenged and rightly overturned. In any case, saving lives is a worthy battle for both Georgia and Alabama.

(Updated.)

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