A new bill before the Alabama legislature would effectively criminalize abortion. Doctors performing the procedure would be classified as either a Class C or Class A felony.
HB 314, sponsored by Representative Terri Collins (R), would be one of the strictest, if not the strictest, in the nation. Collins admits that the purpose of the bill is to challenge Roe v. Wade, the 1973 federal Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
While this bill makes exceptions for medical necessity, it does not include incest or rape as legitimate reasons to have an abortion. And, in fact, Senate Republicans hurriedly shut down an amendment that would include those cases as exceptions.
Pro-life proponents often argue that the fetus is not part of the woman’s body, but rather is a separate life, and so, should be granted the same rights as any other human being. Pro-choice proponents argue that women should have access to safe medical procedures if they choose to have an abortion; that making it illegal puts us back to times when back alley “doctors” and wire hangers were common, resulting in permanent injury or death.
The bill also does not address how reporting of an abortion would be handled without violating the HIPAA Act, which protects the privacy of an individual’s medical information. Plus, if enacted, the bill would be tied up in the court system for years, thereby costing Alabama taxpayers unknown amounts of money which could be better used elsewhere.
The Libertarian Party does not promote or condemn abortion. Rather, the Libertarian Party seeks to remove government from the issue altogether and for that reason opposes HB 314. Individuals and communities can decide what moral standards they choose to abide by, without forcing the taxpayer to support a morality they may not agree with.