Alabama's Abortion Ban Is a Political Stunt That Will Cost Its Taxpayers

This piece originally appeared at the Alabama Political Reporter

For years, the Alabama legislature has been passing laws that push abortion out of reach. Now politicians have finally shown their true colors and are trying to ban abortion outright.

On Wednesday, Governor Ivey signed H.B. 314 — one of the most extreme attacks on the right to abortion in recent memory — into law. H.B. 314 outlaws virtually all abortions in the state and criminalizes doctors who provide this safe and constitutionally protected health care, threatening them with up to 99 years in prison. With her signature, Gov. Ivey has given her blessing to state law enforcement to insert itself into one of the most personal and private decisions a woman and her family can make. Indeed, these penalties are so draconian, there is no doubt the law would chill doctors from providing all manner of pregnancy-related care — even for women whose life and health are in danger — for fear of being accused of violating the ban. Given that Alabama already faces a severe shortage OB-GYNs, this is unconscionable.

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In fact, this bill is so extreme that even televangelist Pat Robertson and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy — who both oppose abortion rights — have criticized it as a mistake.

“I think Alabama has gone too far,” Robertson said on Wednesday before Ivey even signed the bill. Robertson even went so far to criticize the Alabama legislators’ legal strategy. “They want to challenge Roe v. Wade,” he said, “but my humble view is that this is not the case that we want to bring to the Supreme Court, because I think this will lose.”

They are right to criticize the law (and Robertson is right about the law’s chances at the Supreme Court). The law is a flagrantly unconstitutional attack on more than 40 years of established Supreme Court precedent. Despite strong public support for safe, supported abortion care, they hope the balance of the Supreme Court has turned against abortion rights with enough votes to aggressively and systematically dismantle abortion access. Yet over the past four decades, the Supreme Court — comprised of numerous justices appointed by Presidents across political spectrums — have repeatedly affirmed the principles underlying Roe v. Wade. This shameful attempt to turn the nation’s highest court into a partisan tool should outrage every Alabamian.

And make no mistake, this unnecessary political stunt is going to cost taxpayers. In 2016, the state paid the ACLU of Alabama $1.7 million after a federal court struck down a medically unnecessary law that would have forced the majority of the clinics in the state to close. Since then, federal courts have sided with the ACLU in every single challenge we have brought to laws restricting abortion in this state. The people of Alabama should expect this ban to meet the same fate.

In a recent article, AL.com calculated how that $1.7 million in taxpayer money could have been better spent rather than wasting it by defending unconstitutional laws. Instead of throwing that money away, the state could have hired 33 more teachers, financed nearly 300 tax credit scholarships under the Alabama Accountability Act, or purchased 38,000 naloxone kits, which treat opioid overdoses. At a time when Alabama is struggling to fund its schools, health care system, and infrastructure, we cannot afford this costly and self-destructive attack on women that will ultimately be paid for with taxpayer dollars.

For nearly 50 years, the law has been clear: The Constitution guarantees women the freedom to make health care decisions about their own bodies. The ACLU of Alabama will go to court to stop this law from ever taking effect, but the lawmakers who voted for it should be ashamed of themselves for politicizing our health and lives, and, once again, wasting taxpayers’ dollars on dystopic policies only fit for nightmarish fictional worlds — not Alabama in the 21st century.

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Ms. Gloria Anasyrma

There you have it folks "state's rights" raising its ugly head again.

Anonymous

Im curious what in the constitution guarentees the freedon to make heath care decistions. Since the ERA has not been radified.

SgrA*

Yeah, political stunt. Like so many Republicans who can't, they make up lies to purport their case. I received "The American Community Survey" from the U.S. Census Bureau. Is this another stunt? The Census hasn't been started, yet these people are ordering under penalty to respond to the survey. And the survey has all personal questions, and they break-down the survey for each individual in the household with full names, age, ethnicity, monthly payments, property tax valuations, costs of living expenses. This is too specific, and too broad to be a simple census. Worse of all they, the have this blanket statement that they are required "by law" to protect my information. Where have I heard that before? And the Trump administration does't follow the law, so you can't trust this survey information to them, even the Commerce Department leadership under Ross is corrupt. No, this is another stunt by Republicans to get private information to target people more -- you can't trust them based on their faith, their integrity, and especially their word. And they sent this survey out because their other census questions are before the SCOTUS for asking such questions. Republicans in Alabama want to own women, and Republicans in the Commerce department wants to own my personal information.

Patriotic American

The American Criminal Liberties Union supports the whole sale slaughter of babies. i.e. Infanticide

Liberalism is a mental disorder.

Anonymous

What's stupid are comments akin to yours. There are perhaps three aspects to the determination of an infant: 1) heartbeat; 2) breathing: 3) viability outside the womb. None of these are the case in this circumstance, so we are not talking baby/infant in any regard here. And then, you have that religious component, that sperm is somehow sacred and gives life just by ejaculation, so don't masturbate -- because it's unholy. But then again, you're a troll and you will just ignore these points. Did you condemn Trump for having his love-child with Karen McDougal aborted? Of course not.

Anonymous

Not at all surprising that your self righteous and virulent strain of angry propaganda spouting leaves no mention of the most basic point of human life: that it “takes two to tango” . No woman would be pregnant, Bubba , if there wasn’t a man in the action too. Yet there is not ( STILL) anything coming out to give the males male birth control pills, or any type of responsibility besides popping a viagra and then getting to his sherigtpleasure.

Anonymous

No, I’m sure that one sided refusal to look at actual FACTS in this matter, and the moronic talking point you seem to think was a direct bullet- ( Bubba: here is the reality about that utterly lame comment: ) The mental disorder garbage was never a true talking point from your “ side”, but it was a result of a study done in 2016 or so by a group of scientists. The entire study was based on whether persons attracted to Authoritarianism, and far right conspiracy theory sites are different from persons who are centrist, and persons who are liberal by their own description. The study found that those in the Right wing group were suffering from more low level neuroses, as well as higher levels of anxiety , depression and fear of change, There was also a section on I.Q. according to political choices. The centrist conservatives did about the same as the liberals. The ones who tested as far right tested as being not only more neurotic but having more free floating anger and yes, a lower IQ. So before you throw a talking point, check where it came from. Easy to comprehend, bc frightened and angry people who cannot control themselves are apt to view the world as threatening. Less intellect, more testosterone. Oh, and btw, before cursing me out and proving the test right , google it, and snopes is a nonpartisan site that will tell you if this is a real thing IT IS.

Anonymous

What stupidity. As if we aren't paying for abortions already! #1 You are taking a life, I think your parents should have aborted you, It's never too late right? Maybe we should pass laws to abort at the age of 20, 30 obvioesly your live has no value! Istead of justyfying the need of abortion. We should make it law that if a person seeks an abortion for anything other than rape or incest that they should get their tube tied as well. No one pays for my surgery. No we should not be allowed to kill babies just because we want to have sex with everyone we please. Don't give me the crap about Incest and rape either thats just an excuse to pass labortion laws. I know why ACLU is all over these types of cases... it's because they desire to do these things, they have a personal interest in them. I don't see the cowards taking on Insurance Companies who Coeherse people to give up their privacy by making them to sign up for apps that track their driving habbits in order to get a better rate. Why are they not fighting against mandatory insurance laws? Look Gays have been arround since the beginning of time Nothing has stopped them yet. Look if we are good people and mean well should we be left to our own moral compass? No ! why? Because My compass points in a different direction than yours. You say you don't want my morals being pushed on you... but you want fredom to push your morals on me. Look there are alot of things I don't like, I don't do gay, abortion. I am pro to what you do belongs behind closed doors with mutal concenting adaults. I don't encourage my kids to have any kind of sex with anyone and I dam sure don't want you injecting your opinions (poison) on anyone who is not ready to make that decision for themselves. You want to teach my kids your agenda but but bitch and sue if if your kids hear something on the radio. again we can't be lead by our own compass because we are still children we don't know whats right or wrong. Grown men fled persuction over seas and came over to get awayfrom it and what did they do? started killing the natives, and enslaved Africans. We are people who if are allowed to follow our own maral compus we will self destract. After 1000s of years we are still savages we kill, steal, rape, lie. If we had a moral cumpass the minute we came to an obsticle we didn't like we would change direction. Look I am no better than you and you're an idiot that makes me an idiot too, there we are on the same field one is no better that the other. You should not belive the same things we are not created (born) to be the same thats why it's important to understand the value of life everyone leaves a ripple. if a ripple is not allowed to happen how much are we truely missing? If you don't want a ripple dont do the chicken dance on a water bed. Its about Love & Reaspect. Love and Respect is the only true compus if the two of us followed it than neither of us would be idiots. We can't follow our feelings, or our intelect. so the truth is we all need a compas that is not of our own design. If what you do or think is right (measured by Love and Respect) it doesn't mean no one will get hurt, sometimes the right thing is the hardest thing to do and the most painful. But if it's done in Love its the best we can do but if it's the best we can do then it should measure up to Love. Only you can determine if what you do is out of Love but you must be willing to look deep inside yourself to see what the motivation is. you must be willing to see even if what you see is unpleasant and not what you want to see. This is the difference one who is willing to look is willing to aknowledge their own shortcommings this allows us to be willing to love others who are unwilling to look because we know what they rally fear because we are facing the same demon. We simply can not measure up to Love and Repsct , when we see this it will either harden us or break us if we allow it to break us then the rebuilding can begin.. As I began to write this I was indeed bitter but as I turned to look at the measurement of Love I see more of my own short comming and less of yours. Not that you are right by any means but I am accountable for my own lack of Love . Love is the goul and true Love may not be humanly posible to obtain. I see and feel a great discomfort in my quest But "I shall endeavor to persevere" It is my hope that when you are willing to look inside yoiur heart that you too will be willing to "endeavor to persevere"

Anonymous

What a pathetic opinion - you do come across as bitter. Sex doesn't require love, and when it's done with rage it's not done with respect. This isn't a law, and shouldn't be because it's not enforceable. Such comments come across as Romantic doofus(ism).

susan

Alabama is struggling to pay for education, etc. The state has low income taxes, that help the rich the most, very low property taxes, that help the rich the most, and high sales tax, even on FOOD, that hurts the poor and working class much more than it does the rich. Does anyone have a problem with "poor" Alabama?

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