The Fetal Heartbeat Act, officially Alabama Senate Bill 9, would end two-thirds of abortions in Alabama.
According to the most recent version of the bill,
This bill would make it unlawful for a physician to perform an abortion on a pregnant woman after a heartbeat has been detected from the unborn child…This bill would further require a physician to check for a detectable heartbeat prior to performing an abortion.
The bill would require physicians who would perform an abortion to first check for a “detectable” heartbeat of the preborn child. Failure to check for a heartbeat, or aborting a child whose heartbeat could be detected, would be a class c felony — with penalties up to 10 years in jail and a fine of $15,000. The bill would also require any doctors who violate this law to be stripped of their medical license.
There would be no legal penalties for the mother and the bill includes exceptions for the life of the mother or if the child is determined to have “a lethal anomaly”.
The bill is sponsored by Senator Gerald Allen.
One-third of abortions occur before the sixth week of pregnancy, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The heartbeat of children still in the womb is detectable beginning in the sixth week.
Most women discover they are pregnant somewhere between the fourth and seventh week of pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. This would mean that two-thirds of abortions in Alabama would end, as they would lie outside the window of legality.
Heartbeat Bill History
Alabama SB9 will be read for the first time on February 2, 2016 and will be referred to the Senate committee on Health and Human Services.
A similar bill, passed the Alabama House in 2014 but stalled in the senate. The bill is nearly (or entirely) identical to Alabama House Bill 405, also named the Fetal Heartbeat Act, introduced April 12, 2015, which died in committee.
“The opinion of Supreme Court judges notwithstanding,” writes Matt Maharrey of the Tenth Amendment Center, “the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to regulate abortions.”
“From a constitutional perspective based on the original meaning of the Constitution and the 14th Amendment, the Alabama law rests on solid ground. How it would play out in practice, should it pass into law, remains to be seen.”
Nullify Abortion is excited to see the State of Alabama taking a stand against federal tyranny. Although the bill is not the perfect end to abortion in Alabama that we all want to see, it is a bold step in the right direction.
Call to Action
If you live in Alabama, contact your state legislators and encourage them to support Senate Bill 9, sponsored by Gerald Allen.
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A previous version of this article incorrectly stated SB9 would be read in February 2, 2015, this has since been corrected to the correct date of February 2, 2016.