Alabama’s abortion law: The top 5 myths

Last week Alabama passed the strongest pro-life legislation in the United States by granting near total legal protection to the unborn and therefore making abortion almost completely illegal throughout pregnancy.

This change in law has sparked alarmist headlines and posts on social media which embody various confusions and falsehoods about the law. Here are 5 of the top Alabama Abortion Law myths:


MYTH 1: A woman who has an abortion will go to prison

REALITY: The Bill clearly states that a woman who has an abortion will not be held criminally liable.

“Relating to abortion… to provide that a woman who receives an abortion will not be held criminally culpable or civilly liable for receiving the abortion….”

Even after the law is implemented, any woman who has an abortion will not go to prison.


MYTH 2: A woman who has a miscarriage could go to prison

REALITY: A woman who has a miscarriage in Alabama will not go to prison.

An abortion is NOT a miscarriage. The Bill does not even mention “miscarriage”.

Abortion is clearly defined in the Bill as, “The use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug, or any other substance or device with the intent to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with knowledge that the termination by those means will with reasonable likelihood cause the death of the unborn child.”

Alabama is not trying to penalise women who miscarry. . The natural and spontaneous cessation of a pregnancy where the child naturally dies is a great sadness, which the Alabama Bill makes no attempt to criminalise.


MYTH 3: A woman cannot get an abortion even if she might die as a result of a continued pregnancy

REALITY: The Bill does in fact permit abortion in cases where it is necessary to “avert [a mother’s] death or to avert serious risk of substantial physical impairment of a major bodily function”

The most common threat to a mother’s life during pregnancy is from an ectopic pregnancy.

The Bill states clearly: “The term [abortion] does not include: … a procedure or act to terminate the pregnancy of a woman with an ectopic pregnancy”

In other cases where a woman’s life is at risk, the Bill says: “An abortion shall be permitted if an attending physician licensed in Alabama determines that an abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.”

If a woman’s life is in danger, ending the pregnancy to save her life is still perfectly lawful.


MYTH 4: Men are leading the way to ban abortion

REALITY: This Bill, was sponsored by a female lawmaker, Representative Terri Collins, and was signed into law by female Governor Kay Ivey.

However, the Supreme Court Roe vs Wade (1973) decision, which made abortion legal throughout all 50 states in the USA, became law due to the decision of an entirely male panel of judges. In fact, the promotion of liberal abortion law in the US has historically been led by men.


MYTH 5: Pro-lifers restrict abortion but do not care about helping women in unplanned pregnancies

REALITY: Pro-lifers in general and Alabama in particular does a lot to help women with unplanned pregnancies.

The state has more than 70 help locations offering free services such as pregnancy tests, ultrasound scans, parenting classes, post-abortion healing, and material goods like maternity clothes, diapers, and baby items.

The U.S. has more than 2,750 pregnancy help centers and in 2017, they served nearly 2 million clients, saving communities an estimated $161 million.


For more information on Alabama’s abortion law, see this article from Dan Hitchens which was recently published in the Spectator. It mentions the “gruesome logic” of at least one opponent of the Alabama pro-life law, which you can see in the video below.

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