Alabama Lt. Gov. Says Abortion Ban Sends a Message: ‘We Value Life’

By Zachary Stieber

Alabama’s Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth hit back at media outlets criticizing the state’s near-total abortion ban, which was passed by the state Senate on May 14.

Speaking during an interview with Talk 99.5, Ainsworth said that the law is sending a message.

“My message for the national media is, in Alabama, we value life. We took a strong stand, and we’re going to fight for basically a child that cannot defend itself,” he said.

“What’s interesting to me is you’ve got all this push for, you know, about rights. Yet, they don’t want to defend the most defenseless. I think we took a stand for life and I really believe this—if you look, my generation now, 40 and under … even with moderates or liberals are starting to get [that the unborn child] is a life.”

Ainsworth said that technology has increasingly shown the viability of unborn children, prompting a shift in thinking for many Americans.

“I think one of the Democrats if I remember right—[Malika] Sanders-Fortier is not for abortion,” he added, referring to a state senator who abstained during the vote. “And she’s a younger Democrat. So I think what you’re seeing that they really believe just from technology that this is a life. I’m confident that over time, that this will be the majority of people will say this is a life and we’ve got to make sure to protect it. I really believe that.”

The Alabama Senate passed the bill, HB314, or the “Alabama Human Life Protection Act,” by a vote of 25-6. No Democrats voted for the bill.

The Alabama House of Representatives voted nearly unanimously for the bill earlier in May, passing it 74-3.

The bill bans abortion unless there is a serious risk to the prospective mother’s health by continuing the pregnancy or if the child would be stillborn or die shortly after birth.

The bill noted that under Alabama law, the definition of a person includes an unborn child at any stage of development, and that last year, voters in the state approved a constitutional amendment stating that there was no right to an abortion in Alabama’s 1901 Constitution.

“Abortion advocates speak to women’s rights, but they ignore the unborn child, while medical science has increasingly recognized the humanity of the unborn child,” the bill states. “Recent medical advances prove a baby’s heart starts to beat at around six weeks. As early as six weeks after fertilization, fetal photography shows the clear development of a human being.”

The bill challenged Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision, saying that “Roe v. Wade attempted to define when abortion of an unborn child would be legal” and that “judges and legal scholars have disagreed and dissented with its finding.”

The bill would also make it a Class A felony for a doctor to perform an abortion and a Class C felony for attempting to perform an abortion unless the situation met the exceptions outlined in the bill.

Women getting abortions would not face criminal charges.

Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, told reporters on Wednesday that her office had not received the bill from the state Senate as of yet.

Ivey said in response to a question about the bill not containing exceptions for women who get pregnant through rape or incest: “All human life is precious,” according to the Montgomery Advertiser. She did not say whether she would sign the bill, adding that she would have to review it first.

If Ivey signs the bill, it would take effect six months later. Even if she vetoed the bill, it would likely be overridden by the state Senate and House.