The Alabama House of Representatives is set to pass a quartet of pro-life bills that could effectively ban abortions for women who have been pregnant for six weeks.
In a statement provided to Business Insider Wednesday, Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard said he expected all four bills to pass.
“It is unfortunate that liberal activist judges on the U.S. Supreme Court have made abortion legal in the United States, but Alabamians are fortunate to have a Republican legislature that continues to protect and life (sic) in our state,” Hubbard said. “These bills are a priority for House Republicans and I am confident that they will pass.”
The four bills were all introduced by Alabama House Republicans last week. They moved out of the House Health Committee Wednesday and, according to a source in the State House, they will likely be voted on next week.
According to a statement released by the Alabama House Republicans on February 18, one of the bills, HB490, would “require physicians to check for a detectable heartbeat before performing an abortion.” If a doctor does not check for a heartbeat or performs an abortion after one is detected they could face felony charges and would have their medical licence revoked. Fetal heartbeats are often detectable at about six weeks.
HB490 was sponsored by Alabama Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, who did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Business Insider. House Minority Leader Craig Ford also did not respond to a request for comment.
The other three bills Hubbard expects to pass the House would also have a dramatic affect on abortions in Alabama. HB489 would increase the wait time required before an abortion from 24 to 48 hours. During this period, women seeking abortions would be given what Alabama House Republicans described as “required information about abortion, including an ultrasound.” According to the House Republicans, the third bill, HB493, would ban physicians from performing abortions in cases of a “lethal fetal anomaly” unless the doctor “has informed the woman in person that perinatal hospice services are available and that they are an alternative to abortion.” Lastly, HB494 would strengthen parental consent requirements for minors seeking abortions.
In an interview published in last Wednesday’s Montgomery Advertiser, the attorney who drafted the four bills, Alabama Pro-Life Coalition Executive Director Eric Johnston said he expects HB490 “obviously will go to court” if it becomes law.
“This is just an affirmation of Alabama’s public policy that we see an unborn child as a person. The ultimate purpose is to get it tested in court,” Johnston said.
Johnston did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
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