Alabama House passes ‘born alive’ abortion bill

Lawmakers still pushing abortion-related legislation

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Less than a week after Alabama passed the strictest abortion bill in the country, the Alabama House has passed another abortion-related bill.

The House, by a vote of 66-18, Tuesday night passed legislation that would require a physician to use “reasonable care” to save the life of a child who is born alive after an abortion or attempted abortion.

Rep. Ginny Shaver, R-Leesburg, sponsored the bill.

“I really do not see the controversy on this issue,” Shaver said. “I do not see how anyone with a conscience could oppose rendering aid to a child born alive.”

The bill outlines a baby born alive as one that shows signs of life after separating from the mother. These include heart beats, definite movement of voluntary muscles, and pulsation of the umbilical cord.

A physician who does not try to save the life of a child would face a Class B felony and at least 20 years in prison. They would also face a fine of at least $100,000.

The bill said the woman who had an abortion would not be held liable.

Several Republicans spoke in support of the bill.

“The sole purpose of an abortion is to kill a baby,” Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, said. “There’s nothing in the world more undesirable to think about then killing a baby.”

It faced a lot of push back from House Democrats. Many saying they want the state to focus on fixing rural hospitals instead of putting what they call are restrictions on doctors.

“This is another one of those person-hood bills where you’re defining the fetus as a person. Legally there is not a baby,” said Rep. Merika Coleman, R-Pleasant Grove.

Opponents said it puts extra regulations on doctors and could push doctors away from working in Alabama.

“Somebody could come in and allege that the doctor didn’t do what he was supposed to do and the doctor did, and they could go to trial just because the baby that was aborted died?” said Rep. Juandalyn Givan, D-Birmingham. “The baby probably was going to die anyway.”

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Copyright 2019 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.