Alabama is joining the flood of states which are passing (or trying to pass) damaging anti-choice legislation. New bills introduced in the Alabama state legislature would change the definition of “person,” which could potentially make all abortion illegal. The bill had 18 co-sponsors and was developed with the help of Personhood USA, illustrating its clear pro-life agenda.
The new definition of “person” would be: “Any human being from the moment of fertilization or the functional equivalent thereof.” If the bill goes forward, Alabama citizens would have the opportunity to vote on this as a constitutional amendment at the end of the year.
“We must protect all Alabama children,” said one of the sponsoring senators in a statement released by Personhood USA. “At the same time we have to send a message that Alabamians value the sanctity of life. Every heartbeat is as important as the next.”
As Anna North points out on Jezebel, fetuses don’t even have heartbeats until several weeks after the “moment of fertilization,” but since, if the bill’s supporters claim, Alabama is a pro-life state, surely small factual errors like that don’t matter. Interestingly, as Robin Marty writes on RHRealityCheck, this might have the inadvertent effect of redefining corporate personhood.
We’ll keep you posted on the bills as they move forward, and that the fact that this bill has many co-sponsors does not, in fact, suggest that the bill has a good chance of passing.
Photo from Flickr.