Background: House Bill 17 would repeal one of Alabama’s oldest laws criminalizing abortion. Alabama imposed its earliest abortion ban in 1841 making it a criminal penalty to "employ any instrument or means whatever with intent thereby to procure the miscarriage of (a) woman, unless same shall be necessary to preserve her life; or shall have been advised by a respectable physician to be necessary for that purpose." That law was amended in 1951 to lower the penalty to a misdemeanor and fine, which remained in effect until the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. Following the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization verdict, it is once again illegal in Alabama to induce or attempt to induce an abortion, miscarriage, or premature delivery.”
Our Position: We support HB 17. This law dating back to the 19th century represents the long legacy of extreme attacks on abortion care since before Roe v. Wade was even law of the land. Now Alabama preserves laws that make individuals criminally culpable for an abortion, miscarriage, or premature delivery.
Note: This bill will not repeal the 2019 Abortion Ban, also known as the Human Life and Protection Act, which criminalizes abortion providers with a felony.