Background: HB454, misleadingly titled the Equal Protection Act, seeks to codify abortion as murder. Amending the definition of person to include an “unborn child from the moment of fertilization,” this bill intends to prosecute a pregnant person for any attempt to terminate a pregnancy at any stage, even if the fetus is non-viable. Alabama’s current abortion ban criminalizes the performance of an abortion as a Class A Felony but does not allow for prosecution of a person seeking an abortion. This bill would eliminate this protection for pregnant people and subject them to murder or assault charges for the termination of fetal development at any stage.
Our Position: We oppose House Bill 454. This bill infringes on the human right to not have a child and puts all birthing people, including those with intentional or wanted pregnancies, at great risk. Alabama already has the most restrictive abortion ban in the nation as well as the third-highest maternal and infant mortality rate. Criminalizing people for seeking potentially life-saving reproductive care will only exacerbate Alabama’s maternal health crisis and increase the number of preventable injuries and death. Furthermore, this bill flagrantly undermines women’s autonomy and restricts their opportunities for equal participation in society.