After the gas tax special session and the legislative spring break, the 2019 Legislative Session is halfway through. Still, there’s no shortage of bills moving through the legislature with important civil liberties implications.
Last week, legislators introduced bills in both chambers that would effectively ban abortion with no exception for rape or incest, and would make it a class A felony for medical professionals who administer an abortion.
We immediately issued a press release warning legislators that if an abortion ban passed, we are prepared to file suit, and reminded them that a previous lawsuit against unconstitutional abortion restrictions have cost the state millions of dollars.
- A bill to allow elective Bible classes to be taught in public schools, SB14, passed the Senate this week. It will now move to the House, where it must first receive a favorable report in committee. We are disappointed that Alabama lawmakers chose to pass a bill that does nothing to help our public schools or their students. Instead of asking educators to take on the additional task of religious education, Alabama lawmakers should let schools focus on preparing their students with the knowledge they need to succeed in college and careers, and let families and parents determine what kind of religious education they want for their child on their own time.
- In better news, two good bills were introduced this week: SB191, which would reform the civil asset forfeiture system and SB237, which would establish the Alabama Open Records Act and enforce requirements for government transparency. Both bills would bring needed changes to standardize government practices so that all people have equal access and treatment.
- A bill to remove homophobic language from sex ed curriculum, SB140, passed out of committee in the Senate and will now move to the full floor. We’re glad this bill moved forward because it is harmful to LGBTQ students to perpetuate inaccurate medical or legal information about sexuality. All students who are learning about sex deserve the most medically accurate information.
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