FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2014

CONTACT: Brooke Anderson, (Direct) 334-265-2754 ext. 205, media@aclualabama.org

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The ACLU of Alabama argued before the Alabama House Health Committee against four new bills designed to restrict abortions that would create dangerous and traumatic roadblocks for any woman seeking reproductive care.

“These bills are designed with the intent of bullying and shaming women into changing their minds after they have carefully weighed all of the options and come to a decision that she feels is the best course of action for herself,” said Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama. “They’re not about healthcare.  They are the opinions and the religious beliefs of politicians and other people—none of whom are in the examination room.”

Collectively, the four separate bills range from extending waiting periods; prolonging judicial bypasses for women while concurrently breaking her confidentiality; subjecting a woman to forced counseling on perinatal hospice care after learning her unborn child has a lethal fetal anomaly; and banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected which could be as early as five to eight weeks after conception and the woman may not even know she was pregnant.

“These bills imply that women can’t make mature and informed decisions on their own and that they need politicians to coddle her and say, “Now, honey. Are you sure you’re sure?” Susan Watson added.

Under most of these bills, healthcare is also criminalized to where a doctor could face felony charges.  “I don’t know why any doctor would want to have a practice in Alabama knowing that he or she is going to be facing the threat of being charged with a felony,” said Susan Watson.

“This is an election year. We’re halfway through a legislative session and these bills are a last-ditch attempt to make good on their political platforms to position themselves for re-election,” said Susan Watson. “Apparently to some, politicians’ political careers are more important than the minds, bodies, and the overall health and well-being of Alabamian wives, girlfriends, mothers and daughters.”

 

For media inquiries and additional information, please contact:
Brooke Anderson, Communications Manager, 334-265-2754 ext. 205

 

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