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Falsehoods on social media surrounding Alabama abortion ban

In our own version of "Two truths and a lie," WAAY 31 took four posts from Twitter and compared the accuracy of the tweets to the actual language in the abortion law.

Posted: May 16, 2019 7:12 PM
Updated: May 17, 2019 2:44 PM

The Alabama abortion law is currently dominating social media with hashtags like, "Boycott Alabama" and "Alabama hates women."

In a quick scroll through Twitter, WAAY 31 found plenty of falsehoods floating around. We took four posts from Twitter and compared the accuracy of the tweets to the actual language in the abortion law.

Twitter

The first tweet states, "Alabama bans abortion even in the case of rape and will punish women with 99 years in jail."

That's far from the truth. The bill actually says, more than once, a woman who seeks or receives an abortion will not be held liable in any way. The author of the bill makes it clear the intent is to go after the person performing the abortion.

The second tweet says women can be investigated for miscarriages.

Nowhere in the bill does it state a woman would be investigated for a miscarriage. The bill makes it clear a woman is not criminally culpable or civilly liable for receiving an abortion. In fact, the bill doesn't even mention the word, "miscarriage."

In the third tweet, the writer questions what legal arguments are being used to make abortion illegal. He concludes by saying the Bible is not a legal document.

The bill explains the Code of Alabama 1975 was never repealed. That code criminalized abortion in Alabama, but it can't be enforced because of Roe v. Wade.

The fourth tweet mentions innocent girls and women who are forced to keep unwanted pregnancies, even after surviving rape or incest.

This tweet is true. There is no exception in the law for rape or incest. Representative Terri Collins, who sponsored the bill, told WAAY 31 this week that should this be enacted, rape and incest will be added as exceptions, and by leaving it out right now, it grabs the attention of the Supreme Court.

"That's the goal of this bill. Not to be our long-term bill but to get the courts to revisit this issue of, is the baby in the womb a person?" Collins said. 

Right now, abortions are still legal in Alabama. Even signed, the bill doesn't become law for another six months.

Mobile users: View the law here

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