Huntsville abortion clinic, pro-life activists react to Senate passage of Alabama abortion ban

After talking with people on both sides of the abortion debate, WAAY 31 learned the American Civil Liberties Union is ready to sue if this bill is signed into law, and local pro-life activists say they're ready to go to battle over what they think is right.

Posted: May 14, 2019 10:49 PM
Updated: May 14, 2019 10:50 PM

Governor Kay Ivey's signature is the next step in Alabama's abortion bill becoming law.

"We have been down this road and fought these battles when they come in with these trap laws and target regulations at abortion providers," Dalton Johnson, owner of the Alabama Women's Center, said.

One of those battles happened in 2016 when Alabama paid the American Civil Liberties Union $1.7 million after a law passed by the legislature was found unconstitutional. It required abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges.

In addition to the $1.7 million, the American Civil Liberties Union said there's another lawsuit between their organization and Alabama, and if the Supreme Court denies review, then the state will likely owe the organization more than $1 million.

An American Civil Liberties Union representative added they, along with Planned Parenthood, are preparing to sue if Governor Ivey signs the abortion bill into law.

An Alabama State Republican Executive Committee member and pro-life activist, James Henderson, said the legal costs won't keep him from fighting.

"Some battles you just have to fight, and I don't know how to put a value on the life of an unborn child. We're ready for the fight," James Henderson said.

The bill includes no exceptions for rape or incest, something a pro-life activist, Carol Henderson, fought for when she spoke at the House Health Committee a few weeks ago.

"We are for no exceptions in this bill, and we believe that the life begins at conception as a baby no matter what and that baby has a right to life," Carol Henderson said.

Yashica Robinson is an abortion provider in Huntsville, and she described the lack of exceptions as cruel.

"I just think women should have access to abortion care regardless. There's no reason that's more valid than another. I think the fact that a woman has chosen that she needs to end her pregnancy is valid enough for me," Robinson said.

WAAY 31 called the governor's office to find out if and when she'll sign the abortion bill into law. We haven't heard back yet, but Representative Terri Collins, who sponsored the bill, told WAAY 31 she is hopeful the governor will be on board.

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