Alabama Senate Passes Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act as Legislative Session Nears End

By Dave Andrusko

Alabama has a pro-life House, a pro-life Senate, and a pro-life Governor. But as the midnight deadline for this legislative session approaches, do pro-lifers have the time?

Earlier today, by a vote of 26-5, the Alabama Senate passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The House had done likewise April 7 by an equally overwhelming vote, 69-19 (www.nrlc.org/press_releases_new/Release040711.html).

Alabama Citizens For Life Board Director to The National Right to Life Comittee in Washington D.C.

However today’s Senate version is slightly different than the House’s, meaning it has to go back to the House for a concurring vote. As this blog was being written, pro-abortionists were threatening to filibuster. Given that this is the last day of the session and there are important bills yet to be passed, pro-lifers hope the filibuster can be broken in time to get House concurrence and get it to pro-life Gov. Robert Bentley for his signature.

If pro-lifers are successful, it will be the fourth Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act law enacted this session. Oklahoma, Idaho, and Kansas have already joined Nebraska which passed the law last year.

The Associated Press reported that proponents of the bill “was inspired by scientific evidence suggesting that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks.”

“For a long time the womb was an unknown universe, and I think Roe vs. Wade was based on the idea that so much was not known,” said Sen. Scott Beason.

Mary Spaulding Balch, director of the Department of State Legislation for National Right to Life, hailed the work of pro-life Alabamans, beginning with Cheryl Ciamarra, Alabama Citizens for Life Legislative Director, and House sponsor Rep. Kerry Rich.

“The success we’ve had this year is a testimony  to the determination of pro-lifers and the power of the message—we ought to be able to agree that it is wrong to abort children capable of feeling pain, regardless of your position on abortion,” Balch said.

“This is the beginning,” she added. “More states will pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in the next legislative session.”

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