“I remember in Gov. Guy Hunt’s administration in 1990 32,000 people rallied for an end to abortion right here” said Dan Ireland retired Pro Life Leader. That same passion exists as hundreds gathered to hear from Governor Robert Bentley, Lt. Gov. Kay Ivy, and Speaker of the AL House of Representatives Mike Hubbard as well as sponsors of pro-life legislation.
Despite weather predictions of rain, many gathered. The rally was opened in prayer by Father Driscoll of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Montgomery.
Pro-life legislation proposed this session include a “Women’s Health Safety Act”, HB57, sponsored by Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin. HB57 is an encompassing pro-life measure with many provisions.
For example, HB57 would require that the abortionist be present to dispense chemical abortifacients. So called “webcam” abortions allow the abortionist to be hundreds of miles away, “counseling” the woman via teleconference, and then pushing a button to open a drawer from which the mother withdraws the two drugs that make up the chemical abortion technique.
The bill would prevent abortion via a web-cam over the Internet and would also prevent nurse practitioners from dispensing chemical abortifacients.
“Chemical concoctions used to kill an unborn child aren’t the type of drugs that simply make women feel uncomfortable. They produce severe pain and literally gut wrenching side effects. These drugs trigger significant, serious bleeding,” commented Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., director of the NRLC State Legislation Department. “At the very least, the abortionist should be physically present and not miles away when they are dispensed to the woman.”
“Abortion has already corrupted medicine, causing many doctors to break the first rule of medical ethics – do no harm. Now it is corrupting the promising field of telemedicine, using technology to kill rather than to heal,” Balch added.
McClurkin addressed the crowd, appealing to common sense to make abortion providers meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, such as nursing homes and outpatient centers, because abortion clinics claim all their clients can walk easily without assistance–even after surgical abortion.
Currently under Alabama law, abortion providers only have to meet physician office codes. Since three women were rushed to emergency room last January, the issue has been raised that obviously these three were not able to walk independently. One was carried out manually, another wheeled out in a wheelchair (the building did not have hallway space adequate for a stretcher), which placed placing women’s lives at risk in emergency situations.
HB57 also requires that abortionists have admitting privileges at a local hospital for follow up care when complications arise.
Other bills introduced this session include Rep. Kerry Rich’s HB360. Under the Hear the Heartbeat Act, women will be assured of being offered the opportunity to hear their child’s heartbeat, have the ultrasound screen angled so they can see their unborn child, if they choose to view, and be informed of complications associated with abortion.
“Everyone is in favor of transparency and providing women health education,” Cheryl Ciamarra of Alabama Citizens for Life told NRL News Today. “Although HB360 doesn’t stop any woman from making an abortion decision, it will provide objective medical facts to every woman considering abortion.”
For too long women have been kept in the dark about fetal development and the risks associated with abortion. HB360 will empower women with facts. Placing the “Did you know ” information developed by the AL Dept. of Public Health on a website.
At the Statehouse rally, 4th degree Knights of Columbus from eight assemblies and councils across the state came to provide an Honor Guard, lending prayer support as they did when Alabama passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act in 2011.
“We are grateful to the Knights of Columbus for being here today” said Jim Kaelin State Pro Life Deputy because of the difference they made in 2011.
One Knight asked Cheryl where the “baby” was–the 20 week fetal model we used as a visual aid in 2012. Then Sen. Shadrack McGill and his wife walked up with their one month newborn!
Rev. Terry Gensemer of Charismatic Episcopal Church for Life, said, “We are grateful for the unity developing in Alabama for the cause of life” and to Alabama Citizens for Life for bringing all of us together.
Bishop Derrick Jones of the Anglican Church said the closing prayer. Over 30 groups supported the annual event.