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'Bama's hopping on the abortion ban train

Not to be left behind in the all-important culture wars, Kathy @ Birmingham Blues passes along word that her state’s elected wingers are moving along their own abortion ban bill.

SB503, submitted by Senator Hank Erwin (R-14), would prohibit abortion except in the case of a threat to the life of the mother. The relevant language (Kathy sent the bill text in an email, I don’t see it online yet):

Section 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter 22 of Title 26, except in an extreme case of medical emergency where the life of the mother is threatened by the pregnancy, any person who causes or participates in the abortion of an unborn child shall be guilty of a Class B felony.

You might remember this clown; Erwin made the headlines last year for this nonsense after Katrina:

“America has been moving away from God,” continued the former talk-radio host and now a media consultant and senator. “We all need to embrace godliness and churchgoing and good, godly living, and we can get divine protection for that point. The Lord is sending appeals to us,” he said. “As harsh as it may sound, those hurricanes do say that God is real, and we have to realize sin has consequences.”

Erwin said the catastrophic storms are part of a pattern evident in the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, claiming God has removed an umbrella of protection from America due to an increase in abortion, pornography and prostitution.

“If you are believer and read the Bible, you know sin has judgment,” Erwin said. “New Orleans has always been known for sin. … The wages of sin is death.”

There you go. At least you know where he stands, eh?


Interestingly, I came across this story about Alabama, which is actually good, if contradictory news from the Christofascist point of view. How long before action is taken to roll this back by the extreme fringe whack jobs, who aren’t happy at the thought of anyone having sex, let alone an abortion: Alabama ranked 4th overall in providing contraceptives.

Alabama, like many of its Southern neighbors, is known for its conservative views on abortion. But the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, which compared each state’s laws and policies, availability of and funding for contraceptives, ranked Alabama fourth overall in its study released last week _ not far behind top-ranked California and just ahead of New York.

“Of course few people will be surprised to see the Golden State at the top of a set of state rankings,” Sharon L. Camp, president and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute said. “What will be a surprise though are the other winners in the Guttmacher analysis – second-ranked Alaska, third- ranked South Carolina, fourth-ranked Alabama.”

Cheryl Sabel, acting president for the Montgomery chapter of the National Organization for Women, needed a moment to think about it.

“It’s not often Alabama is near the top for a good thing,” she said.

Sabel acknowledged the issue of contraception provides a sort of “middle ground” for pro- and anti- abortion groups, since their use helps avoid unplanned pregnancies, and thus abortions….Eric Johnston, president of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition, said the group doesn’t condone the distribution of condoms and other contraceptives in schools, but does see contraception as a way to cut down on abortion.

The state, by the way, has the 15th highest teen pregnancy rate, according to a study by the Guttmacher Institute.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding