At our recent Choose Life Symposium, Attorney Eric Johnston shared with us that there will be a Pro-Life Amendment on the November 6th Alabama ballot.

IT IS AMENDMENT TWO. PLEASE VOTE YES AND ENCOURAGE YOUR SUPPORTERS TO DO SO. URGE PASTORS TO SPEAK OF THIS TO THEIR CONGREGATIONS. IT IS NOT ILLEGAL FOR A PASTOR TO SPEAK ON AN ISSUE OR INFORM THE CONGREGATION ON LAWS...IT IS ONLY ILLEGAL TO ENDORSE CANDIDATES FROM THE PULPIT.

AN EDUCATIONAL UPDATE FROM THE SOUTHEAST LAW INSTITUTE, INC.

To: Interested Persons

Date: November 6, 2018 General Elections

From: A. Eric Johnston

Re: Proposed Alabama Constitutional Amendments - Alabama Sanctity of Unborn Life

Another important constitutional amendment which will be voted on at the time of the general election will be a proposed constitutional amendment recognizing the sanctity of unborn life in Alabama. The text of the amendment reads as follows:

(a) This state acknowledges, declares, and affirms that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life.

(b) This state further acknowledges, declares, and affirms that it is the public policy of this state to ensure the protection of the rights of the unborn child in all manners and measures lawful and appropriate.

(c) Nothing in this constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.

The complete proposed amendment will not appear on the ballot. This is what you will see on the ballot:

AMENDMENT TWO:

"Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended; to declare and otherwise affirm that it is the public policy of this state to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, most importantly the right to life in all manners and measures appropriate and lawful; and to provide that the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion."

Explanation:

Since 1973, abortion has been legal in the United States. A decision by SCOTUS in Roe v. Wade opened the door for virtually unlimited abortion. Through the years, subsequent SCOTUS cases have upheld  Roe and enlarged on it. In some cases, certain regulation has been permitted. Through the work of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition ("APLC"), a significant number of regulations have been passed that reduce the number of abortions and protect women's healthcare, as much as legally permitted, from the substandard care they receive in abortion clinics.

The unique thing about the Roe decision is that opposition to it has never gone away. Roe was a very badly decided case with no legitimate constitutional underpinnings. The case was based on "an exercise of raw judicial power" as then Justice Byron White said in a dissent to the case. 

The pro-life community continues to work toward the day when abortion will again be outlawed. Abortion is based on the terrible concept that the unborn child is not a person within the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. Because we amend the Alabama Constitution to recognize personhood will not undo Roe.

However, with President Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as a Justice to SCOTUS, we see the possibility that Roe may be reversed. Judicial, political, and popular opinion opposition to Roe has remained constant for 45 years. Because it was such an illegitimate decision, our hope and expectation are that Roe will be reversed and sanity concerning the sanctity of life will be restored.

Therefore, this proposed constitutional amendment is a very important public policy statement for Alabama. We cannot say for sure how SCOTUS may rule if it reversed Roe, but the chances are it would either reestablish personhood of the unborn child or return the issue to the states. In either event, with approval of this constitutional amendment, the State of Alabama would be obligated then to enact statues to criminalize the act of abortion. Therefore, the importance of this constitutional amendment is significant and is a very good strategic move in the fight to protect unborn life.

SLI supports this amendment and urges a yes vote on it. SLI looks forward to the time when it will be able to work with APLC to rid the State of Alabama of this horrific murdering of her children.



Overview: What would Amendment 2 do?

Amendment 2 would amend the state constitution in order to do the following:

(a) declare that the state's policy is to recognize and support "the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of the unborn children, including the right to life,"

(b) "ensure the protection of the rights of the unborn child in all manners and measures lawful and appropriate," and

(c) state that "nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion."



Alabama must vote yes on Proposed Statewide Amendment Two

by Nikki Richardson

According to Pew Research, the only state that is more pro-life than Alabama is Mississippi.

Our status as one of the leading states in the pro-life movement is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing that our state has successfully passed legislation curbing abortion. It is a curse, however, in the sense that a pro-life failure here could spell disaster for the cause at the national level. This is why, in November, Alabama must set the standard and show the world just how strong the pro-life movement is--by voting yes on Proposed Statewide Amendment 2.

The amendment, if approved, would add language to the state constitution acknowledging the sanctity of unborn life and stipulating that the state constitution provides no right to abortion.

That's the technical explanation. In a recent call with the Alabama Policy Institute, however, Representative Matt Fridy, the sponsor of the amendment, described both its intention and impact.

Fridy explained that the amendment is not meant to immediately eliminate abortion, but to prevent a problem faced by our northern neighbor.

The problem? In 2000, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that their state constitution provided higher protection for abortion than the federal constitution. As a result, an array of the state's pro-life measures were struck down by the court, which argued that they were unconstitutional on the state level.

The Volunteer State later passed an amendment--similar to the one we will vote on in November--to specify that their constitution did not, in fact, guarantee any such right.

Fridy wants to eliminate any opportunity for what happened in Tennessee to happen here, and this amendment would be effective in that vein. Any further impact, however, would require change on the national level.

Alabamians should wholeheartedly support this amendment because we, as a state, overwhelmingly believe in the sanctity of life. For many of us, this belief stems from our Christian values. King David reminds us in Psalm 139 that God knits each of us together in the womb. We are unable to ignore that reality. We also acknowledge the truth described in Genesis, that humans bear the imago dei--the image of God--and are worthy of dignity and respect.

Others of us are pro-life because of a non-religious understanding that each member of our species is due protection, including the least developed of us. We protect the lives of the unborn just we do those recently born, children, and individuals with disabilities--because of their humanity.

Regardless of why, we at API are proud that most Alabamians are pro-life.

It's not always easy to hold this opinion, however. Supporters of abortion often highlight the differences between the unborn and born based on physical appearance or mental capacity, suggesting that the unborn are not yet human. These arguments, at times, can seem convincing. Even so, we reject these appeals, recognizing a) the value of all human life and b) that the same dehumanization that euphemizes abortion today was employed in Nazi Germany and 1990s Rwanda to make mass murder seem tenable.

It is not unknown to Alabamians that the stakes are high, and we do not lazily adopt this position. Being pro-life leads us to action: I am a mother to four children, including an adopted child with special-needs. Other Alabamians are foster parents, volunteers at local crisis pregnancy centers, or benefactors of pro-life organizations that fight daily for the dignity of all.

We also, and this must not be ignored, vote as if unknown multitudes of lives hang in the balance--because they do.

Although Proposed Statewide Amendment 2 will not ban abortion within our borders, its unqualified passage will signal to the nation and the wider world that abortion is unacceptable, morally repugnant, and, as many like to say, the wrong side of history.

We must not squander this moment.

Nikki Richardson is Executive Vice President of the Alabama Policy Institute and Parker Snider is Policy Relations Manager. API is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to strengthening free enterprise, defending limited government, and championing strong families.

This op-ed was originally published by Yellowhammer News, Alabama Today, the Alabama Daily News, and the Brewton Standard. Used by permission.






Copyright © 2018 Real Life Pregnancy Center (Albertville & Guntersville, AL)

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