Right-to-Life supporters win big victory
Published 12:00 am Friday, April 19, 2002
Right-to-life supporters won a big victory in the Alabama Legislature this
week when lawmakers passed an informed consent bill.
The bill mandates that physicians give women detailed information about risks
associated with abortion and about alternatives to abortion before performing
It is designed, quite simply, to discourage women from having abortions and
to encourage them to seek other alternatives, such as adoption.
We believe it will give many women pause to think and to consider their options, ultimately reaching the objective the bill’s supporters seek.
And, we recognize that even informed consent will not deter many other women
from their decision to seek an abortion.
It specifies that doctors must:
· Inform women of the alternatives to abortion, risks associated with
abortion, financial obligations of the father and development of the fetus.
· Perform an ultrasound of the fetus and show it to the woman.
· And tell the woman the approximate age and physical and anatomical
characteristics of the fetus.
And, after all of that, the legislation requires a 24-hour waiting period
before a doctor can perform the abortion.
The legislation has been hailed by supporters and religious leaders across
the state as a step toward protecting the lives of the unborn. Even Lt. Gov.
Steve Windom described passage of the bill as "the highlight by far" of the session. And Gov. Don Siegelman has indicated he will sign the bill.
Ironically, both supporters and opponents agree that the measure is another
step in the move to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision
that legalized abortion. Perhaps it ultimately will play a role in the
reversal of that law.
In the short-term, though, we believe this informed consent bill takes a
critical step toward helping women make decisions based less on emotion and
more on reason.
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