Concerns abortion legislation will end up in court - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Concerns over abortion legislation will end up in court

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Four bills making it harder to get an abortion in Alabama cleared the first hurdle in the Legislature Tuesday. A House committee approved the measures. But there are already conversations about a lawsuits.

Most of the concern is over a bill preventing abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat. There are questions about whether it violates U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

On Tuesday, Montgomery Catholic students put down books and picked up signs to rally.

"It goes from our government class to our religion class to our math class, we want them to learn God has given them talents and abilities. They need to learn everything they can so they are equipped to go out and fight for what's right," said Montgomery Catholic Principal Chad Barwick.

Those students are fighting for the right to life.

Republican Representative Mary Sue McClurkin of Indian Springs wore a flashing pin to the House committee taking up her latest bill. It represented a tiny heartbeat. Her bill prevents abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

A heartbeat can be found as early as six weeks often before some women know they're pregnant.

"I do want life to be the choice the woman chooses because she has a choice before she even participates in something that would lead to the life of a person," explained McClurkin.

Some opponents don't support the timing and not giving women and their families time to make their own decisions in accordance with their religious beliefs.

"I don't have the problem with the intent, the original intent behind the bill but I think as it's written, it presents an impassable constitutional issue," said Rep. Joe Hubbard, (D) Montgomery.

The other bills require proof of parenthood in order to give a minor consent for an abortion, a longer waiting period, and giving women perinatal hospice information before terminating a fetus with fatal problems. There are concerns legal challenges will cost taxpayers.

McClurkin's bill from last year that puts tighter restrictions on abortion clinics is still tied up in courts.

"I'm not really concerned about the challenges. We've had challenges before. We wouldn't have some of the things we have now if it hadn't been for Brown versus Board of Education," she said.

Brown v. Board of Education desegregated schools.

There is time to make revisions to the abortion bills. Some sponsors are open to discussions about possible changes to avoid legal fights.

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