According to Planned Parenthood, over 250 bills seeking to restrict abortion have been introduced at the state level in 2019, but one in particular is poised to be the most draconian. Filed on Tuesday, an Alabama abortion bill would ban the procedure two weeks after conception, WHNT reports, even in cases of rape and incest. The bill's chief sponsor, Rep. Terri Collins, told the Montgomery Advertiser that she hopes the legislation makes its way to the Supreme Court and leads to the repeal of Roe v. Wade.
"It simply criminalizes abortion," Collins told the Montgomery Advertiser of her bill, the text of which compares abortion to the Holocaust. "It is meant to actually use some of the same language addressed in Roe v. Wade. So hopefully it completely takes it all the way to the Supreme Court, eventually to overturn it.”
Pregnancy generally isn't detectable by home tests until around two weeks, according to the American Pregnancy Association. This means that Collins' bill would effectively ban almost all abortions in the state. The legislation does make an exception for cases in which carrying a pregnancy to term would threaten the life of the woman.
In an interview with WHNT, Collins said that she doesn't believe in a woman's right to choose, at least insofar as abortion is concerned.
"Women have lots of choices," Collins said. "I have lots of choices. But once the child is actually — you are pregnant, and there's actually a baby [sic] there, that option should not be on the table, in my mind."
Collins claim that "there's actually a baby" two weeks into a pregnancy is inaccurate. At two weeks, a fertilized egg is microscopic, experts say, and still weeks away from becoming an embryo — let alone a fetus or baby.
When Brett Kavanaugh replaced Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court in October, many supporters of abortion rights warned that Kavanaugh's appointment gives conservatives on the court enough votes to potentially overturn Roe v. Wade. Collins acknowledged that this is her goal, telling WHNT, "This is the bill that could overturn what I consider to be a bad law."
However, pro-choice groups immediately denounced Collins' bill, and predicted that it will be struck down in the courts.
“The consequences of a woman not knowing she's pregnant and getting past this two-week mark or possibly a six-week mark are that she's forced to carry the baby,” Cindi Branham, a pro-choice advocate and a board member with Alabama Reproductive Rights Advocates, told WHNT. “She's forced to give birth to it. It doesn't matter if she can afford to have this baby, if she's got 10 other babies.”
Randall Marshall, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, told WHNT that the bill will likely get struck down before it takes effect.
“The bill would immediately be declared unconstitutional by a federal district court that would be upheld on appeal,” Marshall told WHNT. “And you’re looking at a minimum of two years before this could even get to consideration by the Supreme Court.”