Proposed Statewide Constitutional Amendment #2 – Yes or No

An Amendment to determine the Public Policy of Alabama in relation to the sanctity of life and the rights of unborn children

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Alabama voters will go to the polls on November 6. In addition to the general election there are four (4) important Constitutional Amendments that will appear at the end of the ballot. These amendments should be studied in advance of election day to be sure that you understand the effect of your voting choice – yes or no – and how it will affect public policy in the State of Alabama in relation to abortions, the sanctity of life,  and the rights of unborn children.
Please take the time to study these amendments before you vote. Amendment #2 may be the most important on the November ballot.

 

According to the Alabama Policy Institute:
“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.”

 

The Southeast Law Institute provided us with the following quote from their position statement regarding Amendment #2:

 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 statutes 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. “

According to The Decatur Daily:

Rep. Matt Fridy, R-Montevallo, sponsored the legislation.

“The goal is that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, that there wouldn’t be anything in Alabama to take its place,” Fridy said. “The Alabama Constitution couldn’t be used as a tool to provide for the right to an abortion.”

Anti-abortion advocates are hopeful the U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade, which made access to abortions a constitutional right in the first two trimesters of pregnancy.

There is opposition to Fridy’s proposal.

This constitutional amendment paves the way to ban all abortions in the state of Alabama — even in cases where a woman was a victim of rape or incest, or if the woman’s life is at risk,” said Katie Glenn, Alabama director for Planned Parenthood Southeast. “With so many other problems facing the state of Alabama, this amendment is just the wrong priority. Our lawmakers should be focusing on improving education and health care in this state — not further restricting our rights.”

 

 

 

 

The Alabama American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) opposed the original HB98 in 2017 saying on their website: “HB 98, the “Right to Life” Amendment, was passed on April 25 and will be on the statewide ballot on November 6, 2018. This is a legislatively referred constitutional amendment that will “declare and otherwise affirm that it is the public policy of the state to recognize and support the sanctity of ‘unborn life’ and the rights of ‘unborn children,’ including the right to life.” This bill is largely symbolic as abortion rights are protected federally by Roe v. Wade, but should that ever be overturned by the Supreme Court, then abortion access could be denied to Alabamians.

According to Yellowhammer News other opposition to the Amendment includes:

“After months of shadowy activity and legally questionable shell games, Planned Parenthood Southeast’s Alabama PAC finally has revealed a public purpose.

The PAC, now called “Alabama for Healthy Families,” on Thursday in downtown Montgomery launched an all-out effort to kill the proposed Amendment Two on the upcoming November 6 General Election ballot. This amendment “would add language to the state constitution acknowledging the sanctity of unborn life and stipulating that the state constitution provides no right to abortion.”

This came the same week that Democratic nominee for governor and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox came out in opposition to the amendment, saying he would vote against it.”

New opposition from Planned Parenthood PAC here 10/4/2018.

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According to This Writer’s reading of the actual language of the bill the above statement of the ACLU is not actually true, if you take the words in the proposed Amendment at their meaning.

The actual meaning of a Yes vote is expressed by the Fair Ballot Commission as follows:

WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF A YES VOTE:

“If a majority of voters vote “Yes” on Amendment 2, the public policy of this state will be to support and protect the importance of unborn life and the rights of unborn children. The state constitution would also not include a right to an abortion or to the funding of an abortion using public funds.”

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The following is provided from the Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill’s Office and the Fair Ballot Commission:

BALLOT STATEMENT FOR STATEWIDE AMENDMENT #2

(1) The text of the statewide ballot measure, including sponsors, cosponsors, and the text of the question that will appear on the statewide ballot:

Proposed by: Act 2017-188 (House Bill 98 of the 2017 Regular Legislative Session)
Bill Sponsor: Representative Fridy
Cosponsors: None

“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.

Proposed by Act 2017-188.

This description shall be followed by the following language:

Yes ( ) No ( )”

(2) A summary of and the text of any implementing legislation directly related to the statewide ballot measure:

There is no implementing legislation for this statewide ballot measure.

(3) The placement of the statewide ballot measure on the statewide ballot:

This proposed Constitutional Amendment will appear on the Ballot after election of statewide and local offices and will be the second constitutional amendment for voter consideration. The proposed Constitutional Amendment will be listed as “Statewide Amendment 2“.

(4) A plain language summary of the statewide ballot measure, which shall include, at a minimum, the legal or constitutional authority for its passage, the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is passed, including its cost and source of funding, and the effect of the statewide ballot measure if it is defeated.

Under current law, the state constitution does not include any language that directly relates to the importance of unborn life or the rights of unborn children, nor does it include any language that directly relates to abortion or the funding of abortions using state funds.

Amendment 2 provides that it would be the public policy of the state to recognize and support the importance of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life; and to protect the rights of unborn children. Additionally, the amendment would make clear that the state constitution does not include a right to abortion or require the funding of an abortion using public funds.

The proposed amendment does not identify any specific actions or activities as unlawful. It expresses a public policy that supports broad protections for the rights of unborn children as long as the protections are lawful.

WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF A YES VOTE:

If a majority of voters vote “Yes” on Amendment 2, the public policy of this state will be to support and protect the importance of unborn life and the rights of unborn children. The state constitution would also not include a right to an abortion or to the funding of an abortion using public funds.

WHAT IS THE EFFECT OF A NO VOTE:

If a majority of voters vote “No” on Amendment 2, there would be no language in the state constitution related to the importance of unborn life or protecting the rights of unborn children, or to abortion or the funding of abortions using public funds.

There is no cost for Amendment 2.

The Constitutional authority for passage of Amendment 2 is set forth in Sections 284, 285 and 287 of the State Constitution. These sections outline the way a constitutional amendment may be put to the people of the State for a vote.

DISCLAIMER: Any opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and are not necessarily the views of The Bibb Voice or its Editorial Board. Your comments are invited and are welcomed. Scroll down the the bottom of the page if you would like to leave a public comment. 

 

 

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Mike Hobson is almost nearly, but not quite fully retired. He is committed to remain active and in the crossfire of criticism in order to agitate his critics and annoy his opponents. Southern by birth and a Conservative by choice he shares his experiences, dry wit, and fleeting wisdom through his writings on the Bibb Voice for the benefit of those who read to the end.

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