Editorial Lambasts 'Dishonest' Bill Targeting Ala. Abortion Clinics

April 30, 2015 — The Alabama Legislature should let state Rep. Ed Henry's (R) "ill-conceived, dishonest" antiabortion-rights bill (HB 527) "die," a Decatur Daily editorial states.

According to the editorial, the measure would ban abortion clinics from operating within 2,000 feet of a school, "supposedly" to "protect[t]" school students from seeing protests.

The editorial contends the measure is another effort by conservative state lawmakers to "chi[p] away" at Roe v. Wade by "taking whatever circuitous route they think they can to limit women's access to abortion in the state." For example, the editorial states that a new state law (HB 57) imposing building restrictions on abortion clinics is "cloaked in the disguise of health and safety," with supporters claiming that the legislation "will improve patient safety," even as they "freely admit they're happy with any law that limits abortions."

The editorial notes that Henry, the sponsor of the latest bill, "said he had no idea" that the measure "would threaten closure" for abortion clinics, though the statement "seems hard to believe" given recent "roundabout" abortion restrictions. Moreover, according to the editorial, if "Henry isn't being disingenuous," it is "arguably worse" that he "is introducing bills without so much as a clue as to their impact."

The editorial adds, "One thing Henry admits to knowing, however, is his bill will invite inevitable legal challenge, racking up yet more bills in the service of defending yet more constitutionally suspect legislation" (Decatur Daily, 4/28).