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Alabama lawmakers have an opportunity to fix abortion laws. They won’t


Science and Alabama are often at odds.

Nowhere is this more consistent and clearer than in the debate surrounding abortion. In the debate over abortion, our nation's laws and legislators routinely stray into the realm of flimsy biblical interpretation to legislate and impose their beliefs on the public. And usually science can make quantum leaps.

Our state passed the Sanctity of Life Amendment to the Alabama Constitution, passing one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the nation. In both cases, the lawmakers spoke frankly about life beginning from the moment of conception.

It's an embryo, so to speak.

Now, in addition to fighting science, we also tend to square off with unintended consequences on a regular basis. Remember when we passed the “toughest” immigration bill in America? Because we were looking for a new minority group to vilify. After that, all the crops in the field rotted. Or when we refuse to properly legalize and regulate gambling on the grounds that it would be “immoral” and are instead left with billions of dollars in illegal gambling supporting all sorts of illegal activities and organized crime syndicates. What about?

Basically, what I'm trying to say here is that if you can make something really shine on the front end and convince the loose that you're doing it for Jesus and for the country and for college football, then the things on the back end are That means you don't have to worry too much about the result. Our legislators have perfected the “Oh my god, I never thought this would happen” response to a completely predictable outcome.

This week's Alabama Legislature was a showcase for such talent. Lawmakers tried to reconcile statements that “every life is precious” and “life begins at conception” with the sudden realization that many fertility clinics were dismembering “children.” – Even if frozen – in the trash.

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And on Thursday, they were on the floor of the House of Representatives trying their best to tell everyone why the child in the freezer at UAB is not a child at all, and not in the womb of a woman they want to control.

(The interesting thing about this abortion debate is that it becomes less interesting and easier when there is no woman to play the heartless villain.)

Now, in an un-Alabama-like world, this situation is forcing these legislators, the people's leaders, to put aside the talking points and bumper sticker “BS” and come up with some real, honest, science-based information about abortion. It will give you an opportunity to have a conversation. Life, pregnancy, women's rights, and the role of government in all of this.

You probably won't be surprised to learn that those lawmakers aren't very good at learning from their mistakes or even quietly correcting them to avoid future problems. Instead, what our people tend to do is come up with quick, superficial fixes that never solve the gaping holes in their logic or laws, and then try to make more substantive fixes in the future. It is a promise of inclusivity, a path that never ends.

This will definitely be one of those opportunities. Because there is no legal remedy for this mess they have caused with their religion-based governance. The only option at this point is science.

They can't take that option. Because if that's the case, we might have to move away from the ridiculous pandering to emotional, religion-based options and start taking scientific options more regularly.

Imagine a world where we abandon ridiculously simplistic debates over complex issues like abortion, and instead adopt the opinions of doctors and scientists, and use medical testing and modern technology to enact abortion laws. please look. Imagine Alabama. There, you don't simultaneously tell a 12-year-old that there are no books about gay children available at the local library, but God wants her to have that baby.

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There are ways to deal with this. It's a rational, calm, rational approach. To help doctors determine when a fetus in the womb actually turns into a child. How to enact laws that reflect those scientific realities, and how to enact laws that ignore the stupid nonsense about “postnatal abortion” and other useless topics. A law that respects doctors' opinions and respects the harsh realities of pregnancy, life, and tragedy.

The IVF ruling gives us the opportunity to do these things, acknowledge the obvious flaws in current law, and honor the Constitution and the country we all love by removing religious pandering from this important issue. It gave me an opportunity to take a step forward.

Of course they would never do that. But hey, this would certainly be a good time.



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