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2/1/2011 - APLC Memo





 TO:                  Interested Persons

 FROM:            A. Eric Johnston

 DATE: February 2011

 RE:                  The 2011 Legislative Agenda to Protect Life


            The constituent groups of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition (“APLC”) have met and agreed on the prospective agenda to protect unborn life in the State of Alabama.  APLC consists of family, conservative, Christian and other groups who, though they may have other issues, all agree that human life is sacred and should be protected.  We coalesce for the purpose of supporting laws that will protect life.  For the 2011 legislative year, we are proposing a comprehensive agenda.  With the review and drafting assistance of the Southeast Law Institute, here are some of the bills that will be considered when the Alabama Legislator opens its session on March 1:

1.  Healthcare Conscience Law – Alabama is only one of three states that does not have some measure to protect physicians, nurses, hospitals and other healthcare providers from being required to do medical procedures that violate their religious, ethical or moral beliefs.  Of course, abortion is primary on that list.  This bill proposes to prohibit all discrimination against healthcare providers who decline to be involved in the abortion procedure.  It provides them remedies at law to protect their rights. 

2.  Opt Out of Federal and State Abortion Funding and Limitation of Insurance Benefits – Notwithstanding President Obama’s statements to the contrary, his invasive healthcare law provides for the federal funding of abortions.  This bill proposes to permit Alabama to opt out of using any government funds for the payment of abortions, including funds from the State of Alabama.  It will also limit insurance companies on using group premiums to pay for abortions. 

3.   Alabama Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – Because we have not been able to simply prohibit all abortions, we have increasingly looked at ways to reduce the number abortions by prohibiting them at certain stages of development.  One of those ways has been the development of medical evidence that unborn children actually feel pain.  That pain can be measured at certain ages of development.  This bill makes those findings and brings more clearly into focus the personhood of the unborn and prohibits abortions after that time.

 4.  Umbilical Cord Blood Banking Act – The use of stem cells for medical science and healthcare has been hotly debated.  The main issue is that many scientists promote the use of fetal stem cells as being the best source.  This absolutely disregards the personhood of the unborn and makes him or her nothing more than another resource to be harvested and used.  This bill requires the Alabama Department of Health to publish information which is then required to be given by healthcare providers to pregnant women that they have the option to donate or bank their umbilical cord blood and products.  From these, stem cells can be used in the future for the child, or those that are donated, can be used for persons who are compatible. 

 5.  Crisis Pregnancy Center Resolution – We will ask the Legislature to recognize the very valuable work that had been done for most of these 38 years by crisis pregnancy centers.

 Adjustments to this list may be made before the opening of the legislative session.  Of course, legislators may desire to have certain bills introduced, which are not included on the list.  We hope to work closely with legislators on good, valuable and productive laws.

 Your participation is important in this process.  Through APLC’s constituent member groups, you will receive information about the progress during the legislative session.  For example, March 31 has been set as a day for the pro-lifers to gather at the State Capitol.  This and other information will be made available to you.  Please stay in contact with your Representative and Senator.  Please pray for our efforts.



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