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8/1/2011 - August 2011 Educational Update - The 2011 Alabama Regular Session Legislative Report




To:                  SLI Supporters                                  

Date:               August 2011  

From:              A. Eric Johnston

Re:                  The 2011 Alabama Regular Session Legislative Report

SLI provided drafting, testimony and advice on a number of bills during the session, including those listed below.  We encourage our readers to contact us if they have questions on any of these or other bills. 

PRO-LIFE – Of the following pro-life bills, only HJR16 and HB18 passed.  For additional information on all pro-life bills, please see our February 2011 and May 2011 Educational Updates.

HJR16:  Crisis pregnancy center joint resolution by House and Senate.
Summary:  Recognition of CPC’s for their assistance to women and families in crisis.

Disposition:  Passed House and Senate and signed by Governor on April 4.

HB18:  Alabama Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act
Summary:  Uses the time an unborn child can feel pain, about 20 weeks, as abortion prohibition threshold. 

Disposition:  Passed House and the Senate and signed into law by Governor.

HB138/SB45:  Umbilical Cord Blood Storage Information Act
Summary:  This bill requires doctors attending pregnant women to provide state prepared information on how umbilical cord blood stem cells can be donated or stored for future use.

Disposition:  Passed Senate Health Committee.  Filed in House.  No other action.

HB178/SB46:  Health Care Rights of Conscience Act
Summary:  This bill prohibits job or educational discrimination if a person did not want to engage in abortion, sterilization, human cloning, or embryonic stem cell research.

Disposition:  Passed Senate.  Passed House Health Committee.  No other action.

SB201/HB557:  Abortion Coverage Prohibition Act
Summary:  Alabama insurance could not cover elective abortion, except paid for by an optional rider.

Disposition:  Passed Senate.  Filed in House.  No other action.

SB202/HB558:  Federal Abortion Mandate Opt Out Act
Summary:  Alabama opt-out of federal abortion insurance funding under Obamacare.

Disposition:  Passed Senate.  Passed House Health Committee.  Died on last day in House.

  Abortion-inducing Drug Safety Act
Summary:  Prohibits obtaining abortifacients (RU-486) over the internet.  Medical protocols require three visits to the doctor, but this is not observed by many abortionists. 

Disposition:  Passed Senate.  Filed in House.  No other action.

SB308:  Right to Know and See Act

Summary:  Requires an ultrasound and giving the woman the opportunity to view it. 

Disposition:  Passed Senate.  Died in House Health Committee.

 SB301 (Statute)/HB405 (Statute)/HB409 (Constitutional Amendment):  Personhood

Summary:  Requires Alabama law to define the unborn child as a person from implantation in the womb.

Disposition:  SB301 passed Senate and died in House on last day.  HB405/HB409 died in House Health Committee.

AMERICAN AND ALABAMA LAWS FOR ALABAMA COURTS AMENDMENT – A proposed constitutional amendment to strengthen Alabama’s public policy against giving full faith and credit to laws of sister states and prohibit application of foreign laws by courts on issues such as homosexuality, capital punishment, individual rights and freedom, and finance.  SB61 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee.  HB607 was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee with no action.  See our December 2010 and June 2011 Educational Updates for the concern of these bills.

IMMIGRATION BILL – SB256/HB56 strengthens Alabama laws on illegal immigration.  HB56 was approved by a conference committee and both chambers, and was signed by the Governor into law.  We endeavored to place exceptions in the law that would protect legitimate church and ministry activities.  This was not included.  We are optimistic the law will not be abused against legitimate ministry activities.  See our July 2011 Educational Update for more information.  If any questions or issues arise at anytime, please feel free to contact us.

GAMBLING – For the first time in decades, no gambling expansion bill was filed.  SB234 by Senator Bryan Taylor   proposed increasing the penalty for possession of a slot machine or gambling device from a Class A misdemeanor (less than one year penalty) to a Class C felony (one to ten year penalty).  Regrettably, this bill did not pass.

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