As the former Governor’s scandal now fades into history, the Alabama Senate Republican Leadership made tremendous strides this week on its conservative agenda. In three short days, the Senate’s Presiding Officer, President Pro Tem Del Marsh, and Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed have created a strong headwind for conservative causes with the passage of eight major pieces of legislation.
Central to this effort were three pro-life measures that passed today, which the Alabama Senate Republican Caucus designated as Pro-Life Day:
• A constitutional amendment to declare Alabama a pro-life state. Should the measure be approved by voters at the ballot box, the state will be ready to pass strong protections of the unborn if Roe v. Wade is ever reversed by the United States Supreme Court.
• A ban on assisted suicide. As the Senate Republican Caucus’ press release noted: Senate Republicans are committed to the proposition that all persons are uniquely created by God and therefore worthy of equal respect. Recognizing that a so-called “right to die” can drift easily into a “duty to die,” Senate Republicans will uphold a culture of life in Alabama by voting to ban assisted suicide, reflecting the belief that the lives of the vulnerable are as equally valued as the lives of the young and healthy.
• A “right of conscience” bill that will protect health care providers when they refuse to perform a medical procedure that violates their religious convictions. For example, if a doctor refuses to perform an abortion because of his Christian beliefs, this bill will protect that doctor from legal repercussions for refusing to provide the service.
Reflecting on these landmark victories for the pro-life movement, Senator Reed had this to say:
“Today, the Senate took meaningful steps to protect unborn children and encourage a culture of life in Alabama. The great majority of people in Alabama are unashamedly pro-life and the Alabama Legislature is proud to lead the nation in protecting the weak and vulnerable in our society.”
The Senate’s Republican leadership didn’t stop with these pro-life initiatives, however. They passed five more conservative measures this week, as follows:
• Protection of faith-based adoption agencies: The Senate passed a bill that will protect faith-based adoption agencies from being forced to place children in homes with LGBTQ parents.
• The senate approved the “Fair Justice Act” that will trim five to six years off of appeals for Alabama death row inmates, and also passed a bill that will make it possible to use different methods of humane execution.
• Elimination of concealed carry permit: This bill will allow Alabamians to carry a concealed handgun without the requirement of a concealed-carry permit.
• Abolishment of primary cross-voting: Current law allows voters to participate in one party’s primary election then switch to another party during a primary runoff election. Senator Tom Whatley’s Senate Bill 108 will stop this practice, ending the ability to vote for a weak opposition candidate to gain a more favorable challenger in the general election.
As he reflected on the week, Senator Reed was greatly encouraged by the progress of these substantive conservative measures.
“Republicans are committed to protecting Alabamians’ Second Amendment rights and religious liberties, as well as the right-to-life of the unborn,” Reed said. “We finally have a conservative president in the White House and the Legislature has an excellent relationship with our new Governor, Kay Ivey. So, we are moving forward with proposals that protect the personal liberties of all Alabamians.”
It’s important to note, while the Senate made tremendous strides this week, each of these measures must now go to the Alabama House of Representatives for consideration before being sent to Governor Ivey for her signature.
Stay tuned to Yellowhammer News for updates on these and other measures making their way through the Alabama legislature as this spring’s session draws to a close.