10 months ago

Alabama House committee approves anti-infanticide bill

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday advanced a “born-alive” bill that would be known as “Gianna’s Law.”

HB 248 by State Rep. Ginny Shaver (R-Leesburg) was given a favorable report as amended on a voice vote. The bill must next be considered by the full House.

The legislation is named after a survivor of an attempted abortion who now travels the world telling her story. Shaver has met the woman (Gianna Jessen) and called her an inspiration.

Shaver originally introduced a version of this anti-infanticide legislation during the 2019 regular session of the Alabama legislature. Her bill last year passed the House, with Democrats in the chamber unanimously opposing the legislation. The legislation then stalled in the Senate over concerns from the medical community.

The 2019 legislation was introduced by Shaver after the publicized rise of support for infanticide amongst national Democrats, especially following in the wake of statements by policymakers in New York and Virginia. Her current legislation would also purport to safeguard against infanticide by requiring a doctor to administer the same level of medical care to a child born alive after an abortion attempt as they would any other child.

Shaver has said, “There is no such thing as post-birth abortion. Think about those three words. That’s infanticide.”

“That’s what it is and what my bill does is in this situation where a child survives an abortion attempt and is born alive, it would require a physician to exercise the same reasonable care to preserve the life of the child that is born alive,” she continued. “When this happens, if there is any sign of breathing or any other sign of life … there would then exist a doctor-patient relationship between the doctor and the child so that he would be required to exercise the same degree of physical skill and care to make an effort to reasonably preserve the life and health of that child.”

House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) was the sole original cosponsor of Shaver’s bill last year and is listed as the first cosponsor this year on HB 248. He has been a strong pro-life voice throughout his time in office. Ledbetter is joined by 51 Republican colleagues, including Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia), in cosponsoring HB 248.

Speaking during Wednesday’s committee meeting, State Reps. Merika Coleman (D-Birmingham) and Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) took issue with HB 248. Coleman is the vice-chair of the House Minority Caucus, and England is the chair of the Alabama Democratic Party.

“We’re going to pass this bill out of committee today because there’s a larger agenda,” Coleman decried.

Coleman and England lamented the lack of Alabama-specific data available to support the stated need for the bill. Shaver countered that the relevant data is not required to be collected in the state, which is why she does not have said data to offer.

England further critically remarked that he viewed doctors and women as being “demonized” by the bill, as he believes it assumes that viable babies born-alive during or after an attempted abortion would be intentionally killed or left to die. England suggested the Hippocratic Oath already mandates the doctor to do his or her best to save the baby in that scenario.

Shaver advised that she knows the bill is necessary because of her personal experience as both a crisis pregnancy counselor and a post-abortion counselor. Shaver advised that she heard stories directly from people she counseled about born-alive abortions occurring in Alabama abortion clinics.

“We’re wasting 30 minutes of time today on a piece of legislation that we do not need,” Coleman said.

Shaver’s bill was filed shortly before State Rep. Rolanda Hollis (D-Birmingham) filed a bill that would mandate every Alabama man to undergo a vasectomy within one month of his 50th birthday or the birth of his third biological child, whichever comes first.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

58 mins ago

Another record-shattering year: Thank you, Yellowhammer readers!

The year of 2020 will go down in history for many things, most of which we are happy to see in the rearview mirror.

In spite of the craziness of the past 12 months, the entire Yellowhammer News team would like to say “THANK YOU” to our tremendous audience whose support helped make 2020 another record-breaking year for our company.

As evidenced by our continued year-over-year audience growth, we are proud to provide a reliable daily product that resonates with the people of Alabama. From everyone at Yellowhammer, we sincerely appreciate and value the trust you put in us.

Thank you, Yellowhammer readers!

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1 hour ago

7 Things: Alabama will send National Guardsmen to D.C., authorities preparing for protests, Shelby will wait to make decision on impeachment and more …

7. Impeach Biden?

  • Now that President Donald Trump has been impeached for the second time, U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA) has now said that she plans to introduce articles of impeachment against President-elect Joe Biden on January 21.
  • She said that the impeachment is important in this situation because we can’t have someone “who is willing to abuse the power of the office of the presidency and be easily bought off by foreign governments, foreign Chinese energy companies, Ukrainian energy companies.”

6. One BLM protestor and another Alabamian arrested for their role in U.S. Capitol riots

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  • Utah-based agitator and BLM protester John Sullivan has been arrested for his direct roll in breaching the U.S. Capitol. Sullivan, who had his video licensed by the Washington Post and MSNBC, is on video encouraging people to enter the U.S. Capitol, cause damage, and even tried to get cops to leave their posts.
  • Another Alabama man who was arrested at the U.S. Capitol, Joshua Black of Leeds, has been charged with violent entry and entering restricted grounds for his role during the attack. Black, who recorded videos of himself on the floor of the U.S. House, told investigators, “I wanted to get inside the building so I could plead the blood of Jesus over it. That was my goal.” He added that while he had a knife, he “wasn’t planning on pulling it.”

5. Outbreaks aren’t started by kids in classrooms

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published a new study that shows K-12 classrooms meeting in-person don’t create coronavirus outbreaks, as they saw no major differences in coronavirus cases between areas that had in-person class and those that were only online.
  • The report says that the “CDC recommends that K-12 schools be the last settings to close after all other mitigation measures have been employed and the first to reopen when they can do so safely.” The CDC also noted that the structure of schools “can support adherence to critical mitigation measures to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID019.”

4. Trump was right about the virus going away after the election

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) is allowing some bars and restaurants to open up for indoor dining after the state lost a court case on the matter. Cuomo’s administration is still considering challenging the ruling.
  • Chicago is also ready to open up, as Mayor Lori Lightfoot says the reopening of bars and restaurants “as quickly as possible” will actually lower the spread of the coronavirus because these establishments will follow rules that private parties are not.

3. Shelby hasn’t decided on impeachment yet

  • U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) hasn’t voiced how he plans to vote on President Donald Trump’s impeachment. He’s maintained that “we need to wait and hear the evidence.”
  • Previously, Shelby voted against impeaching Trump on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power. The Senate isn’t expected to take up impeachment until Trump is already out of office.

2. Montgomery preparing for protests

  • While there is talk of “armed” protests nationwide during the inauguration, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed has announced that the city is preparing for possible protests at the capitol, due to reports that there are armed protests being planned at all 50 state capitols and the U.S. Capitol on January 17-20.
  • Reed said, “Our residents and businesses can take comfort in knowing we are taking every step to ensure their safety and security this weekend.” He added that he’s instructed, “Chief Finley and the Montgomery Police Department to use every resource at their disposal and authorized extra manpower.”

1. Alabama National Guard going to D.C.

  • Governor Kay Ivey announced that there will be 250 National Guard members from Alabama sent to Washington, D.C. to help prepare for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. This will be part of the about 20,000 National Guard members in the area.
  • Gina Maiola, Ivey’s press secretary, said that this was done “At the request of the Chief of The National Guard Bureau, General Daniel R. Hokanson.” Ivey has previously said that law enforcement is monitoring the situation as there have been threats of armed protests across the country.

3 hours ago

Point Broadband to offer high-speed fiber internet on Alabama’s Lake Martin

Point Broadband announced plans to offer fiber-to-the-premises high-speed internet for select areas on Lake Martin in Alabama.

“In today’s digitally-driven world, fast and reliable fiber internet is crucial to keep everyone and everything connected,” said Point Broadband CEO Todd Holt. “Point Broadband is thrilled to offer residents and businesses in the Lake Martin area access to some of the best broadband technology available today.”

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The fiber broadband company based in West Point, Georgia, which operates in nine states, will provide up to 1 gigabit symmetrical broadband service with whole-home W-Fi, allowing numerous devices to run around the clock.

“With more people working, students learning and families entertaining all from their homes, we recognize the importance of ensuring your home has the right resources to meet your needs,” Holt said.

Lake Martin residents can sign up or express interest at point-broadband.com/lake-martin/.

Point Broadband is partnering with Alabama Power on the new initiative. The company will contract for a portion of Alabama Power’s fiber infrastructure to help support Point Broadband’s offering of high-speed internet on Lake Martin.

“The need for greater broadband accessibility for Alabamians to continue to learn, grow business and lead healthy lives is greater than ever before,” said Leslie Sanders, vice president of Alabama Power’s Southern Division. “We’re excited to partner with Point Broadband to be part of the solution. The advanced technology of our electric grid makes it smarter, more reliable and resilient, and can also help facilitate the expansion of broadband services.”

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

16 hours ago

Ivey fulfills request to send Alabama National Guardsmen to D.C. for security of Biden inauguration

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has authorized the sending of approximately 250 members of the Alabama National Guard to help secure the Washington, D.C. area ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

First reported Gray Television and confirmed to Yellowhammer News, the move was made in response to a request by the head of the National Guard, Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson.

According to National Public Radio, which is based in Washington, D.C., around 20,000 members of the National Guard will be in the Capitol area to help keep the peace through the inauguration. They will come from nearly all states, per NPR’s reporting.

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The dramatically-heightened security comes in the wake of a group of President Donald Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday, January 6. The violence led to the death of five people including a member of the Capitol Police.

Ivey’s press secretary, Gina Maiola, told Yellowhammer News in a statement about the National Guard’s deployment, “At the request of the Chief of The National Guard Bureau, General Daniel R. Hokanson, the Alabama National Guard has activated approximately 250 Soldiers in support of the 59th Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C.”

The activation of the soldiers comes as the FBI has warned states that protesters in the vein of those who stormed the U.S. Capitol may demonstrate in their areas over the coming days.

Ivey said at a public appearance on Tuesday that she was aware of law enforcement monitoring the situation.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

17 hours ago

SAIL awards nearly $1 million to summer learning programs in Alabama

Summer Adventure in Learning (SAIL), a joint project of six charitable organizations, announced Thursday that dozens of organizations in Alabama that provide summer learning opportunities to children will be receiving financial support.

Forty independent programs in the state will receive a total of $898,500.

SAIL cites research showing that students from low-income families frequently lose months of reading and math skills during the summer break. The organization sets out to prevent this learning loss among low-income students by funding summer learning programs that target those kids.

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Most SAIL-affiliated programs are in the Birmingham area, though it also has six programs to whom it gives funds in the Black belt and three large programs in the Huntsville area.

“We have always known the importance of intentionally academic summer programming, but it proved more critical than ever after schools closed in the spring of 2020,” said Elizabeth Dotts Fleming, the executive director of The Schools Foundation, in a release.

The Schools Foundation is SAIL’s chief partner in the Huntsville area.

SAIL does not require the summer learning programs it funds to follow a specific curriculum, allowing a large degree of flexibility among the programs it funds.

However, all programs taking SAIL funding consent to a test of its students at the beginning and end of its run so the program’s effectiveness can be assessed.

In a release, SAIL shared that “In the summer of 2020, SAIL supported 34 programs. 14 provided in-person programs, 17 virtual, and 3 offered an at-home curriculum. Due to COVID restrictions, enrollment was down from SAIL’s normal 2,500+ students to 1,250.”

“State law requires school systems to offer summer reading camps, but leaves the implementation to each district,” remarked Mitchie Neel, the executive director of the Blount County Education Foundation.

“We know from research that how you structure a summer learning program influences how much students will learn. Partnering with SAIL allows us to meet students where they are while nurturing the whole child and bringing them up to grade level,” Neel added.

A list of the programs receiving funding from SAIL in 2021 can be found here for the Birmingham area, here for the Black Belt and here for Huntsville.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.