9 months ago

Greg Reed calls for focus on ‘what we’re really talking about’ in abortion debate — ‘A little bitty baby’

MONTGOMERY — While State Rep. John Rogers’ (D-Birmingham) viral comments from last week have made international headlines for all the wrong reasons, Alabama Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper) wants to turn the conversation back to HB 314 and what the abortion debate is really all about: an innocent, defenseless baby in the womb.

In an interview with Yellowhammer News, Reed discussed his support for the bill, which was passed by the House last week. HB 314, which would be the nation’s strictest abortion ban, is on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s calendar for Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.

Reed said his goal is to have the bill on the Senate floor on Thursday. State Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) will carry the bill in the Senate for State Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur), the bill’s sponsor.

Known as one of the most influential elected officials in the state, Reed is also a leading pro-life advocate and champion. He was one of the first officeholders nationwide to denounce Roger’s now-infamous remarks, and Reed was a vocal proponent of Alabama’s Amendment Two this past election cycle.

“I am definitively on the pro-life side and will do whatever I can do move this legislation forward,” Reed said. “But I think it’s important for all of us to stay focused on what’s most important.”

He has witnessed firsthand the circus-like atmosphere that the abortion topic has brought to the State House. Rogers aside, pro-abortion supporters have taken their rhetoric to new levels in opposing HB 314. One protester was arrested after vandalizing the House gallery windows with chalk paint, but it was the peaceful assembly that raised eyebrows even higher, and again not in a constructive way. Pro-abortion activists, dressed in attire from the fictional show “The Handmaid’s Tale,” brought signs that said, “Abortion is a human right,” “Abortion is good for families” and “Abortion on demand without apology,” among other sentiments well outside the mainstream, especially for the Yellowhammer State.

Reed decried that the goal of these advocates has changed over time to become primarily about “winning” – and by any means necessary – rather than the substance of the issue itself.

“You wind up to where things begin to lose the significance of what we’re really talking about here,” he outlined. “The number one focus here is the determination of what is right. And how that decision about what is right has significant impact on a child and that child’s mother. When you boil it down, that is what we all should be most concerned with, is that child and that child’s mother, and that helps frame the debate, frame the discussion… in a way that is most important.”

With all of the heated rhetoric surrounding the abortion debate, Reed is worried that people may be missing the crux of the conversation, as well as the point of HB 314 — which is to ideally spark a major rollback of or overturn the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade precedent.

“This legislation has a purpose,” Reed emphasized.

He called re-examining Roe v. Wade “important” and “healthy for America.”

Reed also stressed where he stands on the abortion issue.

“I certainly believe the baby in the womb is a human life,” Reed stated.

“For me, it is a very clear, personal decision. Being pro-life is something that I am, have been and will continue to be,” he said. “Because I feel like that should be the position of Alabama and of America in regards to [abortion]… and I think that is the case for most of my colleagues in the Alabama Senate.”

As “a deliberative body,” Reed noted HB 314 is being looked at “carefully” and analyzed meticulously by members of the Senate, as they do with all pieces of legislation.

“I think that’s healthy, I think that’s what we should be doing,” Reed remarked. “I do think that in the end, we’re going to see that the State Senate will vote, as did the House of Representatives, to uphold the sanctity of life and support this legislation as a potential challenge to Roe v. Wade.”

He said this comes “against the backdrop” of Amendment Two being overwhelmingly approved by a referendum of the people in November, declaring Alabama as a firmly pro-life state, despite a massive pro-abortion ad buy by Planned Parenthood.

“The people of Alabama, even with that kind of opposition and that kind of financial resource from places like California and New York, the people still spoke very loudly in regards to what their attitude is toward the sanctity of life,” Reed advised. “So, I think for me, this is an issue that is very important to me personally, and has always been, but I also think that we as a body are moving forward in carrying out what we know are the straight up interests and wishes of the people of Alabama, based on a vote that was less than six months ago.”

Yellowhammer News noted that Collins has stressed that she does not want amendments made to the bill because the legislation was purposefully crafted to challenge the concept of personhood before the Supreme Court and amendments – including adding exceptions for rape and/or incest – could dilute that overarching purpose.

Stressing that his overall perspective is a staunchly pro-life one, Reed outlined, “On the topic of the amendments, I think it’s back to trying to analyze what I have heard Representative Collins say on a number of occasions: that this is a very focused topic, it’s a topic that has specific legal ramifications and the goal of the legislation is to potentially… allow for a review of Roe v. Wade.”

Reed then stipulated that if Roe v. Wade is modified by a new Supreme Court decision he hopes the justices will allow the states to decide for themselves on abortion policy in their own jurisdictions. If that occurred, Reed again pointed to Amendment Two as what the wish of the majority of Alabamians would be.

“At that point then, we would be able to make appropriate exceptions within what would govern the procedures or lack thereof in the state of Alabama,” he added. “At this stage in the game though, with the goal of what the legislation actually is, the fact that the constitutional legal review says that the best way to accomplish the goal is to minimize the amendments, then I’m supportive of that.”

He then reiterated that if the goal of a successful Roe v. Wade challenge is accomplished, the legislature would then be in a position to decide what exceptions are allowed, based on the will of the people and what “is best for Alabama, not governed by federal mandate.”

While Reed wants the legislature to move on from Rogers’ sideshow, he said hopefully that situation “creates a new sense of evaluation,” “a new attitude of engagement” and “newfound support within” people that have become somewhat “desensitized” to the abortion debate in Alabama and across the country.

“Once you are faced with graphic description and once you understand the way some people feel about these topics, for those like myself and many, many others, certainly the majority of Alabamians, then I think that it will re-energize and engage people to re-examine where they are on this topic and have them once again step forward to let their voices be heard,” Reed said.

He said that some of those new voices will not agree with his pro-life stance, but “that’s the beauty of America, that we have the opportunity to do that — and that freedom to express our views.”

Reed called this freedom of thought and expression “the fiber of what makes America a great country.”

The Senate majority leader emphasized that he is encouraged and happy to see Alabamians “standing up for the unborn child” and hopes to see people in this majority continue to become personally involved and engaged.

He remarked that the current makeup of the Supreme Court and the potential for President Donald Trump to add another justice or two if he wins re-election is part of what is re-energizing both sides of the abortion debate, as the potential for change becomes more realistic.

“The president is definitively responsible for that, along with the U.S. Senate,” Reed said. “Having conservatives in positions of significant leadership at the top levels of our nation, has it made a difference? Absolutely it has. Has it changed the narrative? No doubt. And as a result, I think these topics are coming to the forefront again of political and social debate. … I think ‘ground zero’ of that specifically is the U.S. Supreme Court and [Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh] who were nominated by the president.”

He concluded by reaffirming what everyone should be thinking about during the abortion debate.

“Some of these comments and some of these methodologies and some of these things that are happening are just outrageous,” Reed emphasized. “Let’s all just stop for a minute and recognize what we’re really talking about here: a little bitty baby and that precious child’s mother and family. Let’s just be focused on what is at stake here.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

9 hours ago

Alabama voting rights activist jailed on drug charges while on bond for capital murder charge

An Alabama activist is jailed on assault and other charges.

Records show 54-year-old Kenneth Glasgow was being held without bond at the Houston County Jail on Tuesday.

109

He was arrested Saturday on charges including drug possession, assault and evidence tampering.

Police tell news outlets that Glasgow struggled with an officer who tried to arrest him after finding crack inside his pocket.

Glasgow has worked for years to register prisoners to vote inside Alabama jails and prisons.

He was charged with capital murder in 2018 after a fatal shooting but was out on bond.

He’s the half-brother of nationally known activist Al Sharpton.

 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

RELATED: Al Sharpton’s half-brother, already facing Alabama capital murder charges, arrested again

Sign-up now for our daily newsletter and never miss another article from Yellowhammer News.

10 hours ago

Hurts: Time back in Alabama going ‘really well’ — ‘Love’ for Bama will ‘never go away’

MOBILE — The Senior Bowl Week Media Day was held on Tuesday at the Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center, and former University of Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts had droves of reporters on hand hoping to capture yet another classic Hurts press conference. The humble Hurts did not disappoint.

To kick off his remarks, Hurts commented once again on being back in the Yellowhammer State. He, of course, played at Oklahoma this past season as a graduate transfer from Tuscaloosa. Hurts finished as the runner-up in the 2019 Heisman Trophy voting.

“I think being here and being back in this state is [going] really well. I’m having this opportunity to play in this game and showcase my abilities and show what I’m made of. I’m thankful for it, I’m appreciative of it. And I’m ready to attack it,” Hurts said.

Asked on a follow-up question to compare the Alabama and Oklahoma fanbases, he responded, “I have a lot of respect for both universities. Both have rich tradition, history. I appreciate all the support.”

380

The quarterback would later say both programs have “great coaches.”

RELATED: Hurts on Saban: ‘We always had a love for each other … our relationship will never die’

Of the universities, Hurts added, “The appreciation I have for them both, the love I have for them both, it’ll never go away. The way that they’ve accepted me, both schools, not many people can say that they’ve experienced that or they have that … so I’m thankful for it.”

Hurts said that during Senior Bowl Week and in the game on Saturday, he simply wants to “be the best version of” himself. He listed executing, learning and being a “student of the game” as priorities.

The former Tide star was also asked if he has had the opportunity to visit with the outgoing Bama players at the Senior Bowl, his former teammates Jared Mayden, Terrell Lewis, Raekwon Davis and Anfernee Jennings.

“Yes, sir,” Hurts answered. “It’s been well [sic]. Great seeing them. Good to be out there on the practice field with them again. I think they have the same approach I have in terms of maximizing this opportunity.”

RELATED: Bama’s Jared Mayden glad to be reunited with ‘natural leader’ Jalen Hurts for Senior Bowl

Hurts later quipped that he plays with “a boulder” on his shoulder rather than merely “a chip.”

Asked about the reception he expected back in the state of Alabama and what it has been like so far, Hurts commented, “It’s been pretty hectic so far — in a good way. Just being back here, a lot of love. I’m appreciative of it all.”

“I get on the elevator, one of the workers at the hotel we’re staying at — she let me have it in terms of just screaming,” he continued with a smile. “‘Jalen Hurts is really on my elevator,’ just stuff like that. That’s special to me, and I know it won’t be like that forever. I’m just soaking it all in.”

You can watch Hurts’ full interview below:

Media Day followed the Senior Bowl Week introductory press conference that was held Monday evening.

RELATED: Senior Bowl Week kicks off in Mobile as director praises ‘beloved’ Jalen Hurts — ‘He’s come so far’

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

Byrne: Impeachment is nothing to smile about

For three years now, the American people have been forced to endure the efforts by Democrats and the liberal mainstream media to impeach President Trump and remove him from office in the face of his clear electoral victory in 2016. They have tried everything, from a needless special prosecutor investigation, which resulted in nothing, to an Adam Schiff-coached whistleblower who admitted he had no firsthand information and relied on news articles by that same liberal media.

The farce produced just two articles of impeachment, neither of which alleges “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors” as required by the Constitution. An unprecedented and totally partisan process in the House produced nothing that Democrats could even allege is impeachable.

533

Then Nancy Pelosi, after insisting for weeks that impeachment couldn’t wait and had to be done by Christmas, held onto the articles, refusing to send them to the Senate as is required. This prolonged the spotlight on her, as the ever-worshipful liberal media gushed over her political brilliance, ignoring the inconvenient fact that her strategy of forcing the Senate to adopt her preferred process for the trial completely failed.

The Constitution is clear. While the House has “the sole Power of Impeachments,” the Senate has “the sole Power to try Impeachments.” And the Constitution clearly states that each house of Congress sets its own rules. Pelosi had no right or power to dictate trial rules to the Senate. Her behavior was unconstitutional and brought embarrassment and dishonor on the House. So, I filed a resolution censoring the speaker for her inappropriate behavior.

Finally, last week as Democrats began to abandon Pelosi’s position, she relented, and the House appointed seven “managers” to present the House’s articles and “case” to the Senate. Led by Schiff, who literally made-up words for the transcript of President Trump’s call to the President of Ukraine in his first day of impeachment “hearings,” and by the bumbling and incompetent Jerry Nadler, the House managers will finally have to behave according to the rules of a truly fair process, presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the competent John Roberts, who will tolerate none of the misbehavior the Democrats repeatedly engaged in as this mess moved through the House.

Pelosi couldn’t stand to lose her spotlight, and, in one last shameful act, had a “signing ceremony” where she and other Democrats smiled and laughed as she pronounced President Trump “impeached forever” and handed out pens. Even some of her adoring fans in the liberal media said she went too far.

What now? The Senate will meet every day except for Sundays beginning at 1:00 p.m. Every senator must attend. They cannot talk or bring electronic devices. They will initially hear the House managers’ “case” for the articles of impeachment, and then the president’s lawyers will finally be allowed to present his case. Be prepared for the House managers to be longwinded and ineffective. Be prepared for the president’s team to be briefer and speak clearly to the essential points of weakness in the articles. Then senators will be allowed to ask questions through Chief Justice Roberts.

What happens next is unclear. Will the Senate dismiss the articles? Will they acquit the president? Will they unnecessarily delay things further by calling witnesses? We don’t know.

But, we do know that not a single Republican voted for these articles in the House and even a few Democrats voted against them. One Democrat changed parties over the vote. We also know there are not nearly enough senators to meet the two-thirds threshold to remove President Trump from office. And we know this will have all been a complete waste of time.

This fall, in the general election, the American people will finally have their say, as the framers of our Constitution intended. I predict Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler won’t be smiling.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope. He is a 2020 candidate for the U.S. Senate.

11 hours ago

Watch: Jessica Taylor touts ‘humble roots’, takes aim at ‘The Squad’ in first TV ad

Jessica Taylor, an attorney in Prattville seeking the Republican nomination for Alabama’s second congressional district, released her first television advertisement on Tuesday.

The ad, which is titled “My Squad,” is mostly composed of footage and soundbites from Taylor’s viral announcement video that garnered national attention.

The video begins by touting Taylor’s “humble roots,” and the candidate goes on to say she wants “to protect life, the Second Amendment, our borders and President Trump from socialists in the swamp”

203

Taylor’s competitors in the March 3 Republican Primary will be former Alabama Attorney General Troy King, former State Representative Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) and Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman.

According to Taylor’s campaign, the spot “will air on broadcast and cable over the next two weeks in the Montgomery media market beginning this Wednesday.”

Predictably in an ad titled “My Squad,” the spot makes references to “The Squad” while displaying images of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

The Squad” is a group of four U.S. Representatives that are new to Congress, female and represent the furthest left wing of the Democratic Party. Cortez and Omar are two members of “The Squad” that have generated particular ire among Republican primary voters.

As a response to “The Squad,” Taylor led the effort to create the “Conservative squad,” which is composed of four female conservative Republicans currently seeking election to the House.

In a statement sent to reporters that accompanied the ad, Taylor said one of her goals in Congress would be to “fight back against radical socialists like AOC and Ilhan Omar.”

The spot also continues to use the language and iconography of basketball, which Taylor grew up playing.

“Alabama, put me in the game!” proclaims Taylor to conclude.

Watch:

13 hours ago

Bama’s Jared Mayden glad to be reunited with ‘natural leader’ Jalen Hurts for Senior Bowl

MOBILE — Reunited and it feels so good. That was the sentiment expressed by one of Jalen Hurts’ former University of Alabama Crimson Tide teammates during the Senior Bowl Week Media Day on Tuesday.

Hurts, of course, played for the Oklahoma Sooners this past season as a graduate transfer from Alabama. He finished as the runner-up in the 2019 Heisman Trophy voting.

He will play for the South Team during Saturday’s Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, as will the Tide’s Jared Mayden, Terrell Lewis, Raekwon Davis and Anfernee Jennings.

As captured by Yellowhammer News, Mayden spoke with reporters during Media Day about how it feels being on the same field — and the same team — as Hurts once again.

173

“It means a lot,” Mayden stressed. “Especially since he’s on my team [as opposed to playing against him on the North Team]. I’m glad he’s on my team because Jalen’s a leader, a natural leader. He doesn’t have to try too hard. It just seems like it comes natural to him. I know he’ll probably have some things to say that’ll get everybody ready to play. He did it at Bama; I expect no less from him [now]. So I’m excited to get the opportunity to play with him again.”

If you missed Yellowhammer’s coverage of the start of Senior Bowl Week, read more here.

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