Rep. Wallace sponsors bill to restrict abortions

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A bill sponsored by Rep. Kurt Wallace, R-Maplesville requiring doctors to inform women of the option of perinatal hospice care before an abortion was approved Tuesday morning in a committee in the state House of Representatives.

“The bill went through the committee fine,” Wallace said on Tuesday. “It will be on the House floor Wednesday.”

Wallace explained on Monday that House Bill 493 would require doctors to give women considering an abortion information about perinatal hospice services and a 48-hour waiting period before the pregnancy could be terminated.

“This bill affects parents that have a child that is diagnosed with a fatal anomaly, which is a condition that will more than likely result in the death of the child before the end of the pregnancy or within three months after the delivery of the child,” Wallace said. “The bill makes it mandatory for a doctor to provide the parents with information about perinatal hospice groups that want to work with the parents to get through this very difficult decision in a way that provides closure to the family when the death of their child comes.”

Although Wallace said there are currently no perinatal hospice groups located in Alabama, they are becoming popular across the United States as they provide support for families who wish to continue their pregnancies with babies who will likely die before or shortly after birth.

“By waiting to have an abortion, you allow God to take his course with the child,” Wallace said. “Even if the child does not make it, you know God took the child. This bill would require doctors to give the parents information on these hospice groups. These groups would love to talk with individuals about their decisions.”

Wallace said the perinatal hospice groups are similar to hospice groups for elderly individuals.

“These people are the most wonderful people in the world,” Wallace said. “They have the ability to tell people what sort of things are going to happen because they have seen it before. Their job is more to ease the family and prepare them with what they will have to deal with. When you find out a child will die, it is a tragic event. You will not get a death certificate with an abortion but you will get a death certificate with this group.”

Wallace said the perinatal hospice group would also provide assistance to help parents dealing with miscarriages.

“We don’t have one of these groups in Alabama because we don’t require one to be used,” Wallace said. “This would require a doctor to hand an individual a pamphlet about a perinatal hospice group and they could go to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s website and they would provide information about these services.”

Wallace said three other pro-life bills were approved Tuesday including House Bill 490 sponsored by Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin.

The bill would require doctors to check for a fetal heartbeat before an abortion and would ban abortions if a heartbeat could be detected.

Wallace said in Alabama, abortions are allowed up to 20 weeks of pregnancy and a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks.

House Bill 489, sponsored by Rep. Ed Henry, strengthens the Women’s Right to Know Act by increasing the period of time a woman must wait before having an abortion from 24 hours to 48 hours.

House Bill 494 sponsored by Rep. Mike Jones, would toughen parental consent requirements for minors seeking an abortion.