The performing of an abortion will soon become a felony in Alabama after Governor Kay Ivey signed one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the country. According to the new law, abortion is illegal in the state except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk.
Though the law may face multiple legal challenges before it goes into effect six months from now, many in the pro-life movement are declaring victory. Providing an abortion in Alabama, under the new legislation, would be punishable with up to a 99-year prison sentence.
While it’s encouraging to see the sanctity of human life affirmed through this legislation, at Care Net, we recognize that changing laws is only a small part of creating a culture of life.
As individual states continue to determine their own abortion regulations, our focus must remain constant. We must ensure that, regardless of what the law says, women and men considering abortion are offered the compassion, hope, and help they need to choose life for their unborn children and abundant life for their families.
In other words: Our work in Alabama is far from finished. In fact, Alabama pregnancy centers will be needed now more than ever. Outlawing abortion doesn’t end unplanned pregnancies. Though access to abortion will become more difficult (a woman would need to leave the state to have an abortion), pregnancy centers will continue to play a pivotal role in helping women and men make life-affirming decisions. Centers will become places of refuge for pregnant women and couples who need compassionate, Christ-centered support and services ranging from ultrasounds, to parenting programs and material assistance with everything from maternity clothes to diapers.
In addition to equipping pregnancy centers for the work ahead, Care Net is helping churches in the state of Alabama take a new and invigorated role in advocating for life. Care Net’s Making Life Disciples curriculum provides church members and leaders with everything they need to make their church a beacon of hope for women and men in the church and community who need guidance through difficult pregnancy decisions. Anti-abortion legislation makes the role of the church more critical than ever when it comes to issues of life.
While we celebrate Alabama’s courage in affirming and protecting the life of the unborn, we recognize that the job is far from finished. In fact, the work of the Pro Abundant Life movement is just beginning.