Mobile, Ala., Feb 14, 2020 / 12:30 pm (CNA).- An Alabama state representative has introduced a bill that would require men of a certain age or state to have a vasectomy.
The legislation (HB 238) was introduced in the state legislature on Thursday by Rep. Rolanda Harris (D). It provides that a man must undergo a vasectomy “at his own expense” within one month of his 50th birthday or the birth of his third child, “whichever comes first.”
Harris tweeted on Thursday that her aim “is to neutralize the abortion ban bill” and “help men become more accountable as well as women” in family planning decisions.
Harris’s statements refer to the “Human Life Protection Act,” passed by the state legislature last year and signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey.
One of the strongest pro-life state law in the country, the measure outlaws abortion except in “cases where abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child's mother.”
The law also made performing or assisting in an abortion a felony offense for medical professionals; criminal penalties would not apply to mothers having abortions. Doctors performing abortions could be charged with a Class A felony and face up to 10 years in prison. No exceptions were made for cases of rape or incest.
The law has been the subject of legal challenges and was passed in part as an effort to force the reconsideration of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the U.S. The 1973 decision struck down state abortion bans and instituted a “viability” test where states could only regulate abortion when the unborn child is considered “viable.”
The 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision built upon that framework and said that states could not put an “undue burden” on a woman’s ability to get an abortion pre-viability.
Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham, Alabama, stated his strong support for the 2019 Alabama law and expressed his hope to “eventually, to make the killing of unborn children in our country something that is no longer viewed as anything but the horrendous and inhumane killing of the most innocent among us that it is.”
In October last year, a federal judge blocked the law from going into effect.
Harris, on Thursday, said her bill aimed to “neutralize” the Human Life Protection Act by forcing men to sterilize themselves to cut down on the number of cases where abortion is considered.
“The responsibility is not always on the women. It takes 2 to tangle. This will help prevent pregnancy as well as abortion of unwanted children,” she tweeted.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2399 lists direct sterilization as one of the “morally unacceptable” means of the regulation of births, along with contraception.
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