Would white Republicans support abortion if their daughters got pregnant by an African American? That’s what Representative Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery) contends.
Holmes made the controversial comment during a debate in the Alabama statehouse over a new abortion restriction. The debate got heated Tuesday when Holmes claimed that his Republican colleagues would support unrestricted abortion “if their daughter got pregnant by a black man.”
Representative Mary Sue McClurkin (R-Indian Springs) had earlier compared the House Bill 490 – authored by McClurkin – to the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling Brown vs. Board of Education. This seemed to be a comparison which set Holmes off into racial territory. The ruling which McClurkin referenced had declared that segregation in schools was unconstitutional. The comparison, many Democrat critics said, was offensive.
“Ninety-nine percent of all of the white people in here are going to raise their hand that they are against abortion,” said Holmes. “On the other hand, 99 percent of the whites who are sitting in here now, if their daughter got pregnant by a black man, they are going to make their daughter have an abortion.
“You know, the truth sometimes hurts,” Holmes added. “All this stuff about abortion and this and that – that’s just a con game. That’s for whites, it ain’t for blacks.”
The bill would ban abortions upon the detection of a fetal heartbeat, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Many would would not yet know they are pregnant by this time. Democratic amendments allowing for exceptions in cases of rape or incest were defeated.
The bill ended up passing, along with three other anti-abortion measures. The first of them, HB 489, extends the waiting period from 24 to 48 hours for women who want an abortion; HB 493, bans abortion of fetus with a lethal fetal anomaly until a doctor has informed them of abortion alternatives; and HB 494, which requires proof that a parent of a girl seeking an abortion is actually the under age teen’s legal guardian.
“In Alabama, we will fight tooth and nail to preserve and protect the life of the unborn until the liberal, activist Supreme Court decision making abortion legal in the United States is overturned,” said Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn).
But the bill still must get through the state senate. Alabama Democrats believe that it will eventually be overturned in the courts.
“We already know this is unconstitutional before you even vote on it,” Representative Napoleon Bracy (D-Prichard) said. “But you decide you want to vote on this so you can go back home and say, ‘Look what I did.’”