By Bob Allen
Southern Baptists in Alabama urged lawmakers to pass legislation banning a technique used in second-trimester abortions in a resolution adopted by messengers to the group’s annual meeting Nov. 17-18 in Daphne, Ala.
The Alabama Baptist State Convention resolution called for passage of legislation similar to The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, first passed earlier this year by Kansas and described by abortion-rights advocates as the pro-life movement’s newest tactic to outlaw abortion.
Such legislation would ban abortion by Dilation and Evacuation, or D&E. Used to terminate pregnancies between 12 and 24 weeks, the method involves dilating the cervix and using surgical instruments to remove the fetal and placental tissue.
While relatively rare in abortions as a whole, it is the preferred method for most mid-trimester terminations because it’s a simple outpatient procedure with a low risk of complications.
Pro-choice groups say the “dismemberment” language, evocative of the “partial-birth” abortion controversy a decade ago, is intended to provoke an emotional response to a surgical procedure.
This time around the debate coincides with outrage already bubbling among pro-lifers over undercover videos alleging that Planned Parenthood profits from the sale of fetal tissue harvested by abortion.
The Alabama Baptist resolution also supports “efforts to end all public funding of Planned Parenthood,” the largest single provider of reproductive health services, including abortion, in the United States.
Other resolutions voice religious liberty concerns related to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent recognition of same-sex marriage and oppose a proposal to privatize alcohol sales.
Alabama is one of 18 states where consumers can purchase packaged spirits like whiskey and brandy from Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) stores operated by the state government.
Supporters say privatizing liquor stores would lead to lower prices and increased sales, resulting in more tax revenue to the state.
The Alabama Baptist resolution says it would likely lead to liquor stores being open later at night and on Sunday. That in turn would lead to increased consumption of alcoholic beverages, more underage drinking and alcoholism and pose a threat to public health.