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Women Who Receive Abortions Could Be Charged With Murder Under New Alabama Bill

Authorities could treat abortions "the same as prosecutions of homicide or assault of a person born alive."

(Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

A bill pending in the Alabama state legislature would, if passed, prosecute people who receive abortions for murder or assault, depending on the circumstances.

Filed by Republican Rep. Ernie Yarbrough, HB454 would add "an unborn child from the moment of fertilization" as a possible victim of assault and homicide to state law.

Prosecutors would treat those cases "the same as prosecutions of homicide or assault of a person born alive," the proposal states.

However, some exemptions are provided for cases where abortion is necessary to protect the life of the mother, or when injury or death is caused by domestic violence or rape.

Under state law, Alabama prohibits nearly all cases of abortion, except for instances when the procedure is required to save the life of the mother.

Yarbrough's bill follows claims from elected officials that the state would not seek to prosecute those who receive abortions, reported.

Confusion ensued earlier this year though after state Attorney General Steve Marshall said in January that women could be prosecuted for terminating pregnancies via medication. But Marshall ultimately changed his position to say that only providers would face legal consequences.

According to, Yarbrough's bill is currently with the House Judiciary Committee for discussion. From there, lawmakers can decide whether it should advance to a vote on the House floor.

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