The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Opinion

April 6, 2014

Inaction is best course of action

— In the midst of some of its action this legislative session, the state Senate’s decision not to bring up a controversial abortion bill was wise.

In its final meeting, the Senate set regulations for minors seeking abortions but did not act on a bill to ban abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected. The bill had already been approved by the House.

Surprisingly, it was Republican senators who wanted to hold off on the vote. Arkansas and North Dakota had passed fetal heartbeat abortion laws and they are facing a challenge in courts.

With Alabama’s tenuous finances, the senators are sitting on the sidelines awaiting the outcome of those court fights instead of spending taxpayers’ money defending the legislation.

Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, went so far as to say the bill was not constitutional.

The sponsor of the bill, Republican Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, said she was disappointed the senators “didn’t have the fortitude” to pass the bill.

She has it wrong, though.

It took fortitude for the senators to wait and see and not be swayed by emotional rhetoric of a truly controversial bill.

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