An Alabama legislative committee has voted to ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected -- something that can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
The House Health Committee approved the fetal heartbeat bill Tuesday. Both sides of the abortion debate agree the proposal would ban most abortions if it becomes law. They also agreed the proposal will be destined for a court fight if given final approval.
North Dakota approved similar legislation, but a federal judge put the law on hold while a legal challenge plays out in court.
Alabama lawmakers are proposing a multitude of school prayer and religious expression bills this session including one to allow the display of the Ten Commandments in schools and other public buildings.
Alabama lawmakers are proposing a multitude of school prayer and religious expression bills this session.
Legislators say the bills are an effort to push back efforts to squash all vestiges of religion from the public square. But opponents called the bills election-year pandering and said the proposals are either unnecessary or unconstitutional.
Republican Rep. Steve Hurst has proposed setting aside up to 15 minutes at the start of each school day to study the procedures of Congress, including having teachers give a verbatim reading of a congressional opening prayer.
One of the longest serving members of the Legislature, Democratic Rep. Richard Lindsey of Centre, says he's never seen state services cut to their current level.
Lindsey says cuts began in 2008, and they have continued each year since then. Lindsey says prison guards are at a bare minimum, schools don't have enough supplies, and fewer state troopers are patrolling the highways.
The Alabama House and Senate are divided over whether a school flexibility bill should include flexibility with teacher tenure laws.
The House passed a bill Feb. 14 to allow city and county school systems to have flexibility in complying with state education laws, including tenure. The Senate rewrote the bill Thursday to exclude tenure. The House refused to go along with the Senate's changes and sent the bill to a six-member conference committee to try working out the differences.