NAPW Organizes Opposition to Alabama's Amendment 2

December 21, 2018

Both supporters and opponents of Alabama Amendment 2 (on the ballot November 2018) described it as a constitutional amendment that would remove all protection for abortion from the Alabama State Constitution. But NAPW recognized that Amendment 2 in its own words would do much more than just impact abortion: Amendment 2 would make it state policy--under all of Alabama's laws--to "recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children." Amendment 2 was in fact a "fetal personhood" measure, like similar ones overwhelmingly defeated by voters in Mississippi, Colorado, and North Dakota.

NAPW organized advocates and voters in Alabama to get the word out about the truth of Amendment 2’s broad scope. We created flyers, fact sheets and social media graphics framing Amendment 2 as a broader personhood measure and discussed the implications it could have for the rights of all pregnant people and people with the capacity for pregnancy (including for people who experience stillbirth or miscarriage, people seeking IVF care, and more). We rallied national and state-based advocates and individual voters through our materials and assistance on framing op eds and speaking opportunities. NAPW worked with abortion providers, IVF providers and associations, birthing rights groups, reproductive health advocacy groups, drug policy groups, women's rights groups and more. We know that we reached a lot of voters, getting positive direct responses from people identifying as both pro-life and pro-choice who learned from our organizing and then opposed the legislation because of its potential implications for the human rights of all pregnant people.

Despite our best efforts, Amendment 2 in Alabama passed. We are disappointed but not surprised. Measures that are portrayed only as limiting abortion have now passed in Tennessee, West Virginia and Alabama. When there is agreement, though, that a measure is seeking to establish "personhood" for the unborn--fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses--and that it would impact more than abortion, we have seen that it is possible to defeat those measures.