This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Alabama Says Yes to Unwanted Pregnancies; No to Undocumented Immigrants

It was a busy end to the legislative session in Alabama this week. First the state passed a very tough illegal immigrant law.

Alabama vaulted past Arizona on Thursday with what is being called the most restrictive law in the nation against illegal immigration, requiring schools to find out if students are in the country lawfully and making it a crime to knowingly give an illegal immigrant a ride.
Advocacy groups promised to challenge the sweeping measure, which like Arizona's law also allows police to arrest anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant if the person is stopped for some other reason. In addition, it requires all businesses to check the legal status of workers using a federal system called E-Verify.
"It is clearly unconstitutional. It's mean-spirited, racist, and we think a court will enjoin it," said Mary Bauer, legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
It takes effect Sept. 1.
Then, the legislature passed one of several anti-abortion laws that had been introduced into this legislative session:
On the final day of the legislative session, the Alabama State Senate passed a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.
Senators voted 26-5 to pass the measure, one of a raft of bills proposed by the Republican majority, that would limit access to abortion. Before the bill's passage, abortions could be conducted until the fetus was considered viable, about 24 to 26 weeks into the pregnancy.
In a very punitive act, the legislature rejected an amendment that would have allowed abortion in the case of rape or danger to the life of the mother. What's next? The legislature is considering a law that defines a 'person' as existing at the moment of conception, in an effort to "push the envelope" on limiting abortion.

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