Alabama’s major newspapers on Sunday devoted their entire editions to the voices of hundreds of women in the state, giving them the spotlight to draw attention to the fact that “a majority of men in the state legislature spoke for them” last week in passing the nation’s strictest abortion ban.
More than 200 women wrote essays published Sunday in the three newspapers owned by the Alabama Media Group — The Birmingham News, Huntsville Times, and Mobile Press-Register — with some of the writers sharing their own stories of receiving abortions. The package of essays was also featured at the top of the Alabama Media Group’s website, with the headline “Alabama women speak out.”
When the Alabama state Senate last week passed legislation criminalizing nearly all abortions, with no exceptions for rape and incest, all 25 votes in favor of the bill were from white men. There are only four women in the entire state Senate, serving alongside 31 men.
“Alabama was the talk of the nation last week as the most restrictive abortion ban in the country became law. But, missing from many of those conversations were the voices of women from this state,” Kelly Scott, the vice president of content for the Alabama Media Group, wrote in an editorial introducing the package, entitled “It’s time to hear Alabama’s women.”
“They are women who live here, and some who have left. Those who have prayed for this very law, and those who now live in fear. Mothers, trying to understand the message this law sends to their daughters and sons. And women who are angry that a majority of men in the state legislature spoke for them.”
The Alabama Media Group’s website also took the unusual step of restricting online comments for the women’s editorials, “wanting their voices to be heard instead of debated,” Scott wrote. “No one should ignore their voices.”