Alabama Attorney General Candidate Wants to Use a State Militia to End Legal Abortion

In a investigative report on Rewire, Ally Boguhn exposes Samuel McLure—an adoption lawyer and anti-choice activist who hopes to secure the Republican nomination for attorney general in Alabama and make it “hell on earth” for abortion providers.

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Detailing both McLure’s history of targeting abortion providers on social media as well as his plan to prosecute them for murder if elected, Boguhn writes:

He [McLure] claimed that the attorney general could end legal abortion by enforcing current laws and regulations, suggesting that the office should create a task force to investigate whether providers in the state are complying.

McLure went on to say that the second way an attorney general could end legal abortion would be to “work with the legislature of Alabama to remove the abortion exception from the homicide statute.” The state’s fetal homicide law currently defines a person as “an unborn child in utero at any stage of development, regardless of viability” except when it comes to abortion. 

In another video posted to his Facebook page on July 25, McLure says that it is the state’s attorney general job “to make it hell on earth” for abortion providers.

His plan to do so? A state militia defending the policy:

During an address to the Alabama Constitution Party’s summer meeting, McLure argued that should anti-choice activists control the state government, they could effectively end legal abortion in the state no matter what courts decided on the issue. He added that a state militia could be used to defend the policy.

“Alabama needs to take the second amendment seriously …. A well-regulated militia is necessary for the protection of a free state,” said McLure at the event. “Where is Alabama’s militia? If the governor or attorney general of our state defied the federal government and said ‘We’re going to protect babies from murder,’ and some federal law enforcement officer tried to drag our governor into a federal jail, who will protect our governor?”

“A true Alabamian gives up his freedom only at the cost of his life,” he later added, adapting an inscription on a Scottish monument.”

McLure’s desire to prosecute abortion providers is a call to further militarize the state in hopes of controlling reproduction. This platform translates directly into women’s lived experiences, because anti-choice rhetoric has dangerous ramifications: A recent study found that women and children are more likely to experience negative health outcomes in states with higher numbers of anti-abortion laws, while yet another found that severe anti-abortion violence and threats of violence against women’s health clinics have skyrocketed to the highest levels recorded since 1995. These parallel truths—that attacks on abortion are attacks on women’s health, and that those attacks are more and more common—are cause for alarm.

Attacks on abortion rights by politicians like McLure put abortion providers, women and children at risk. In the context of Alabama’s history of hostility towards pro-choice legislation, these kinds of attacks make McLure—and anti-choice advocates like him—a particularly tangible threat.

You can read Boghun’s full piece here.




Taliah Mancini is an editorial intern at Ms. Magazine.