HB 494, Alabama's new parental consent law regarding abortion is, as we've noted before, uniquely heinous, given that it allows fetuses to be appointed a guardian ad litem to "represent the interests of the unborn child during certain proceedings" as the text of the law puts it. Yep, that would be a lawyer who argues against the pregnant teenager whose body the fetus occupies.
The Daily Show's Jessica Williams, God bless her, interviewed one such fetal attorney on last night's show, Julian McPhillips, a Montgomery-based personal injury lawyer. Over the course of the interview, McPhillips got progressively more and more irritated with Williams' inability to take his fetal representation seriously.
"You get a call from a fetus seeking legal representation," Williams asks. "Then what happens?"
"I cannot get a call from a fetus for anything, much less legal representation," McPhillips replies.
"So how do you mean confidentiality with your client?" Williams counters.
"Well of course if you've got an unborn child in somebody else's womb, I cannot comunicate with them directly," Phillips shoots back, testily. (Did you catch that, by the way? "Somebody else's womb?") He adds, "You know better than to ask the question."
"Well, I dunno," Williams says, innocently. "You have a crazy-ass job, sir."
As the ACLU of Alabama's Executive Director Susan Watson points out, Alabama doesn't have a statewide public defender program, meaning fetuses can get a lawyer appointed with state money, but real live, already-born indigent human beings cannot. Of the 41 judicial circuits in the state, only four have a public defender's office.
Here's the full clip:
Screengrab via The Daily Show