In what is being called the most restrictive bill on abortion in the United States, doctors could be punished up to 99 years in prison.
In a 25 to 6 vote, the Alabama State Senate just passed a near-total ban on abortion. The bill - which provides no exceptions for rape or incest - is headed to Governor Kay Ivey's desk. If she signs it, the bill will become law.
Breaking News: Alabama lawmakers voted to ban nearly all abortions and directly challenge Roe v. Wade. Under the measure, doctors could face 99 years in prison. https://t.co/u09BouTdw9— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 15, 2019
According to The Chicago Tribune, The legislation -- House Bill 314, "Human Life Protection Act" -- bans all abortions in the state except when "abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk" to the woman, according to the bill's text. It criminalizes the procedure, reclassifying abortion as a Class A felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison for doctors.
Dem Sen. Bobby Singleton on Alabama's abortion bill: "You don’t care anything about babies...you just kicked them in the stomach and you aborted them yourselves. You just aborted the state of Alabama and all of you should be put in jail for this abortion" pic.twitter.com/QzrNzK5rel— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 15, 2019
"It's a sad day in Alabama," said Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton in the debate leading up to the vote. "You just said to my daughter, you don't matter, you don't matter in the state of Alabama."
a bunch of men deciding if a raped woman will have to complete her pregnancy. Horrifying and maddening https://t.co/ZQ2venSEUg— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) May 14, 2019
The law only allows exceptions "to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child's mother," for ectopic pregnancy and if the "unborn child has a lethal anomaly." Democrats re-introduced an amendment to exempt rape and incest victims, but the motion failed on an 11-21 vote.
Well, Alabama just passed a bill making abortion a felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison. Hours after the bill sponsor said he wasn't 'smart enough to be pregnant' https://t.co/2usrZPaR0X— Emily Shugerman (@eshugerman) May 15, 2019
Republican Gov. Kay Ivey will have six days to sign the legislation, though the bill would not take effect until six months after becoming law. Ivey has not publicly taken a stance on the bill but has previously aligned herself as anti-abortion, lamenting the courts striking down another Alabama abortion law last year.
Alabama passes bill banning abortion https://t.co/5nfaowRyb3— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) May 15, 2019
American Civil Rights Union of Alabama Executive Director Randall Marshall said that his organization would join with the national ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood of Southeast to challenge the bill in court within "a few weeks" should it become law.
We are disgusted by the recent Bill in Alabama. We know what it is like when men politicians debate our lives. This law is similar to that in NI, extensive prison sentences &only a risk to life exemption. Solidarity to #prochoice activists the world over!https://t.co/GqOpSEFsb2— Alliance For Choice (@All4Choice) May 15, 2019
Republican State Sen. Clyde Chambliss, who ushered the bill through the chamber, emphasized in his introduction that the bill impacts women who are "known to be pregnant" and would provide "every female that's pregnant or thinks they're pregnant, and the male who was involved, it gives them that window of time -- this bill does not change that window of time."
As Republicans press toward Alabama Senate approval of a near-total abortion ban, some supporters say allowing rape and incest exceptions would undercut their legal challenge of Roe v. Wade. https://t.co/GwQBs3sOdc— AP South U.S. Region (@APSouthRegion) May 14, 2019
In a news release, Chambliss touted that his bill outlaws surgical abortions as soon as a pregnancy can be medically determined.
Many women don't yet know for certain that they're pregnant even at six weeks into a pregnancy -- the earliest a fetal heartbeat can be detected.