- Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed a bill into law that effectively outlaws abortion in her state.
- The Alabama Senate passed the bill on Tuesday. All of the 25 Alabama lawmakers who voted in favour of the legislation were white, male, and Republican.
- The measure, which was passed in the Alabama House of Representatives last month, bans the procedure, even in cases of rape and/or incest, no matter the stage of pregnancy. The only exception is if the mother’s health is at risk.
- Last week, Georgia’s governor signed a bill banning abortion after six weeks.
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Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed a bill into law that effectively bans abortion in the southern state.
“Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act,” Ivey said in a statement. “To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious & that every life is a sacred gift from God.”
This came after the Alabama Senate passed the bill on Tuesday. All of the 25 Alabama lawmakers who voted in favour of the legislation were white, male, and Republican.
The measure, which was passed in the Alabama House of Representatives last month, bans the procedure, even in cases of rape and/or incest, no matter the stage of pregnancy. The only exception is if the mother’s health is at risk.
Additionally, the bill makes performing the procedure a felony. Doctors found guilty could face up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion, and up to 10 years for attempting to perform one, The New York Times reports.
Last week, the Alabama Senate erupted over the whether to include an exception for rape and incest, which prompted some division even between Republicans. An amendment adding rape and/or incest as exceptions to the ban was rejected on Tuesday.
Now that the law has been signed by Ivey, it’s officially the strictest abortion ban in the nation – surpassing Georgia’s recently signed bill that prohibits abortion after six weeks and “holds women criminally responsible,” as INSIDER’s Grace Panetta reported.
The law is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade – the 46-year-old Supreme Court case that protects a woman’s right to choose an abortion – and it was designed with that ruling in mind.
“Why not go all the way?” Eric Johnson, who is the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition founder and president and author of Alabama’s bill, told The Times.
The legality of the Alabama’s new abortion law is likely to be challenged in court, setting up a legal battle over the right to choose. Anti-choice activists are hoping that laws restricting abortion will head to the conservative-leaning US Supreme Court and pose a challenge to Roe.
“For pro-life folks, these are huge victories,” Sue Liebel, the state director for the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion advocacy group, told the Associated Press earlier in May. “And I think they’re indicative of the momentum and excitement and the hope that’s happening with changes in the Supreme Court and having such a pro-life president.”
Last month Ohio passed a bill, banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected – with no exception for rape and/or incest.
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