Alabama Senate Passes the Country's Most Restrictive Abortion Ban

Larry Hoffman
May 16, 2019

It not only bans abortion at any point in pregnancy but also makes it a felony for doctors to perform them, with exceptions only when the mother's life is in danger.

Republican-backed legislation advancing in MI would ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure except to safe a women's life.

"This bill will not take effect anytime in the near future, and abortion will remain a safe, legal medical procedure at all clinics in Alabama", the organization tweeted Tuesday night, along with a map showing clinic locations in the state.

After a Democratic amendment to the bill that would have provided exceptions for victims of rape and incest failed 21-11, Democrats railed against the prospects of young crime victims having to carry the resultant fetuses to term and having to then live with their assailants' children for the rest of their lives. The state House had already overwhelmingly approved the legislation. "While we can not undo the damage that decades of legal precedence under Roe have caused, this bill has the opportunity to save the lives of millions of unborn children".

Similarly restrictive abortion bans in Kentucky and MS already are before the courts, and lawmakers in Alabama are fully aware that judges are likely to intervene. That can be as early as six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant. "We will see Governor Ivey in court", said Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast. Lawmakers in Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia are considering their own proposals.

Chris Evans was among the celebrities slamming Alabama's restrictive new abortion legislation.

Like numerous abortion bans that have been passed on the state level, the Alabama law is expected to face an nearly immediate legal challenge and even if it is signed into law by the governor, it is unlikely to go into immediate effect. Ivey just won her first term as governor past year (she succeeded to the office after her predecessor resigned), so she has a little time before deciding whether she wants to run again. Will Ainsworth said last week.

Democrats, who hold just eight seats in the 35-member Senate, criticised the proposed abortion ban as a mixture of political grandstanding, an attempt to control women and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

CNN adds: "The state's Republican backers have pushed the legislation, which amounts to a near-total ban on abortion in the state, forward with the express goal of overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case legalizing abortion".

This lawsuit will join a slew of other legal actions filed in response to efforts in other states to drastically restrict abortion access in the US.

"Overwhelmingly, the people out on the street I'm talking to, they are hesitant to put into law no exceptions", Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh said, recounting conversations with constituents. Under the bill, women seeking or undergoing abortions would not be punished.

The bill's legality, however, would not be ensured since it is likely to face stringent challenges at the judicial level. But that would only kick in if Roe v. Wade is overturned. There would be no exception for circumstances in which the pregnancy is caused by rape.

Smitherman asked Chambliss about the 15 week abortion bill that was deemed unconstitutional in neighboring MS, but Chambliss said that he is "not familiar with that case".

Wednesday while discussing the Alabama Senate passing an abortion law without exemptions for rape and incest, MSNBC legal analyst Danny Cevallos said Roe v. Wade "is in jeopardy".

Those protesting the bill said Alabama might be antiabortion but is not pro-life because it fails to support children once they are born, said Susan Pace Hamill, a law professor at the University of Alabama.

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