Alabama’s Senate Passes a Bill to Ban Almost All Abortions in the State

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood will mount a legal challenge

The Alabama state Senate has passed the HB 314 bill, making almost every abortion illegal in the southern U.S. state. If the bill becomes a law, then the state will have the notorious distinction of having the most conservative abortion laws in the United States. As per the new law, a doctor who performs an abortion in the state could be incarcerated for 99 years. The Senate has sent the bill to Governor Kay Ivey, a Republican, for her final approval sign.

Republicans in Alabama state have pushed HB 314, a future law which will effectively stop abortion in the country. The GOP aim is to overturn Roe v. Wade, a landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion. Lawmakers in Alabama joined legislators of several other Republican-controlled states in presenting legislation which will effectively restrict abortion, like the recently enacted fetal heartbeat bill in Georgia. The bill was passed after about four hours of debate. The GOP dominated Senate voted 25 for and six against to pass the HB 314 bill. The latter was passed by the House earlier in May.

The prospective law has only minimal exceptions. One of the few ways out for a woman is if the pregnancy will cause a mortal risk to the mother of the unknown child in case of an ectopic pregnancy. One other clause state that abortion can be performed only if a lethal anomaly is present in the unborn child. To make the law more equitable, Democrats tried to re-introduce an amendment which will exempt incest and rape victims. This motion, however, was denied on an 11 for and 21 against the vote.

Governor Ivey has a total of six days to sign this legislation. The bill, however, would not be effective before six months after it made into law. The governor herself has shied away from taking any stance regarding this bill but is known to hold pro-life views. She has earlier publicly lamented the incidence of courts striking down an Alabama abortion law in 2018. Lori Jhons, the spokeswoman for the governor, said that the governor would reserve comment as the legislation continues to weave its way through the full legislative process. The spokeswoman said the governor would only comment after the House Bill comes to her desk for her signature. Randall Marshall of the American Civil Rights Union (ACLU) said that his organization would join hands with Planned Parenthood of Southeast and Planned Parenthood to challenge this bill.

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