This map shows abortion bans by U.S. state in 2019
May 16 2019
The Alabamabill goes further than other legislation introduced by Republicans in 14 states seeking to restrict abortions.
But Republicans in Alabama and Georgia and liberals on the court itself seem to think it's a real possibility. They're seeing the changes at the federal level, especially at the Supreme Court.
In the past, lawmakers set a 48-hour waiting period for abortions; mandated that women receive state-directed counseling before the procedure; required a woman to undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion (and the provider must offer her the option to view the image); and required minors to receive consent for an abortion from a parent or legal guardian. It seeks to ban all abortions, even in cases of rape.
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 openly anti-choice governor of the state has a bill on her desk waiting for her signature-and, if Governor Ivey signs HB 314, Alabama will have the most restrictive abortion law in the country.
Republican state representative Rich Wingo, one of the bill's chief supporters, said: "I believe that God's hand is in this".
Democrats, who hold a mere 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.
Alabama's republican governor, Kay Ivey, has not signaled if she will sign the measure into law.
Alabama's state senate has passed a bill that would outlaw abortions, as part of a multistage effort.
"There are no exceptions in the bill for cases of rape or incest, and that was a sticking point when the Alabama Senate first tried to debate the measure last Thursday".
"Roe v. Wade has ended the lives of millions of children".
In a statement, Staci Fox of Planned Parenthood Southeast said, "Today is a dark day for women in Alabama and across this country ..."
However, with the addition of two new conservative justices that President Donald Trump appointed to the court, anti-abortion lawmakers hope to have the ruling overturned.
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.
While Alabama is the first to ban abortion outright, in this year alone, 28 out of 50 USA states have introduced rules to limit abortions.
Linda Coleman-Madison, one of the Alabama Senate's few women, reiterated the longstanding critique of abortion restriction: that it will not end abortions but rather make pregnant women seeking them more desperate and at more risk.
The renewed challenges come as the number of abortions performed in the USA has steadily declined since reaching a peak of 1.6 million in 1990. "Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973". But an Ivey spokeswoman said before Tuesday's vote that "the governor intends to withhold comment until she has had a chance to thoroughly review the final version of the bill that passed".