Alabama Makes All Abortions Illegal & Punishable for Doctors Up to 99 Years

Alabama Makes All Abortions Illegal & Punishable for Doctors Up to 99 Years

By Angel Soler Gollonet

photo credit: Angel Soler Gollonet // Shutterstock

The state of Alabama has passed a law making all abortions illegal. Any doctor who performs the procedure, can be punishable up to 99 years or life in prison. This is the most restrictive abortion law in the country to date, as it heads to the governor’s desk to be signed.

The state is trying to get the supreme court case of Roe v. Wade, which legalizes abortion, overturned by the Supreme Court. After a nearly 4 hour debate, the bill passed through the Senate 25-6.

Rape and incest are not even execution to the bill. 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.

Alabama’s republication governor Kay Ivey will have 6 days to sign the bill, but it will be another 6 months before it takes full effect as a 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.

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.

In a news release, Republican State Sen. Clyde Chambliss, who ushered the bill through the chamber, stated that his bill outlaws surgical abortions as soon as a pregnancy can be medically determined. Emphasizing 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.” The “window” of time he speaks of is between conception and when a woman knows for certain that she’s pregnant. The state senator said he believed that time was between about seven and 10 days.

When Democratic state Sen. Rodger Smitherman asked what would happen under the bill to a young girl who was a victim of incest and found out she was pregnant, Chambliss said that he hoped that the bill would result in young women learning to seek physical and mental help quickly if they are abused.
In preparation for this bill, some proposed amendments to expand Medicaid in anticipation of the bill’s impact on low-income women, to make having a vasectomy a class A felony, as the bill would designate performing an abortion, and to have legislators who backed the bill pay for the anticipated legal fees accrued by subsequent legal challenges. All three motions failed.
“What I hope is, if we pass this bill, that all young ladies would be educated by their parents, their guardians that should a situation like this occur, you need to go get help — you need to do it immediately,” Chambliss said. “Then also they can get justice in the situation,” he added. “If they wait, justice delayed is justice denied.”

Earlier this month, Georgia passed the “heartbeat” bill, making abortion illegal after a heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as 6 weeks. This year, 16 states will push to enforce stricter abortion laws.

Written by Clarke Jones

Source: CNN