Alabama Republican governor Kay Ivey signed into law Wednesday evening a bill that will virtually outlaw all abortions in the more conservative-led state.
“To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God,” Republican Gov. Ivy said in a statement.
The state senate voted 25-6 Tuesday night, passing a bill that already cleared the House overwhelmingly. However, the bill is causing controversy, for several reasons.
Among them, it does not include exceptions for victims of rape or incest. The bill does include a provision saying doctors who perform any abortion related acts, except to save a mother’s life, can be prosecuted.
But, unlike measures in other states, Alabama’s bill would not punish women receiving abortions.
It is widely speculated that the law is simply an effort to force the Supreme Court to once again take up the challenge. Ivey acknowledged the bill may be “unenforceable” at this time.
“The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur,” Ivey said.
The Bill, listed as House BIll 314 or, “Human Life Protection Act,” would criminalize the procedure and reclassifying it as a Class A felony, which is punishable by up to 99 years in prison for the doctor.
There are 35 members in the Alabama Senate. Only four of them are women. All 27 republicans in the Alabama state senate are men.
“You don’t know, what you don’t know because you’ve never been pregnant,” said Democrat Senator Linda Coleman. “It’s the choice of two people [that’s right], but it seems like only one is being thrown under the bus here.”
Chaos erupted in the state senate last week over an amendment that would have made abortions legal in rape and incest cases.
But, Tuesday night when it came up for a vote, incest and rape cases were not included. So far, six states have passed “Fetal Heartbeat bills banning abortions after six weeks, often before a woman even knows she’s pregnant.