Considered as one of the strictest laws in the US, Albama lawmakers have outlawed abortion in the state. Reports suggest, the state Senate has approved the law, which rejects an amendment allowing exemptions for cases of rape or incest. According to the reports, abortion will only be considered in circumstances where the mother’s health is in danger.
The bill has already passed 74-3 in Alabama’s House of Representatives earlier in May, now it is reported to go through the radar of the State Republican Governor, Kay Ivey. Allegedly, she is a strong opponent of abortion. If she agrees to sign, the action will become one of 300 laws which challenges abortion access in the US. 16 states in America have already introduced legislation to restrict abortion. The Albama bill has come at a time of anti-abortion measures in Republican-controlled state capitols of the US.
Terri Collins, a Republican lawmaker said in a statement, “Our bill says that baby in the womb is a person.” As a reaction, Democratic Senator Bobby Singleton urged that the bill ‘criminalized doctors’ and said that it was an attempt by men “to tell women what to do with their bodies”. Democrat Rodger Smitherman also debated the hopelessness of the situation by the law, “We’re telling a 12-year-old girl who, through incest and rape is pregnant, we are telling her that she doesn’t have a choice.”
The law states that abortion at any stage in pregnancy is a class A felony. According to the law, doctors could face 10 years in prison, in an attempt to terminate pregnancy. Moreover, doctors will go through 99 years of imprisonment if they actually carry out the procedure. Allegedly, the woman who has aborted would not be held criminally liable, as per the new law. The text of the bill states that more fetuses have been aborted than people killed in “Stalin’s gulags, Cambodian killing fields”.
The news was met with an outcry. The ban has been condemned as “unconstitutional” by the National Organization for Women. In a statement, a spokesperson of the organization said, “a transparent effort to drum up political support for anti-abortion candidates in upcoming elections”. Staci Fox of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates also raised an outrage by calling the decision as “a dark day for women in Alabama and across this country”. Fox also added that the Albama politicians “forever live in infamy for this vote and we will make sure that every woman knows who to hold accountable”.