May 15 (UPI) — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill instituting a near complete ban on abortion into law on Wednesday.
The law imposes a penalty of up to 99 years in prison for doctors who perform an abortion and up to 10 years for doctors who attempt to do so in all cases except for when the life of the mother is at risk.
“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,” Ivey said in a statement. “To all Alabamians, I assure you that we will continue to follow the rule of law.”
Ivey also stated that the bill may not immediately be enforceable due to the 1973 Supreme Court ruling on Roe vs. Wade.
“In all meaningful respects, this bill closely resembles an abortion ban that has been a part of Alabama law for well over 100 years. As today’s bill itself recognizes, that longstanding abortion law has been rendered ‘unenforceable as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe vs. Wade.”
The bill’s sponsor, Alabama House Rep. Terri Collins said the bill was crafted to get the Supreme Court to reconsider language regarding a baby being “in utero.”
“Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe vs. Wade was handed down in 1973,” Ivey said. “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.”
The law is not set to go into effect for six months and the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama has vowed to sue the state over the law.
“This bill punishes victims of rape and incest by further taking away control over their own bodies and forcing them to give birth,” Alabama ACLU Executive Director Randall Marshall said. “The ACLU of Alabama, along with the National ACLU and Planned Parenthood, will file a lawsuit to stop this unconstitutional ban and protect every woman’s right to make her own choice about her healthcare, her body and her future.”