Alabama Senate passes bill imposing near complete ban on abortion

Women hold banners during a House Republican leaders news conference on the "Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act discharge petition" on Capitol Hill in Washington on April 2. Alabama's Senate passed a near complete ban on abortion on Tuesday, sending it to the governor's desk for approval. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI

May 15 (UPI) — Alabama’s Senate passed a near complete ban on abortion Tuesday, sending it to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk for approval.

The Republican-led Senate voted 25-6 to pass the bill that criminalizes all abortions except for when the life of the mother was at risk, instituting a 10- to 99-year prison sentence for doctors who perform an abortion and 1- to 10-year sentence for doctors who attempt to do so.

Ivey, a Republican, has not publicly commented on whether she will sign the bill into law and her deputy press secretary Lori Jhons said Tuesday she would look over the measure before making a decision.

“The governor intends to withhold comment until she has had a chance to thoroughly review the final version of the bill that passed,” said Jhons.

The bill’s sponsor, Alabama House Rep. Terri Collins, said legislators crafted the bill specifically to address language in the Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade that mentioned a baby being “in utero.”

“This bill’s purpose is to hopefully get to the Supreme Court and have them revisit the actual decision, which was is the baby in a womb, a person?” Collins said.

Protesters gathered outside the Alabama State House before and after the vote, leading chants in a rally against the ban.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 73-3, with nearly all Democrats leaving the chamber in protest before the vote.

An argument broke out on the Senate floor between Sen. Clyde Chambliss and Senate Democrats last week after Senate President Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth sustained Chambliss’ motion to strip an amendment from the bill allowing abortion in the case of rape or incest. The incident caused the bill to be tabled for a week and the final version of the bill did not include the amendment.

The American Civil Liberties Union has said it will challenge the bill if it is signed into law.


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