The Alabama Senate on Tuesday passed the most restrictive abortion bill in the United States, banning any termination of pregnancy and punishing doctors who perform the procedure with life in prison, AFP reported.
The legislation bans abortions at every stage of pregnancy, except in cases when the mother’s life is at serious risk but not for cases of rape or incest, according to The New York Times. Doctors who perform the procedures could be charged with felonies and face up to 99 years in prison.
The Republican-led Senate voted 25-6 to pass the legislation. The House passed the bill earlier this month and will now be sent to Republican Governor Kay Ivey. The governor has not publicly committed to signing the bill, but she is seen as a strong opponent of abortion, BBC reported.
A spokesperson for Ivey, Lori Jhons, said the “governor intends to withhold comment until she has had a chance to thoroughly review the final version of the bill that passed.”
The American Civil Liberties Union has promised to file a lawsuit to block the implementation of the legislation. The Supreme Court in the US has a conservative majority at present and some Republicans want to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe vs Wade ruling that recognised women’s right to abortion.
“You just raped the state of Alabama yourself,” state Senate Democratic leader Bobby Singleton said. “You’re saying to my daughter you don’t matter in the state of Alabama... It’s ok for men to rape you and you’re gonna have his baby if you get pregnant.”
Republican State Senator Clyde Chambliss claimed the Roe vs Wade ruling ended the lives of millions of children, AP reported. “While we cannot undo the damage that decades of legal precedence under Roe have caused, this bill has the opportunity to save the lives of millions of unborn children.”