Just yesterday, on Tuesday, May 15, 2019, the state senate of Alabama passed a wide-ranging ban on abortion. Although the current iteration of the abortion bill isn’t yet cleared to be made into legislation, many political experts believe that the governor or Alabama, Key Ivey, a staunch Republican leader, will sign the bill into action within the next few days.
Physicians who are found guilty of performing abortions within the state that aren’t in tune with the legislation could be punished by a maximum sentence of life in prison, the harshest prison available outside of the death penalty in the Southeastern state of Alabama.
Republican state senators in Alabama ultimately hope that their efforts will result in an overturning of the Supreme Court’s long-standing ruling on Roe v. Wade, a case that ultimately resulted in abortion becoming legal in the United States on the federal level.
Alabama is one of many states to have advanced legislation regarding abortion recently. Georgia is another state to have done so, which recently passed a bill into law that made it illegal for practitioners of abortions to perform such procedures on women whose fetuses’ heartbeats can be detected. Many advocates of women’s rights and abortion have lashed out against the bill, as many women don’t even know they’re pregnant by the time a fetus can have a detectable heartbeat, which is as early as six weeks.
The Alabama State Senate, which is largely led by Republicans, easily passed the bill, formally known as HB 314, by a monumental margin of 25 to 6. The state’s House of Representatives passed the proposed legislation up to the Alabama State Senate earlier this month.
Fortunately for women who seek an abortion, the proposed legislation would allow some exceptions to the rules it proposes. One of these exceptions covers cases in which carrying or birthing a fetus could cause serious or fatal damage to the woman who is carrying the fetus. The only other exemption would be for unborn children that are found to have health conditions that would ultimately prove fatal if carried to term and birthed.
Democrats in the Alabama State Senate had attempted to attach a clause to the legislation that would have provided a further exemption to women who were impregnated as a result of rape or by immediate family members’ engagement in sexual relations, also known as incest, which often results in negative health outcomes in babies carried to term.