Right to life becomes law in Alabama
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 5/16/19, 10:44 am
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed nearly complete protections for the unborn into law on Wednesday, prompting immediate and severe backlash from abortion proponents. Sponsors of the law, which makes performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by prison time for abortionists—but not for mothers—have said the goal is to give the U.S. Supreme Court a chance to overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which led to legalized abortion nationwide.
“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 after the signing.
Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, a Democrat from Birmingham, said the law “completely disregards women.” Pro-abortion celebrities on Twitter encouraged women to speak publicly about having had abortions using the hashtag #YouKnowMe. And Planned Parenthood Southeast and the American Civil Liberties Union in Alabama both promised to sue the state to block the law from taking effect.
But that’s exactly the goal of the law, which includes an exception to allow an abortion if the mother’s health is at severe risk. The law’s sponsor, Rep. Terri Collins, a Republican, said other exceptions, like for rape or incest, would weaken the law’s ability to bring the question of the baby’s right to life before the Supreme Court. She said lawmakers could go back and add exceptions if the states regain the ability to regulate abortion post–Roe v. Wade. The law will take effect in six months absent a legal challenge
The Republican-majority state Senate in Missouri passed its own protections for unborn babies early Thursday morning in a 24-10 vote. The bill, which protects unborn babies from abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy, still needs approval from the GOP-led House before it goes to Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, who has voiced his support.
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