The Alabama Senate passed a bill late Tuesday that would effectively ban abortion in the state, with no exceptions for rape or incest, prompting an outcry from abortion rights activists across the country and setting up a challenge to Roe v. Wade that could result in a Supreme Court battle.
The bill, which already passed the Alabama House last month, would ban abortion at every stage of pregnancy, including exceptions only if the mother’s life is threatened. It also would make abortion a felony, and doctors could face up to 99 years in prison if convicted.
It is now up to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, to sign the bill, though she has not publicly said whether she supports the legislation. She has, however, been a vocal opponent of abortion rights. A spokesperson for Ivey said Wednesday in an email to TIME that the bill had not yet been transmitted to the Governor’s office and she “will thoroughly conduct a review before providing any additional comment.”
Questions about the future of abortion rights in the United States became a focus after the retirement last year of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was often a pivotal swing vote on the Court and who consistently voted to uphold abortion rights during his tenure. And in the face of a newly conservative majority on the Supreme Court, both abortion rights activists and anti-abortion advocates have been preparing for the possibility that Roe v Wade—the landmark 1973 case that effectively legalized abortion nationwide––could soon be overturned.
The Alabama lawmakers who co-sponsored the anti-abortion bill framed it as an opportunity to take down Roe. “This bill is about challenging Roe v. Wade and protecting the lives of the unborn because an unborn …read more
Source:: Time – Politics