The Alabama State Senate has approved a bill that effectively outlaws abortion. The bill, which was passed through the Senate on Tuesday on a 25-6 vote, would make it a felony for a doctor to perform or attempt an abortion during any stage of pregnancy.
There are some exceptions, however. As a House Bill, an exception was added into the text in relation to the mother’s health, then in the Senate, another provision was added for cases of rape and incest.
However, at the end of last week, Republicans took rape and incest off the bill shortly before the vote, causing outrage from the Democrats.
A motion to re-introduce these exceptions died in the Senate earlier this week — meaning that this is now one of the strictest abortion laws America has ever seen.
“You just aborted the state of Alabama with your rhetoric with this bill,” raged Democratic Sen. Bobby Singleton after the bill passed, according to NBC News. “You just aborted the state of Alabama and all of you should be put in jail for this abortion you just laid on Alabama.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders called the new law “blatantly unconstitutional” while Sen. Kamala Harris called the new wave of pro-life legislation a “direct effort to criminalize women for their health care decisions.”
Staci Fox of abortion business Planned Parenthood’s Southeast Advocates called the decision “a dark day for women in Alabama and across this country.”
A Challenge to Roe v. Wade
Republicans, however, believe that the law must be strict enough to challenge the precedent set by Roe v. Wade. They know that the bill is likely to be disapproved of in lower courts and hope that this will cause it to be elevated up to the Supreme Court.
“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?” said House Republican sponsor, Terri Collins. “And we believe technology and science shows that it is. You can see that baby tissue develop all the way through now.”
Alabama’s Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth that “Roe must be challenged,” and said he was “proud that Alabama is leading the way,” according to the BBC.
“The dynamic has changed,” said Eric Johnson of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition, who assisted in drafting the bill.
He added: “The judges have changed, a lot of changes over that time, and so I think we’re at the point where we need to take a bigger and a bolder step.”
Doctors who attempt to terminate a pregnancy will now face up to 10 years in prison – they will face a life sentence of 99 years if they actually carry out the procedure. The woman will not be held criminally responsible.
Within the text of the bill, it was written that more young lives have been taken through abortion than the number claimed through “German death camps, Chinese purges, Stalin’s gulags, Cambodian killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined.”
Speaking on Fox News after news of the bill’s passing came through, author Eric Metaxas declared that “Roe v. Wade is an abomination” and “is not constitutional.”
“I’m thrilled this happened,” Metaxas continued. “Because this needs to go to the Supreme Court and people in America need to argue ‘is this a human life?'”
“If it turns out that this is a human life, can we all agree that it’s wrong to take that life? We have to have that conversation.”