Reports by CNN indicate the state of Alabama has pushed forth one of the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion regulations. According to the news outlet, the state’s Senate offered a near-total ban on abortion by pushing bill HB 314, a law which would hit doctors with up to 99 years in jail for performing abortions. The bill, which was passed last month, would allow for the aforementioned consequences to ensue with the exception of abortions required “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” for ectopic pregnancy and if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly.” While Democrats attempted to lessen the law’s blow, by advocating for the exemption of rape and incest victims within the law, their motion failed via an 11-21 vote.
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As such, Republican governor Kay Ivey would have exactly six days to sign the bill which would thus result in the law taking effect in the months following. As of now, Ivey has not shared her position on the bill’s passing, but she has previously spoken on being pro-life. Moreover, several civil rights organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Rights Union of Alabama are concerned about the ordeal. The groups mentioned stated they will be looking to challenge the bill, should it become a law.
In doing so, Alabama follows in the footsteps of Georgia, which advocated for the passing of a “fetal heartbeat” bill to halt mothers from undergoing an abortion if a health professional can spot a fetal heartbeat. The latter sparked much controversy and made the topic of anti-abortion central to the public discourse. Even celebrities had their say, with actress Alyssa Milano advocating for a sex strike to fight back against the passing of anti-abortion laws.