Alabama legislators passed a bill on May 14 that would sentence doctors who perform abortions to 99 years in prison. According to CNN, it is the strictest abortion ban in the country.
Gov. Kay Ivey signed House Bill 314 on May 15, turning it into law. The new abortion law is called the Alabama Human Life Protection Act.
The law makes all abortions illegal, including in incidents of rape and incest. Two exceptions are if going through childbirth will put the mother in a life-threatening situation or if the pregnancy is ectopic, meaning the child is in a harmful position in the womb.
The law will not be enforced for another six months, meaning the earliest the ban can take effect is November.
American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood are arguing the law is unconstitutional and have filed lawsuits to stop the Alabama Human Life Protection Act.
According to CNN, the abortion law will most likely be tied up in court for years, which could end up delaying the enforcement of the abortion law later than November.
Other states are also passing bills banning abortions as soon as there is a fetal heartbeat unless the mother’s life is at risk: Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Utah, Iowa and Louisiana are states that have all passed or are trying to pass similar abortion bans.
Judges in multiple U.S. states are stopping attempts at abortion bans due to challenges issued by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.
States that are adding more protections to legalize abortion are New York, Vermont and Maine.
No women serving in the Alabama state Senate voted for the bill, nor did any male Democrats. All 25 Senators who voted to pass the Alabama Human Life Protection Act were male Republicans.
According to Pew Research, 58% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all cases while 37% believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.
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