Alabama just passed a near-total abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest

By Kate Smith

/ CBS News

Alabama considers near-total abortion ban

The Alabama State Senate just passed a near-total abortion ban in a 25 to 6 vote. The legislation provides no exceptions for rape or incest.

The bill now heads to Governor Kay Ivey, a Republican. If she signs it, the bill will become law. Up until Tuesday she has withheld public comment on the legislation.

The legislation — House Bill 314, "Human Life Protection Act" — bans all abortions in the state except when "abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk" to the woman, according to the bill's text. It criminalizes the procedure, reclassifying abortion as a Class A felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison for doctors.

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It's the latest in an onslaught of state-level anti-abortion measures that activists hope will be taken up by the Supreme Court and potentially overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that protects a woman's right to the procedure. Abortion rights advocates have promised to challenge the controversial legislation if Governor Ivey signs the bill into law.

"We will not stand by while politicians endanger the lives of women and doctors for political gain," wrote Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union's Reproductive Freedom Project, in an email to CBS News following the vote. "Know this, Governor Ivey: If you sign this dangerous bill into law, we will see you in Court"

The legislation will take effect six months Governor Ivey gives the bill her signature.

Alabama state lawmakers also compare abortions in the U.S. to the Holocaust and other modern genocides in the legislation, prompting Jewish activists and abortion rights groups to rebuke the legislation as "deeply offensive."

First published on May 14, 2019 / 9:33 PM

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