By passing a bill to ban abortion in nearly all circumstances, the Alabama Legislature has recognised that abortion is “the extinguishing of a unique human life,” said the president and CEO of Americans United for Life.
“From conception to natural death, every single human life deserves to be protected by law. The violence of abortion is never the answer to the violence of rape,” said Catherine Glenn Foster in a statement released on Wednesday. “Like other states that have passed laws concerning when life begins, Alabama has relied upon scientific and medical facts.”
The state Senate passed the measure on Tuesday in a 25-6 vote. It includes exceptions for when the life or health of the mother is seriously threatened and when the child has a fatal disease. It bans abortion in all other circumstances, including rape and incest, and would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison.
It now heads to Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, who has not stated publicly if she will sign it. The state House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved it in early May.
If the bill becomes law, Alabama will have the most restrictive abortion law in the country. Legal challenges that are expected to be filed swiftly also could “become fodder for the swirling debate over if – and when – the Supreme Court might consider overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling,” CNN reported.
Republican state Rep. Terri Collins said after the vote that bill was meant to challenge Roe v. Wade and protect the lives of the unborn, “because an unborn baby is a person who deserves love and protection.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life group, called passage of the near-total ban on abortion “a landmark victory for the people of Alabama who, like most Americans, overwhelmingly reject the extreme status quo of abortion on demand imposed nationwide by Roe v. Wade.”
“Across the nation there is growing momentum, informed by science and compassion, and spurred on in reaction to abortion extremism in New York and Virginia, to recognise the humanity of the unborn child in the law,” she said.
“It is clearer than ever that Roe is far from being settled law in the eyes and hearts of the American people, and this is increasingly reflected in state legislatures,” she added.
Photo: A pro-life sign is displayed during the annual March for Life rally in Washington earlier this year.