Lawmakers in Alabama voted to outlaw abortions which could make the procedure punishable by up to 99 years in prison. The 25-6 vote, with one abstention, was handed down Tuesday (May 14) following a nearly four-hour debate, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.
The HB314 abortion bill makes an exception only if the pregnant mother’s health could be at risk. It does not include exceptions for rape and incest. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur), and drafted by Eric Johnston of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has yet to decide if she will sign the bill into law.
While the abortion debate rages on, prenatal health and access to proper health care remains an issue for women in Alabama, particularly black women. As of 2016, Alabama had a infant mortality rate of 9.1 deaths for every 1,000 infants born. The mortality rate for black infants was twice the rate of white infants, according to figures from 2016. Additionally, Alabama ranked 40th in a 2018 study on children’s health care putting the state slightly ahead of Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana, all of which ranked extremely low on the national list.
The HB314 abortion bill was passed amid ongoing controversy surrounding abortion laws in various states. Shortly after the news broke, the American Civil Liberties Union announced that it will sue to stop the law from “ever taking effect.”
BREAKING: Alabama’s legislature just passed a law that criminalizes doctors and makes abortion illegal.
Abortion is NOT a crime — it’s a constitutional right.
We will sue to stop this law from ever taking effect.
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 15, 2019
See more reactions below.
This Alabama law would punish doctors for delivering medical care to a rape victim more harshly than the rapists.
— Brandon Wolf (@bjoewolf) May 15, 2019
Access to reproductive health services, including abortion, is not a crime. It is the personal and fundamental choice of a woman.
The decision in Alabama infringes on rights that have already been protected and we will continue to protect them in New York.
— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) May 15, 2019
Let’s call what happened tonight in Alabama what it is: Criminalizing doctors and putting women’s lives at risk by barring their access to safe, legal abortion.
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) May 15, 2019
This ban is dangerous and exceptionally cruel—and the bill’s authors want to use it to overturn Roe v. Wade. I’ve lived in that America and let me tell you: We are not going back—not now, not ever. We will fight this. And we will win. https://t.co/WNlr7Ys73q
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 15, 2019
Tonight, 25 out of 31 state senators in Alabama, all of them men, voted for an abortion ban that would literally force victims of rape and incest to carry a pregnancy to term.
To every so-called “progressive” who says we should try to reason with these people:
— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) May 15, 2019
Y’all need to stop saying Alabama or Georgia lawmakers are hicks or hillbillies etc. What they are is systematically dismantling women’s rights one state at a time to eventually overturn Roe v Wade and before long it will be your state legislators.
— roxane gay (@rgay) May 15, 2019
22 Senators voted against including an exception for rape or incest in Alabama’s new draconian abortion law.
Notice any similarities? pic.twitter.com/QNxFC1JU2u
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) May 15, 2019
Alabama alabama’d. Georgia georgia’d. I’m 0% shocked. This is just more proof that we must, in no uncertain terms, VOTE. THESE. MOTHER. FUCKERS. OUT. The men who voted for #HB314 sleep fucking well at night. The only way to wake them up is to take away their power. FFS VOTE.
— Natasha Rothwell (@natasharothwell) May 15, 2019