MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s Republican governor has signed the most stringent abortion legislation in the nation, making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases.
“To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God,” Governor Kay Ivey said in a statement after signing it into law on Wednesday.
The law’s sponsors want to give conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court a chance to gutabortion rights nationwide.
Democrats and abortion rights advocates criticised the legislation as a slap in the face to women.
“It just completely disregards women and the value of women and their voice. We have once again silenced women on a very personal issue,” said Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, a Birmingham Democrat.
The abortion ban would go into effect in six months if it isn’t blocked by legal challenges.
Coleman-Madison said she hopes the measure awakens a “sleeping giant” of women voters in the state.
The legislation Alabama senators passed Tuesday would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by 10 to 99 years or life in prison for the provider.
There is no exception for pregnancies resulting from rape and incest.
The only exception would be when the woman’s health is at serious risk.
Women seeking or undergoing abortions wouldn't’t be punished.