Anger erupts in Alabama Senate over abortion bill
The Alabama Senate erupted in angry clashes over debate over an anti-abortion bill considered the toughest in the country that would effectively ban the procedure.
The Republican-backed measure, which was passed by the state’s House of Representatives last month, would make it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion at any time during pregnancy, punishable by 99 years in prison. An attempted abortion would carry a sentence of up to 10 years. The measure makes an exception, allowing an abortion when the mother presents a “serious risk to health”. Women who have the procedure would not be criminally responsible.
The text of the bill quotes “the humanity of the unborn child” and says that more fetuses have been aborted than people killed in “Stalin’s gulags, Cambodian killing fields” and others. atrocities.
It comes at a time of increased polarization between states on the issue, with liberals seeking to expand abortion rights and conservatives trying to limit them further. In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp signed in law On Tuesday, a bill banning abortion once the fetal heartbeat is detected, which can last up to six weeks. Ohio, Kentucky and Mississippi have adopted similar measures this year.
Alabama’s measure will almost certainly face a legal challenge and will likely be overturned by lower courts, according to legal observers.
Battles have intensified following President Trump’s appointment of Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, said Elizabeth Nash, state policy analyst at the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports the right to l ‘abortion. This prompted some haters of abortion to directly challenge the 1973 court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which established a woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before her viability, she said.
The Alabama measure “is an attack on Roe’s very base,” said Eric Johnston, president of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition, which promotes its adoption.
In the Alabama Senate on Thursday, discord erupted over consideration of an amendment that would create exceptions to the bill for rape or incest. The House version was passed without such a provision, but one was added in a Senate committee.
Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth, who chairs the Senate, withdrew the rape and incest amendment in a voice vote, triggering screaming denunciations from Democratic Senator Bobby Singleton.
Shortly thereafter, senators agreed to adjourn until Tuesday, when the bill and the amendment could be resumed.
“It’s just kind of a red meat law for the Republican Party nationwide,” Singleton said earlier in the debate. “Think about what we’re about to do here in this state and how we’re going to deal with a woman’s ability to make her choice.”
Republican Senator Clyde Chambliss said the measure was based on the recognition of the fetus as a person. “This child has the right to develop and be delivered without his privacy being invaded by pliers and scalpels,” he said.
Alabama voters last year approved a constitutional amendment making state policy “recognize and uphold the sanctity of unborn life.”
Write to Arian Campo-Flores at [email protected]
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