Alabama Senate passes near-total abortion ban bill

Alabama sent the most restrictive abortion bill in the country to date to the governor's desk Tuesday night, with the state's Senate passing legislation that could punish doctors who perform abortions with life in prison.

Alabama sent the most restrictive abortion bill in the country to date to the governor’s desk Tuesday night, with the state’s Senate passing legislation that could punish doctors who perform abortions with life in prison.

After more than four hours of debate, the Republican-led Senate voted 25-6 to pass HB 314, which would slap doctors with up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion. The Alabama House passed the bill earlier this month.

The state’s Republican backers have pushed the legislation forward with the express goal of overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case legalizing abortion. Alabama lawmakers join those in several other states’ lawmakers in putting forth legislation to restrict abortion, such as Georgia’s recent fetal heartbeat bill.

Republican Gov. Kay Ivey will have six days to sign the legislation, though the bill would not take effect until six months after becoming law. Ivey has not publicly taken a stance on the bill but has previously aligned herself as anti-abortion, lamenting the courts striking down another Alabama abortion law last year.

“As this legislation is still making its way through the legislative process, the governor intends to withhold comment until it makes its way to her desk for signature,” Ivey spokeswoman Lori Jhons said in a statement.

American Civil Rights Union of Alabama Executive Director Randall Marshall said that his organization would join with the national ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood of Southeast to challenge the bill in court within “a few weeks” should it become law.

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