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Alabama Senate passes near-total ban on abortion

SeattlePI.com Wednesday, 15 May 2019 ()
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's Senate passed a near-total ban on abortion Tuesday, sending what would be the nation's most stringent abortion law to the state's Republican governor.

The Republican-dominated Senate voted 25-6 for the bill that would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison for the abortion provider. The only exception would be when the woman's health is at serious risk.

Senators rejected an attempt to add an exception for rape and incest. The amendment was voted down 21-11, with four Republicans joining Democrats in the seeking the amendment.

"You don't care anything about babies having babies in this state, being raped and incest," Democratic Sen. Bobby Singleton said after the amendment's defeat. "You just aborted the state of Alabama with your rhetoric with this bill."

Rep. Terri Collins, the bill's sponsor, said she expects Gov. Kay Ivey to sign the bill into law. Ivey has not publicly commented on what she'll do.

Supporters said the bill is designed to conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationally, because they hope to spark a court case that might prompt the justices to revisit abortion rights.

"It's to address the issue that Roe. v. Wade was decided on. Is that baby in the womb a person?" Collins said of the bill after approval.

The bill's sponsor and other supporters had argued that exemptions would weaken their hope of creating a vehicle to challenge Roe. Collins said the Alabama law isn't meant to be a long-term measure and lawmakers could add a rape exemption if states regain control of abortion access.

"Roe v. Wade has ended the lives of millions of children. While we cannot undo the damage that decades of...
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This week, Alabama passed into law a near-total ban on abortion, which sent shockwaves of disbelief around the world. The law doesn’t make any exceptions for rape or incest, which means women in Alabama will only be able to access abortion if their lives are at risk. Doctors in Alabama who perform...

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