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Alabama lawmakers pass sweeping abortion ban

Thursday, 16 May, 2019, 22:25
Alabama lawmakers pass sweeping abortion ban

The Alabama state Senate on Tuesday approved a bill essentially banning abortion in the state, a move specifically aimed at challenging more than 40 years of federal abortion protection under Roe v. Wade. The bill would make it a felony for a doctor to perform or attempt an abortion during any stage of pregnancy.

The House approved a version of the bill that had an exception for the mother's health, passing 74-3, then a Senate committee added an exception for rape and incest. Republicans in the Senate, however, suddenly tabled the rape and incest exemptions last week, leading to swift and vocal opposition from Democrats.

The bill easily passed the Senate 25-6. It now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, who has not indicated whether she will sign it. If she does, it would be the strictest abortion law in the country.

"Heartbeat abortion" bans have also been signed into law in Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio this year. Lawmakers in Tennessee, Missouri, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Louisiana and West Virginia are considering similar proposals.