Law bans abortion except if there is a ‘serious health risk’ to the mother, with no exceptions for rape and incest
'Alabama’s Republican-controlled state senate passed a bill Tuesday to outlaw abortion, making it a crime to perform the procedure at any stage of pregnancy.
The strictest-in-the-nation abortion ban allows an exception only when the woman’s health is at serious risk, and sets up a legal battle that supporters hope will lead to the supreme court overturning its landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
The measure contains no exception for rape and incest, after lawmakers voted down an amendment Tuesday that would have added such an exception.
The legislation, which passed by a vote of 25-6, makes it a class A felony for a doctor to perform an abortion, punishable by 10 to 99 years in prison. Women would not face criminal penalties for getting an abortion.
It goes further than any other state has to restrict abortion. Other states, including neighboring Georgia, have instituted bans on abortion after about six weeks into pregnancy.
The vote came after a battle broke out over whether to allow legal abortions for women who become pregnant due to rape or incest, an issue that divided Republicans who otherwise supported outlawing abortion.
Last week, chaos erupted on the floor when Republican leaders stripped out the rape exception without a roll call vote, leading the final vote to be postponed. It got a full vote on Tuesday, but ultimately failed.
Lawmakers approved the legislation after a debate that stretched more than four hours, where minority Democrats introduced a slew of amendments in an attempt to block it.'
Read more: Alabama abortion ban: Republican senate passes most restrictive law in US