Representatives in the state of Alabama introduced a bill on Tuesday that would criminalize abortion, Independent reports. The specific provisions of the bill include a strict ban on abortion punishable by a class A felony, or a prison sentence of 10 to 99 years, where abortions are permitted only in cases when there is “a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.” Abortions performed in the case of rape or incest would be criminalized, as would those conducted using prescription drugs. The exception to this is before the woman is “known to be pregnant”.
For the motivating factor behind the legislation, the bill references that, “More than 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States since the Roe decision in 1973, more than three times the number who were killed in German death camps, Chinese purges, Stalin’s gulags, Cambodian killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined.”
The bill currently has 60 co-sponsors in 105 member Alabama House. The author of the bill, Representative Terri Collins, stated that the “whole point is to get the courts to relook at this issue”.
Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, called the bill a “death sentence for women across this state”, saying, “These bans are blatantly unconstitutional and lawmakers know it – they just don’t care. Alabamians are just pawns in this political game to challenge access to safe, legal abortion nationally.”
Other states have passed or are considering abortion regulations as of late, including Kentucky and Mississippi, who have passed bills banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Georgia’s governor is contemplating signing a similar bill, while South Carolina passed a fetal heartbeat through House subcommittee.