Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) on Wednesday signed a bill into law that would ban almost all abortions. The only exception would be for women facing complications. Doctors who perform an abortion could face a Class A felony punishable by life or 10 to 99 years in prison. If a doctor attempts to perform an abortion he or she could face a Class C felony, punishable by one to 10 years in prison
The bill is part of a multi-state effort to pass pro-life legislation with the hope that it will be challenged and eventually end up at the Supreme Court, which is why an exception for rape and incest were not placed in the bill.
The bill passed the House of Representatives 74-3 and the Senate 25-6.
It is set to go into effect in six months.
Ivey released the following statement after signing the bill:
Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Legislature. To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.
To all Alabamians, I assure you that we will continue to follow the rule of law.
In all meaningful respects, this bill closely resembles an abortion ban that has been a part of Alabama law for well over 100 years. As today’s bill itself recognizes, that longstanding abortion law has been rendered 'unenforceable as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.'
No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable. As citizens of this great country, we must always respect the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court even when we disagree with their decisions. Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.
I want to commend the bill sponsors, Rep. Terri Collins and Sen. Clyde Chambliss, for their strong leadership on this important issue.
For the remainder of this session, I now urge all members of the Alabama Legislature to continue seeking the best ways possible to foster a better Alabama in all regards, from education to public safety. We must give every person the best chance for a quality life and a promising future.