Alabama Passes Near-Total Abortion Ban, Even In Cases Of Rape Or Incest

We've all heard about Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that protected a woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.

It also laid out the rules by which state governments could create their own laws around abortion.

The decision was meant to balance the rights of the woman with the laws of the federal and state governments.


While Roe v. Wade affirmed that women have the fundamental right to choose whether or not to have an abortion, it also allowed states to have some wiggle room in how they regulated them.

Depending on the trimester, state governments would have more or less power.

In the first trimester, states could not prohibit abortions. In the second trimester, abortions still had to be allowed but the procedure could be regulated to focus on maternal health.

It is only in the third trimester that states could ban abortion entirely, but they still had to include exceptions for when a mother's life is in danger.

However, in the last year or so, more and more states are presenting new bills that severely restrict a woman's ability to get an abortion.

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The first trimester includes weeks 1-12 of the pregnancy, which per Roe v. Wade should not have any abortion restrictions.

To say the debate has been heated would be an understatement.

States passing "Heartbeat Bills" are going directly against that ruling.

Most recently, Georgia is under fire for passing their own Heartbeat Bill, making abortions illegal if any fetal heartbeat is detected.

Since a heartbeat can be found as early a six weeks, many people noted that few women even know they're pregnant by that point, since the clue to buy a pregnancy test is a missed period.

The bill also included exceptions for pregnancies due to rape or incest, and if the mother's life is in danger.

While many find those exceptions good, some anti-abortion groups pulled their support for the new law because it isn't strict enough.

So after the Georgia bill passed, all eyes were on Alabama's State Senate, where an even stricter bill was on the table.

And after more than four hours of debate, the bill passed with a vote of d 25-6.

As many people noted after the vote, all 25 votes in favor of the law were cast by white men. The Alabama Senate only has four female members.

There are only three exceptions in the new law.

These are for ectopic pregnacies (when the embryo is outside the uterus), instances where there's a serious health risk for the mother, or if the fetus has a "lethal anomaly."

There is no exception for abortions in case of rape or incest.

A motion was tabled to add the exception, but it failed with a vote of 11-21.

The argument is that any exception based on how the conception took place would undermine the basis of the law, which is that the unborn child is entitled to protection.

Lawmakers clearly know that it'll be fought against in court.

In fact, that seems to be the point.

President of Planned Parenthood Southeast, Staci Fox, told CNN:

"We've seen the continual chipping away year after year in Alabama and efforts get bolder and bolder each year. I think with the President and now Kavanaugh on the court, the politics in Alabama just feel emboldened to take this egregious swipe at women's health care."

Once the law is signed, it will be six months before it goes into effect.

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The ACLU and other human rights organizations are already planning to challenge it in court.

Meanwhile, the fight between a woman's right to make decisions about her own body and those who want to restrict those rights continues.

h/t: CNN