Every Single Vote For The Alabama Abortion Ban Came From A Man

The news that Alabama has voted in favor of a near-total abortion ban is a big deal. Not only does it go against the spirit of a Supreme Court precedent, there's also the fact that men are making the decisions on how to police women's bodies.

How did we get here?


Abortions were illegal for decades. Women who wanted to seek abortion services were forced to get dangerous illegal abortions.

Before a landmark Supreme Court ruling, the states shown in red did not permit abortions. The only states that gave full access to abortion services are shown in yellow.

Roe v. Wade changed everything.

Wikipedia | Phil Roeder

This 1973 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that women had the right to seek abortion services in all 50 states. While Supreme Court rulings are generally seen as final, Roe v. Wade is a different kind of ruling.

It's been controversial almost from the start.

Wikimedia Commons | denverkid

Criticized by many, abortion laws have been a hot topic political issue in the United States. Generally, opinions fall along political lines: left-leaning politicians favor a woman's right to choose, while right-leaning politicians do not.

States have chipped away at the legislation.

Unsplash | Maria Oswalt

Some states have enacted legislation that requires women to undergo a waiting period before getting an abortion, or putting abortion clinics in out-of-the-way places — all designed to circumvent Roe v. Wade.

Alabama has taken things a step further.

Wikimedia Commons | DXR

A recent ruling puts harsh new requirements into place. Women in Alabama may now only get an abortion if their health is in critical danger. They may not seek an abortion, even if the pregnancy is a result of incest or rape.

Who voted this in?

Wikipedia | State of Alabama

The controversial bill was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey, a Republican. While it was Ivey that rubber-stamped the bill, what's truly notable is the lawmakers who voted it in.

The final vote was 25-6 in favor of the ban.

Twitter | @NahanniFontaine

All 25 of the votes in favor of the ban came from white Republican men. Only four women serve on the Republican-led Senate. The two who voted both voted against the ban.

It's enormously controversial.

Twitter | @CNNnewsroom

The law criminalizes women who are "known to be pregnant". When Senator Linda Coleman-Madison challenged what this means, in a medical context, the senators in favor of the legislation failed to provide an answer.

It's consistent with Republican policies.

Twitter | @SavvyCat

While the GOP is hands-off with many aspects of healthcare, they're notoriously hands-on when it comes to abortion. And, overwhelmingly, the policy makers in this party are not people who can ever experience a pregnancy.

Women in the state senate clapped back.

Twitter | @CNN

When Senator Clyde Chambliss couldn't answer Coleman-Madison's question, she said, "I guess that's a typical male answer. You don't know what you don't know, because you've never been pregnant."

It's a way to chip away at Roe v. Wade.

Twitter | @draywharton

Only women can be criminalized for abortion in Alabama, and laws will disproportionately target both black and poor people. In states with Republican-held Senates, Alabama's move could represent a green light to further erode the 1973 ruling.

What do you think?

Twitter | @NahanniFontaine

It's a charged issue, so let's try to be civil, but what are your thoughts? Do your politics play a part in how you feel about abortion? Let us know in the comments!