Alabama becomes the latest US state to place a near-total ban on abortions, providing no exemption to victims of rape or incest!
The new abortion bill carries stiff penalties for those found violating it. For example, doctor who perform abortions in the state could face up to 99 years in prison. Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signing into law this controversial abortion bill said that the “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.”
“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,” said Ivey, a Republican, in a statement.
The Alabama Senate passed the bill 25-6. The law only allows exceptions “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” for ectopic pregnancy and if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly.” Democrats re-introduced an amendment to exempt rape and incest victims, but the motion failed on an 11-21 vote.
Apparently, the penalty for someone who would perform an abortion is more extreme than that for a rapist.
The new legislation has drawn flak from across the US and outside. Men and women are protesting against the ban, and in favour of safe abortions and a space for women where they are in charge of their own body’s decision.
Many Hollywood celebrities also spoke us against the ban. Commenting on it, Lady Gaga tweeted:
“It is outrageous to ban abortions in Alabama. Period. And all the more heinous that it excludes those that have been raped or are experiencing incest non-consensual or not. So there is a higher penalty for doctors that perform these operations than for most rapists? This is travesty and I pray for all these women and young girls, who will suffer at the hands of these systems.”
An interesting fact to note here is that 51% of Alabama’s population is female, whereas the lawmakers are 85% male. This is another important concern being raised by the distraught protestors. It is the 21st century and women are not okay with men policing their bodies!