Alabama's new law authorising an almost complete ban on abortion, which is considered to be the strictest in the US, was passed by a group consisting of white male Alabama senators. This law will disproportionately affect poor and black women since they are the ones who are more likely to have abortions and also less likely to have the means of obtaining an abortion outside Alabama where abortion is allowed in some states. The bill was taken to the desk of Alabama's female Republican governor, the 74-year-old Kay Ellen Ivey, who signed it on the 15th of May and it became law.
Who Voted to Pass This Bill?
Of the twenty-seven Republicans, who are all white and dominate Alabama Senate (which has 35 seats), twenty-five voted on the 14th of March to pass the bill. There are 4 women who serve on in Alabama state and all of these women are Democrats who, together with other Democrats, didn't vote for this bill. Only 2 Republicans didn't vote.
State Senator Malika Sanders-Fortier, who represents District 23, abstained from voting while the vote of state Senator Priscilla Dunn was marked pass, which means not present or not voting. State Senators Vivian Davis Figures and Linda Coleman-Madison voted against the bill.
The legislation makes having an abortion a crime, except when the pregnancy poses a threat to the woman's health. The sponsor of this bill in the House is Terri Collins, a state Representative. Together with other 6 Republican women who are also members of The Alabama House of Representatives, Terri voted for the bill to be passed. Almost all the members of Democratic House chose not to vote and walked out in protest.
Alabama’s legislature is 15.7 per cent women overall, the 16th lowest state in the nation, compared to 28.7 per cent of state legislators nationwide. The Senate has 11.4 per cent when it comes to the proportion of women.
According to the law, any physicians who will perform an abortion will also be charged with the highest degree of felony (Class A felony), and they could face up to ninety-nine years in jail.
During a 4-hour debate on 14th May, Vivian Davis Figures told the bill’s proponents that you do not have to raise your kid. You do not even have to carry the unborn child and you certainly do not have to provide for the child after they are born. You simply do not have to do a single thing for the child, but still, you want to make a serious decision for that woman.
Other States Have Also Banned Abortion
Since the beginning of 2019, Alabama is the sixteenth state in the United States to introduce abortion restrictions. However, this bill that was passed in Alabama, which compares having an abortion to the Holocaust, has given the state the country's strictest anti-abortion restrictions.
Republicans across the United States pushed increasingly strict abortion laws. This includes in neighbouring Georgia State, where lawmakers recently passed a bill that bans abortion after 6 weeks, which is definitely a complete ban.