The most constricting abortion bill in the states of the US has been signed criminalizing abortions in Alabama during any stage of pregnancy.
The law will be effective from six months and also includes criminal penalties for the doctors who perform an abortion or even attempt to perform an abortion. The punishment of this crime will be a sentence of 99 years. However there are exceptions for cases in which the life of a mother or fetus is threatened, but no exception in case of rape or incest.
This is most recent in a slithering of all the state bills which have passed this year and aim to decrease the rights of abortion in Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi. Some have been very smoothly struck down in the state courts as unconstitutional, and the other laws will take effect over a period of the next seven months. Appeals can also be made in the Supreme Court to amend the abortion laws which were prevailing in the state since the past fifty years.
Georgia had recently put a ban on all abortions after a heartbeat can be detected, which is generally after a period of six weeks. It is during this time only that the women are unaware of their pregnancy.
The new law in Georgia recognizes the fetus as a person, meaning that abortion can be considered murder. But the question lies in the fact that who will be considered a criminal, the woman getting an abortion or the doctor performing it. In Georgia, the punishment for this crime is life imprisonment or the death penalty.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has passed a statement that it will file a complaint to stop these bills from going ahead. On 15th May, the bills entered a legal battle with the state of Ohio where same law will be taking in effect from July if the higher authorities do not strike it down. Unlike the law in Alabama, Ohio has no exemptions for incest or rape.
The legal battle is exactly the points of the bills which have been lawfully designed by Terri Collins, the Alabama Representative who had supported the state’s latest abortion bill. He also says that the purpose of this bill is to fight the federal law which protects the abortion rights of a woman.
Hillary Clinton tweeted “The abortion bans in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi are appalling attacks on women’s lives and fundamental freedoms. Women’s rights are human rights. We will not go back.”
Staci Fox, the president of Planned Parenthood Southeast supports reproductive health and family planning said “To the Alabama politicians that voted for this bill, our message is this: you will forever live in infamy for this vote. And Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates will make sure every woman knows who to hold accountable.”
She also said “Imagine how many more women are too scared to call – who feel alone and abandoned by their state – to even reach out to make an appointment, who assume abortion is already illegal. Those are the women I am losing sleep over every night.”
People who are supporting the ban, are in the hope that the fight will go all the way to the Supreme Court which had passed a law in1973 in the Roe vs Wade case stating that the women must be allowed to get abortions up to the point where the fetus can survive outside the womb of the mother.
Republican state senator Clyde Chambliss said “Human life has rights, and when someone takes those rights, that’s when we as the government have to step in. When God creates that life, that miracle of life inside the woman’s womb, it’s not our place as humans to extinguish that life. That’s what I believe.”
The Senate minority leader Democrat Bobby Singleton launched a filibuster in a hope to delay the vote till the Republicans approved a motion to end the debate.
He Singleton said “You just raped the state of Alabama. The state of Alabama ought to be ashamed of itself.” He also added that the message given to the women after this move is “We’re just going to continue to kick ’em in the gut.”
As the vote was concluded, he said: “I would just like to say to all the women of the state of Alabama: I’m sorry.”