This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 10 °C Thursday 23 May, 2019
Advertisement

99-year prison terms and no exceptions for rape victims as Alabama senate passes toughest abortion ban bill in US

Performing an abortion could see doctors handed 99-year prison sentences.

Handmaid's Tale protest against abortion ban bill at the Alabama Statehouse.
Handmaid's Tale protest against abortion ban bill at the Alabama Statehouse.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

THE ALABAMA SENATE has passed the most restrictive abortion bill in the United States that bans any termination of pregnancy and could punish doctors who perform the procedure with life in prison.

The text does not include exceptions in cases of rape or incest.

Under the bill, performing an abortion is considered a crime that could land doctors who perform it in prison for 10 to 99 years.

Abortions would only be legal if the life of the mother is in danger or the foetus has a fatal condition.

The largest human rights defence organisation in the US, the ACLU promised to file a lawsuit to block its implementation, saying the vote showed “how little they (conservative lawmakers) regard bodily autonomy”.

“This bill punishes victims of rape and incest by further taking away control over their own bodies and forcing them to give birth,” it added.

Alabama Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth, who also presides over the state senate, greeted the bill’s passage as a “strong step toward defending the rights of the unborn”.

“With liberal states approving radical late-term and post-birth abortions, Roe must be challenged, and I am proud that Alabama is leading the way,” he added.

The bill’s backers have expressly said they want to bring the case to the Supreme Court. 

‘You just raped the state of Alabama’

Now that the court has a conservative majority in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s election, some Republicans want to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling that recognised women’s right to abortion.

“You just raped the state of Alabama yourself,” state senate Democratic leader Bobby Singleton said after senators eliminated an amendment seeking exceptions to the abortion ban.

“You’re saying to my daughter you don’t matter in the state of Alabama… It’s ok for men to rape you and you’re gonna have his baby if you get pregnant,” he added.

Several conservative states are weighing harsh anti-abortion laws, intending some of them to be challenged and reach the Supreme Court.

States with liberal majorities, however, are seeking safeguards to the right to abortion in their own constitutions.

This year alone, 28 of the 50 US states have introduced more than 300 new rules to limit abortion, according to a report by the Guttmacher Institute, which defends women’s rights.

 © – AFP 2019

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (134)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel