Alabama Senate passes bill to ban abortion

Lawmakers in Alabama Senate, above, passed the most restrictive abortion law in the US by 25 votes to six on Tuesday evening, reports say.

The bill, which rejected exemptions for cases of rape or incest, drew sharp criticisms from Democrats and pro-choice groups.

It bans all abortions except the procedure to save a mother’s life.

A woman undergoing abortion will not face criminal charges. But a doctor will be jailed for 10 years for attempting to terminate a pregnancy and 99 years for actually carrying out the procedure.

The new rule will go for final approval to Governor Kay Ivey who is a strong opponent of abortion.

The bill had already been approved by a 74-3 margin in Alabama’s House of Representatives earlier this month.

The pro-choice group NARAL called the anti-abortion bill dangerous and demeaning.
The National Organization for Women called the Alabama ban unconstitutional and a ploy to gain support for anti-abortion candidates in the forthcoming elections.

Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates called the decision a dark day for women in Alabama.

Democratic senator Bobby Singleton said the bill criminalises doctors.

But Republican lawmaker Terri Collins defended the bill that sends a strong message that the baby in the womb is a person.

Some 16 of the 50 states in the US have passed or are considering a ban on abortion.
Four states have approved the ban after a foetal heartbeat is detected six weeks into pregnancy.

Alabama’s most restrictive abortion law may spark a legal battle challenging a 1973 landmark ruling that legalised abortion in the US.