The Alabama Senate passed the nation’s boldest pro-life bill to date, restricting abortion without exceptions for rape or incest. If made law, it would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy, unless the mother’s health is at risk, a felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison for the abortionist.
Supporters drafted the bill to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationally. Emboldened by the recent additions of two conservative justices, they hope to spark a case that prompts the country’s highest court to revisit abortion rights.
“This bill is about challenging Roe v. Wade and protecting the lives of the unborn, because an unborn baby is a person who deserves love and protection,” said Alabama state Rep. Terri Collins, the bill’s sponsor. “I have prayed my way through this bill. This is the way we get where we want to get eventually.”
The bill passed with a 25-6 vote in the state’s Senate and 74-3 in the House.
While debating on the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Clyde Chambliss said, “I believe that if we terminate the life of an unborn child, we are putting ourselves in God’s place.”
During the 2018 midterm elections, 59 percent of Alabama voters expressed their support for a bill banning abortions in the state.
“Roe v. Wade has ended the lives of millions of children,” Chambliss said in a statement after the bill’s passage. “While we cannot undo the damage that decades of precedence under Roe have caused, this bill has the opportunity to save the lives of millions of unborn children.”
The measure now goes to pro-life Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, who has not confirmed if she will sign it into law, noting her desire to read through the final version before announcing her intentions. If the bill does become law, it would take effect in six months.