Alabama abortion legislation signed into law

Author
AP,
Section
World,
Publish Date
Thursday, 16 May 2019, 1:13PM
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signing a bill that virtually outlaws abortion in the state. (Photo / AP)
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signing a bill that virtually outlaws abortion in the state. (Photo / AP)

Alabama's Republican governor signed the most stringent abortion legislation in the US today, making performing an abortion an offence in nearly all cases.

"To the bill's many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians' deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God," Governor Kay Ivey said.

The bill's sponsors want to give conservatives on the US Supreme Court a chance to gut abortion rights nationwide, but Democrats and abortion rights advocates criticised the bill as a slap in the face to women voters.

"It just completely disregards women and the value of women and their voice. We have once again silenced women on a very personal issue," said Senator Linda Coleman-Madison, a Birmingham Democrat.

Coleman-Madison said she hopes the measure awakens a "sleeping giant" of women voters in the state.

But Republican pollster Chris Kratzer noted that there is no congressional district and likely no legislative district with enough swing voters to put Republicans at serious risk in the state.

"The people who are outraged about this are not the people who are electing these guys, generally speaking, especially when we're talking about the primary," he said.

Further, Kratzer argued, there aren't enough potential swing voters and disenchanted Republicans to make the issue any kind of advantage for the lone Democrat elected to statewide office, Senator Doug Jones, who scored a surprise upset win in a 2017 special election.

The legislation Alabama senators passed yesterday would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by 10 to 99 years or life in prison for the provider. The only exception would be when the woman's health is at serious risk. Women seeking or undergoing abortions wouldn't be punished.

Early Edition

Early Edition

5AM - 6AM