Nation & World

Alabama Senate bans nearly all abortions, including rape cases

The U.S. Flag and Alabama State Flag fly over the Alabama Governor’s Mansion as the state Senate votes on the strictest anti-abortion bill in the United States at the Alabama Legislature in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. May 14, 2019.  REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
The U.S. Flag and Alabama State Flag fly over the Alabama Governor’s Mansion as the state Senate votes on the strictest anti-abortion bill in the United States at the Alabama Legislature in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. May 14, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry

Alabama’s state Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that would outlaw nearly all abortions, creating exceptions only to safeguard the health of the mother, as part of a multistate effort to have the U.S. Supreme Court reconsider a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.

The bill was previously approved by the Alabama House of Representatives and will now go to Republican Governor Kay Ivey, who has withheld comment on whether she would sign it but generally is a strong opponent of abortion.

The law would take effect six months after being signed by the governor, but is certain to face legal challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups who have vowed to sue.

Legislation to restrict abortion rights has been introduced in 16 states this year, four of whose governors have signed bills banning abortion if an embryonic heartbeat can be detected.

The Alabama bill goes further, banning abortions at any time. People who perform abortions would be subject to a felony, punishable by 10 to 99 years in prison, although a woman who receives an abortion would not be held criminally liable. (Reporting by Daniel Trotta in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Lisa Shumaker)

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