Alabama has officially passed a near-total abortion ban, the most restrictive abortion law in the United States. If the law is signed by the governor of the state, it would make almost all abortions a crime — regardless of the duration of the pregnancy. Though the women who sought abortion would not be criminalized, the abortion ban would make it a felony for a doctor to perform the procedure — one punishable by 10 to 99 years in prison. The bill only allows exceptions in extreme cases where the woman’s health is seriously at risk — but not in cases of rape or incest. With this vote, twenty-five white men have potentially decided the fate of millions of women in Alabama, removing their autonomy, their independence, and their humanity.
This abortion ban comes in the midst of more and more fetal heartbeats bans being brought forward around the country. Many of these would ban abortion as soon as you can detect a heartbeat, which often occurs at around six weeks into pregnancy and, crucially, before many women even know they are pregnant. Not only that, but many of the fetal heartbeat bans also would criminalize the women seeking abortions, in addition to the doctors.
This isn’t an isolated case and it’s crucial that we see Alabama’s abortion ban as what is it — part of a larger war against women. This bill isn’t just about punishing and controlling the women of Alabama — though it certainly is about that in part — it’s an attempt to put into motion the steps to repeal Roe v. Wade. Abortion is legal in the United States of America and Alabama’s law is clearly a violation of this right and flies in the face of Roe v. Wade. By passing such a flagrantly unlawful ban, Alabama is baiting the Supreme Court into reopening Roe v. Wade. Now that there is a conservative bench, conservatives are desperate to get the issue referred to the Supreme Court so there is a chance to overturn the historic case. This ban is the first step toward doing that.
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Yes , we will fight . Like hell. But first I’m going to let myself cry , with anger and sadness. And tomorrow ; I’ll get up , and organise along with my sisters, to fight against this abhorrent denial of a fundamental human right . The right to make decisions about our bodies .
Alabama’s ban is a huge blow. It’s meant to strangle women’s freedom, limit their choices, and take control of their bodies. But it’s also part of a much bigger fight — and that’s one that’s just getting started.
To understand the growing attack on women’s rights and the state of reproductive healthcare in America, Planned Parenthood’s pressroom provides comprehensive updates on breaking news and its political significance.