On Wednesday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed a bill into law that bans abortion in the state, except in rare cases in which the mother’s life is in jeopardy. The passing of this controversial bill comes only a week after Georgia’s heartbeat bill was signed into law, which criminalized abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Four other states in the South have all passed similar laws restricting reproductive rights, but Alabama’s law is the strictest abortion law in the US to date.
Alabama’s law, however, donned the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, outlaws abortion at every stage of pregnancy and does not allow any exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
Under the new law, doctors who perform — now illegal — abortions in the state can face up to 99 years in prison.
Upon signing the bill, Ivey released a statement in which she made it abundantly clear that this law was passed with the aim of challenging the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
Democrats and pro-choice activists, however, are not going down without a fight. Both the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have publicly vowed to take legal action against Ivey before the law goes into effect in six months’ time.
The chief counsel at the Center for Reproductive rights, Elisabeth Smith, also spoke out against the law on Wednesday, stating, “There is nearly 50 years of precedent that says this law is unconstitutional. Regardless of what district judge hears this case, there is no argument that Alabama can make that this law is constitutional.”