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Alabama's extreme, criminal abortion ban goes to Republican governor's desk

FILE - In this Wednesday, April 26, 2017, file photo, newly appointed Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, center, attends a federalism event with governors in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington. Nearly a month after taking office following her predecessor’s resignation amid a scandal, Ivey says she’s settling into the job and aiming to improve her state’s image. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey

Alabama Republicans have passed a bill criminalizing nearly all abortions—the only exception is for danger to the life of the mother—and, the Associated Press reports, “if the Republican governor signs the measure, the state will have the strictest abortion law in the country.” 

”If.” Ha ha ha. Yes, “if” Gov. Kay Ivey signs this law it will become law. Not much of an if there. Also, a veto override would be such a certainty that Ivey almost has a free pass to veto it knowing that it’s a symbolic action. But with the national media giving the issue little play—it didn’t show up on the agenda-setting Sunday talk shows—Ivey has less incentive for symbolism.

Republicans in the legislature moved aggressively against a rape and incest exception in the bill, which would make it a felony for doctors to perform abortions, at risk of up to life in prison. While six-week abortion bans have become a common Republican priority, Alabama’s bill doesn’t even allow six weeks (which is really about two weeks, at most).

”The state of Alabama ought to be ashamed of herself. You ought to be ashamed. Go look in the mirror,” Democratic state Sen. Bobby Singleton said during the debate. “Women in this state didn’t deserve this. This is all about political grandstanding.” Singleton also pointed out that, under this law, a doctor could get a longer term for performing an abortion for a rape victim than her rapist got. And, given the Alabama “justice” system, serious prosecution would probably be much more likely for doctors than for rapists.


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