The Republican effort to overturn Roe v. Wade took a huge leap as of Tuesday when the Alabama Senate passed a new bill that effectively outlaws nearly all abortions, with the rarest of exceptions. The 1973 historical judgment that established the right of a woman on abortion faces several challenges now, with a multistate effort visible to try to challenge it in the U.S Supreme Court.
The Alabama Senate Bill is the strictest anti-abortion bill yet which came close in the heels of similar bills which outlaw abortion in the states of Georgia, Kentucky, Mississipi, and Ohio. These four states have spearheaded the restrictive abortion legislation which made way into 16 states this year, by bringing to fruition bills that ban abortions when an embryonic heartbeat can be detected.
Alabama, on the other hand, went a step ahead and banned abortions of all kinds, at all times, even defeating a Democratic amendment which hitherto had allowed girls and women to go for legal abortions if it were the result of rape or incest.
This regressive bill was first approved the Alabama House of Representatives, then passed 25-6 in the Senate and now awaits the signature of Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. She has declined to comment on the matter as of now, but her Republican stance is most probably to take dominance as she has famously been a strong opponent of abortion.
Hereupon, it shall be a felony to perform abortions in the state of Alabama, and the doctors/healthcare professionals involved shall face 10 to 99 years of prison time. The woman shall not be criminally liable. This is likely to be hugely detrimental to Women’s health as – “Physicians will be unwilling to help patients in need,” even if the life of the patient be in danger or in cases of complex and/or near-fatal pregnancies – “out of fear of being scrutinized by the criminal justice system,” says Dr. Yashica Robinson, a board member of the group Physicians For Reproductive Health.
American Civil Liberties Union has vowed to sue and the National Organization for Women has called the ban unconstitutional. Democratic leaders are up in arms as are various health groups and Womens’ Groups, but they face a tough challenge as all 27 Republican senators are men.
Anti-abortion groups or ‘Pro-life’ activists, as they like to refer themselves as have long been advocates of rights for the foetus and maintain their stand of ‘life begins at conception’. Planned Parenthood has already seen massive fund cuts with the anti-abortion Christian conservative stand taking ground more than ever. But the courts have stepped in too, blocking several restrictive laws from Kentucky, Iowa, etc.
Various pro-choice social outreach programs have already started, as have efforts to dominate the narrative. Example, actress-activist Alyssa Milano has generated a social media hashtag #SexStrike in response to the campaigns. This hashtag encourages women to refuse men sex”until we get bodily autonomy back.”