Alabama Proposes Making Abortion Punishable By Up To 99 Years, Even For Rape Survivors

Alabama Proposes Making Abortion Punishable By Up To 99 Years, Even For Rape Survivors

Critics have been arguing that Republicans are unnecessarily launching legal battles that will just turn out to be expensive and futile.

A new law proposed by Alabama lawmakers has left the world in shock. If the law comes into place, it will make abortion illegal and punishable by up to 99 years in jail. According to Daily Mail, they hope this move will lead to a new Supreme Court precedent on abortion. The bill  is being branded a “death sentence for women.” If passed, abortion would be criminalized, even in cases of rape and incest. The legislation would only allow abortions in cases where there is a "serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother." The bill was proposed into the Alabama state Senate and House on April 2, and it would make performing an abortion a Class A felony, and attempting an abortion a Class C felony. 

The bill, rather efficaciously, equates the estimated 50 million abortions carried out in the U.S. as three times the combined death toll of Nazi death camps, Communist Chinese purges, Joseph Stalin's Soviet gulags, the Cambodian killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide. Basically, for them, an abortion is something they paragon with nefariousness like the ones mentioned above. 


According to Independent, the legislation says: “More than 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States since the Roe decision in 1973, more than three times the number who were killed in German death camps, Chinese purges, Stalin’s gulags, Cambodian killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined.” The bill, as diabolical as it sounds, has over 60 co-sponsors in the 105-member Alabama house of representatives. 


The bill means that if any doctor is to perform an abortion, they would be charged with a Class A felony. It would ban all abortions, even those using prescription drugs, as soon as a woman is “known to be pregnant”. Terri Collins, a Republican representative who is the bill's sponsor, said, "It simply criminalizes abortion. Hopefully, it takes it all the way to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade."


When questioned on why they were pushing for a step that clearly contradicts the Supreme Court's take on the matter, Collins claimed that the "whole point is to get the courts to relook at this issue." She added, "I think people are seeing a possibility that the Supreme Court might have a more conservative-leaning balance." Roe v Wade is a landmark decision issued in 1973 by the United States Supreme Court on the issue of the constitutionality of laws that criminalized or restricted access to abortions, and it could be overturned or radically sabotaged with new conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. 


Staci Fox, president, and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast called it a “death sentence for women across this state”. Fox claims these bans are merely unlawful which challenges one among the many rights a woman is entitled to. She said: “These bans are blatantly unconstitutional and lawmakers know it – they just don’t care. Alabamians are just pawns in this political game to challenge access to safe, legal abortion nationally.” 


Alabama, a prominently- Republican state, is one of the latest states to try and pass an extreme anti-abortion law, in an attempt to overturn the Roe vs W Fade law. If they succeed, states would have jurisdiction over the legality of abortion. Right before Alabama proposed the bill to criminalize abortion, Kentucky and Mississippi approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which happens as soon as the sixth week of pregnancy. 


Six weeks is too early as most women don't even know they are pregnant by then, and this has led to a widespread protest over the 'Heartbeat' bill. Following in their footsteps, other states such as South Carolina and Georgia are looking to pass similar bans, with the Governor of Georgia contemplating on whether to sign a law banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. 


Georgia is the hub for a lot of television and movie production, and if the state moves to pass the bill, more than 50 Hollywood actors, including Alyssa Milano, Alec Baldwin and Amy Schumer, sent a letter threatening to pull business out of Georgia. It also seems that South Carolina did pass a similar'Heartbeat' bill, and critics have been arguing that Republicans are unnecessarily launching legal battles that will just turn out to be expensive and futile. 


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