MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama’s lawmakers passed a near-total ban on abortions following debate Tuesday, and on Wednesday Gov. Kay Ivey signed it into law.
The law won’t go into effect for six months, if ever, pending expected lawsuits. Ivey spoke to reporters Wednesday morning before she’d signed the bill.
“It’s a issue that is very difficult and people have to address that," Ivey said. “And when I get the bill I’ll review it thoroughly.”
Alabama is the latest state to pass legislation aimed at getting a case before the Supreme Court and attempt to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that made abortion legal nationwide. It is among the nation’s strictest. Attempts to add amendments that would provide abortion access in the event of rape or incest failed. The only exception is in the event that a mother’s health is at risk.
The new law would also put doctors who perform an abortion at risk of felony charges and punishment of up to 99 years in prison.
Asked about whether she would have preferred the bill include rape and incest exceptions, the governor stated that “all human life is precious.”
Among the first to slam the abortion legislation was the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU. It’s an organization familiar with fighting and winning cases against the state when it comes to restrictions on abortion access.
As the Senate was nearing approval of the bill by a vote of 25-6, ACLU Alabama was tweeting a photo of a check for $1.7 million the state was forced to pay it after losing a 2013 abortion law court fight.
ACLU says it will sue again to stop the latest bill.
Asked about legal fees from a fight, Ivey said “You certainly cannot deter your efforts to protect the unborn because of costs, even if it means going to the United States Supreme Court.”
Meanwhile, other state leaders, national politicians, presidential candidates and others reacted to the passage before Ivey signed the legislation. We’re compiling a list of many of their comments. We’ll add more as they become available.
WSFA 12 News reached out to Sen. Shelby but has not received a response.
Rep. Roby’s office said she does not have a comment.
WSFA 12 News reached out to Rep. Rogers but has not received a response.
"Just last year, the residents of Alabama were offered an opportunity to voice their opinion on the abortion issue via an amendment to the state constitution. The amendment stated that Alabama “recognize[s] and support[s] the importance of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life.” On election day, it passed overwhelmingly. The residents of Alabama had spoken.
Last night, the Legislature took the next step in establishing Alabama as a pro-life state. Under the Human Life Protection Act, induced abortion would be banned in the state, and any doctor found to perform an abortion would be guilty of a Class A felony. The penalty for breaking this law is appropriately severe, as the offense is the elimination of a human life. This bill would end state-sanctioned abortion in our midst and, therefore, Alabama’s participation in the largest genocide of world history.
The Alabama Policy Institute, in our own efforts and through the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition, has supported the ban on abortion since its inception. Today, we applaud the state legislature for standing for life."
“The Bible and the medical evidence agree that personhood begins at conception. In 2018 Alabamians voted to amend their State Constitution to recognize and support the sanctity of unborn life and the rights of unborn children, including the right to life. This bill simply brings Alabama law into conformity with the Alabama Constitution. That has been the Foundation’s position from the beginning. We hope the Attorney General will defend the law based on human personhood, because if personhood is established, then the right to abortion collapses.” - Foundation Counsel Matthew Clark