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Alabama’s Abortion Ban Voted By White, Male Senators Signed Into Law

Alabama’s Senate passed a near-total ban on abortion, when the GOP-dominated Senate voted 25-6 to make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison for the abortion provider. The only exception would be when the woman’s health is at serious risk. Senators rejected an attempt to add an exception for rape and incest. Female Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed the ban into law. The bill is designed to conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalising abortion nationally. Emboldened by conservative justices who have joined the Supreme Court, anti-abortionists are seeking to challenge abortion access. Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur in about the 6th week of pregnancy. The Alabama bill goes further by seeking to outlaw abortion outright. It will disproportionately affect black and poor women, because they are more likely to seek abortions, and less likely to have resources to obtain an abortion out-of-state. Of the 27 Republicans, all white men, that dominate the 35-seat senate, 25 voted to pass the bill. Four are women, and they are all Democrats. Of the 8 Democrats, six voted ‘nay’ on the bill -- including two female senators, Linda Coleman-Madison and Vivian Davis Figures. Three senators, two Republicans and Democrat Sen. Priscilla Dunn, did not vote or were not present for the vote. Democrat Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier abstained from voting.