In Alabama, Lawmakers and Rapists Have More Control Over Women’s Bodies Than Women Themselves

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On Tuesday evening, the Alabama State Senate moved to pass the most restrictive, unconstitutional anti-abortion law in the U.S.

Protesters of Alabama's Draconian Abortion Bill
Mickey Welsh / AP via Advance Local

The bill not only criminalizes abortion from conception, it also lacks previously sought-after exemptions for rape and incest. The only case in which performing an abortion will be legal is if a pregnancy carries serious health risks.

The abortion ban is specifically intended to spark litigation that would challenge Roe vs. Wade in the Supreme Court. Additionally, all of the 25 lawmakers that voted to pass the new legislation were white, male Republicans.

Draconian Anti-Abortion Law

The law targets doctors, making the procedure illegal to carry out. Should one choose to perform an abortion, he or she could face up to 99 years in jail. A woman having the procedure done, however will not be held criminally liable.

Combating Abortion Rights

Unlike many other states’ “heartbeat” bills, this one lacks all exceptions for rape and incest. And there’s a point to that.

The legislative agenda behind this particular bill is to relitigate Roe vs. Wade in the Supreme Court. The bill’s sponsor, Terri Collins, specifically insisted the bill carry no exceptions in order to fit that agenda.

“The biggest thing to attack it with is to say, ‘What, you’re not going to include rape and incest?’” Collins explained. “Well, how do we say, ‘The baby inside is a person unless they’re conceived in rape or incest’? If that amendment was to get on the bill, then I’ll kill the bill because it won’t go to the Supreme Court.”

She and other Alabama lawmakers hope that the landmark 1973 decision to legalize abortion will be reconsidered by a now-conservative Supreme Court. Multiple states have made moves to enact unconstitutional abortion laws for the same reason. However, Alabama’s anti-abortion contingent is pushing even harder than others.