Journalism of Courage

U.S governor signs draconian abortion ban punishing doctors with up to 99 years in prison

Alabama governor Kay Ivey has signed the US’ strictest abortion law into effect, criminalizing the procedure even in cases of rape or incest and slapping abortion providers with a possible life sentence.

The measure outlaws all abortions except in cases where the mother’s life is at stake, declaring the procedure a class-A felony punishable by 10 to 99 years in prison. Even attempting an abortion carries a sentence of 1 to 10 years. Ivey signed the bill on Wednesday, capping off an acrimonious battle in the state legislature that culminated in Tuesday’s passage of the bill 25 to 6.

“To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God,” Ivey said in a statement after signing the bill. “To all Alabamians, I assure you that we will continue to follow the rule of law.”

Supporters are actually hoping the new law will be challenged in court. Drafted as a sneak attack on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion across the US, a challenge to the law could result in Roe being overturned, if it is appealed up to the Supreme Court.

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