Alabama Senate delays vote on proposed abortion ban

PHOTO: Abortion rights supporters dressed as handmaids take part in a protest against HB314, the abortion ban bill, at the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., April 17, 2019.PlayMickey Welsh/Advertiser via USA Today Network, FILE
WATCH Alabama delays vote on proposed abortion ban

Lawmakers in Alabama have delayed a vote on a proposed abortion ban amid anger that exceptions were taken out of the bill for victims of rape and incest.

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Some lawmakers were visibly upset about the removal of the amendment from the Senate version and debate on the bill has been delayed until next week, according to The Associated Press.

The Alabama bill would make it a felony punishable by up to 99 years imprisonment for a doctor to perform an abortion in the state, according to The Washington Post. The bill does include an exception if there is a serious risk to the health of the woman.

The bill is the latest in a spate of new bills restricting abortion access in several states. Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have all passed so-called “heartbeat” bills that would prohibit abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks of pregnancy.

The Alabama bill, which is even more restrictive, has already passed the state’s House of Representatives.

PHOTO: Rep. Terri Collins chats on the house floor at the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday April 30, 2019. Collins is the sponsor of the abortion ban bill. Mickey Welsh/Advertiser via USA Today Network, FILE
Rep. Terri Collins chats on the house floor at the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday April 30, 2019. Collins is the sponsor of the abortion ban bill.

"Yesterday, Senator Ward and the rest of the Senate Judiciary Committee heard from a local rape survivor who literally begged them to vote against this dangerous bill," Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, told ABC News in a statement about the Alabama bill. "I hope they take this opportunity to think critically about what this bill means for the women of this state and why women and doctors should be making these personal, private health care decisions -- not politicians."

Fox previously told ABC News that Alabama's proposed abortion ban "is blatantly unconstitutional and lawmakers know it -- they just don't care."

Alabama lawmakers are keenly aware that the bill will be challenged in court if it eventually passes the state Senate.

Terri Collins, a Republican member of the Alabama House of Representatives representing Decatur, previously told ABC News she hopes the law gets challenged and eventually rises to the level of the Supreme Court.

"I hear it has a good chance" of getting to the Supreme Court,” Collins said. "We've had a lot of the pro-life lobbyists working on it. We have a lot of national groups working on it."

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