The Alabama Senate approved a near-total abortion ban Tuesday by a 25-6 vote.
House Bill 314, known as the “Human Life Protection Act,” bans all abortions in the state except when “abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk” to the woman. In addition, doctors who perform the procedure under the new law could face felony charges and up to 99 years in prison. A woman who receives an abortion will not be held criminally culpable or civilly liable.
The Alabama measure would have no exceptions for instances of rape or incest.
It now makes its way to Republican Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s desk, who has not commented publicly on whether she will sign it. If Ivey signs, it will be another six months before it takes effect.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama has already announced its plans to file a lawsuit if the measure passes. “While lawmakers could have spent time finding solutions to keep open rural hospitals, increase pay for teachers, and address the critical issues facing Alabama’s prison system, they decided to gamble with taxpayer dollars,” it said in a statement.
States across the country emboldened by a right-leaning Supreme Court are limiting abortion in a number of ways, such as heartbeat abortion bans in Georgia and Ohio and most recently “born alive” bans, which would require doctors to treat babies born alive after an abortion attempt in Texas and North Carolina.