Alabama lawmakers are on the verge of challenging abortion rights nationally following the Senate vote Tuesday passing a bill to make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion in the state. The vote, which was 25 to 6, sends the bill to Governor Kay Ivey, who could sign it into law. Lori Jhons, Ivey’s Deputy Press secretary, said in an e-mail on Tuesday night – the Governor would not comment on the bill until she’s had a chance to thoroughly review it.
The bill passed almost exactly as it was introduced by Representative Terri Collins roughly six weeks ago. It includes only one exception, to allow abortions in cases of a serious health risk to the woman. A key question had been whether the Senate would add an amendment to allow abortions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Four Republicans sided with the Democrats in voting for the rape and incest exception, but, it failed 21 to 11.
The ultimate goal of the legislation is to trigger a legal challenge to Roe v. Wade.
Under that bill, the woman receiving an abortion would not be criminally liable. The doctor would be charged with a Class A felony, punishable by 10 to 99 years in prison.
Voting for the bill were Republican Senators Greg Albritton of Atmore; Gerald Allen of Tuscaloosa; Will Barfoot of Montgomery; Tom Butler of Madison; Chambliss; Donnie Chesteen of Geneva; Chris Elliott of Fairhope; Sam Givhan of Huntsville; Garlan Gudger of Cullman; Steve Livingston of Trussville; Del Marsh of Anniston; Jim McClendon of Springville; Tim Melson of Florence; Arthur Orr of Decatur; Randy Price of Opelika; Greg Reed of Jasper; Dan Roberts of Birmingham; Clay Scofield of Guntersville; David Sessions of Mobile; Shay Shelnutt of Trussville; Larry Stutts of Sheffield; Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia Hills; Cam Ward of Alabaster; Jack Williams of Wilmer and Andrew Jones of Centre
Voting against the bill were Democratic Senators Billy Beasley of Clayton; David Burkette of Montgomery; Linda Coleman-Madison of Birmingham; Vivian Figures of Mobile; Singleton; and Rodger Smitherman of Birmingham. Malika Sanders-Fortier, D-Selma, abstained.
We’ll continue to follow this story as it develops.