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Alabama governor signs near-total abortion ban into law

Updated : 2019-05-16 10:40:47

Alabama's Republican governor signed the most stringent abortion legislation in the nation Wednesday, making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases. "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," Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement. The bill's sponsors want to give conservatives on the US Supreme Court a chance to gut abortion rights nationwide, but Democrats and abortion rights advocates criticized the bill as a slap in the face to women voters. "It just completely disregards women and the value of women and their voice. We have once again silenced women on a very personal issue," said Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, a Birmingham Democrat. The abortion ban is set to go into effect in six months, but is expected to face a lawsuit to block it from halting abortion access. Coleman-Madison said she hopes the measure awakens a "sleeping giant" of women voters in the state.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signing a bill that virtually outlaws abortion in the state on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Montgomery, Ala. Republicans who support the measure hope challenges to the law will be used by conservative justices on the US Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion nationwide. (Hal Yeager/Alabama Governor's Office via AP)
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signing a bill that virtually outlaws abortion in the state on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Montgomery, Ala. Republicans who support the measure hope challenges to the law will be used by conservative justices on the US Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion nationwide. (Hal Yeager/Alabama Governor's Office via AP)
Rep. Terri Collins, right, chats with Rep. Chris Pringle on the house floor at the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Rep. Terri Collins, right, chats with Rep. Chris Pringle on the house floor at the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Sen. Clyde Chambliss speaks as a debate on HB314, the near-total ban on the abortion bill is held in the Senate chamber in the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Sen. Clyde Chambliss speaks as a debate on HB314, the near-total ban on the abortion bill is held in the Senate chamber in the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Sen. Rodger Smitherman speaks during a debate on HB314 in the Senate chamber in the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Sen. Rodger Smitherman speaks during a debate on HB314 in the Senate chamber in the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Sen. Vivian Figures speaks as the debate on HB314, the near-total ban on the abortion bill, is held in the Senate chamber in the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Sen. Vivian Figures speaks as the debate on HB314, the near-total ban on the abortion bill, is held in the Senate chamber in the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Ala., Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Laura Stiller hands out coat hangers as she talks about illegal abortions during a rally against a ban on nearly all abortions outside of the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Laura Stiller hands out coat hangers as she talks about illegal abortions during a rally against a ban on nearly all abortions outside of the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Rep. Merika Coleman speaks during a rally against a ban on nearly all abortions outside of the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Rep. Merika Coleman speaks during a rally against a ban on nearly all abortions outside of the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Margeaux Hartline, dressed as a handmaid, protests against a ban on nearly all abortions outside of the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Margeaux Hartline, dressed as a handmaid, protests against a ban on nearly all abortions outside of the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Dana Sweeney chants during a rally against a ban on nearly all abortions outside of the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Dana Sweeney chants during a rally against a ban on nearly all abortions outside of the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Lawmakers debate a ban on nearly all abortions in the Senate chamber in the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Lawmakers debate a ban on nearly all abortions in the Senate chamber in the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Sen. Bobby Singleton speaks about a ban on nearly all abortions during a debate in the Senate chamber in the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Sen. Bobby Singleton speaks about a ban on nearly all abortions during a debate in the Senate chamber in the Alabama State House in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Protesters, dressed as handmaids, from left, Bianca Cameron-Schwiesow, Kari Crowe, Allie Curlette and Margeaux Hartline, wait outside of the Alabama statehouse after a ban on nearly all abortions passed the Senate in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Protesters, dressed as handmaids, from left, Bianca Cameron-Schwiesow, Kari Crowe, Allie Curlette and Margeaux Hartline, wait outside of the Alabama statehouse after a ban on nearly all abortions passed the Senate in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, May 14, 2019. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Legal abortion supporters fly a banner reading Abortion is OK over the Alabama State Capitol building in downtown Montgomery, Ala., on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Alabama HB314, the near-total ban on the abortion bill, passed the Alabama legislature on Tuesday. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
Legal abortion supporters fly a banner reading Abortion is OK over the Alabama State Capitol building in downtown Montgomery, Ala., on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. Alabama HB314, the near-total ban on the abortion bill, passed the Alabama legislature on Tuesday. (Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)
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