Alabama Senate bans almost all abortions, including rape cases

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Alabama's Senate passed a near-total ban on abortion, sending what would be the US's most stringent abortion law to the state's Republican governor.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to veto the legislation, which can not go to her desk until next week at the earliest. Supporters said the bill is intentionally created to conflict with the US Supreme Court's landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalising abortion nationally.

Michigan's Republican-backed Legislature has voted to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure, except when necessary to safe a women's life. Those who backed the new law said they don't expect it to take effect, instead intending its passage to be part of a broader strategy by antiabortion activists to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide.

"Our bill says that baby in the womb is a person, " Republican Representative Terri Collins, the bill's sponsor, said Monday.

Jamil said the law especially targets lower-income women who are "marginalized, poor or disabled", adding that "the wealthy will have so much more freedom".

Singleton said doctors who perform abortions could serve more prison time, under the proposed ban, than the women's rapists.

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"The question for me - for us - is: When is a person a person?" Several, including Alabama's neighbors Georgia and MS, have passed laws that prohibit abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

"To take that choice away from that person who had such a traumatic act committed against them, to be left with the residue of that person if you will, to have to bring that child into this world and be reminded of it every single day", Figures said.

"As this legislation is still making its way through the legislative process, the governor intends to withhold comment until it makes its way to her desk for signature", deputy press secretary Lori Jhons wrote in an email.

Similarly restrictive abortion bans in Kentucky and MS already are before the courts, and lawmakers in Alabama are fully aware that judges are likely to intervene.

American Civil Rights Union of Alabama Executive Director Randall Marshall said that his organization would join with the national ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood of Southeast to challenge the bill in court within "a few weeks" should it become law.

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