The nation’s most restrictive measure against abortion rights could set stage for a larger, longer battle.
Today, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed a bill that could prove to set forth a much larger battle in the controversial fight over abortion. State legislators put forth a bill that would essentially ban the procedure throughout the state with little to no exceptions outside of health risks to the mother. Otherwise this measure makes the procedure illegal classifying it as a Class A felony with doctors facing up to 99 years in prison.
House Bill 314, “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, according to the bill’s text.CBS News
Many opponents to such restrictive matters have already vowed to take legal actions in order to block such legislation. Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have already put the ball in motion filing a lawsuit challenging a bill passed in Ohio that bans abortions starting at six weeks into a pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, most women are able to tell the are pregnant between week three to seven thus in essence puts a ban on majority of those seeking to have the procedure done.
“Before six weeks, most people do not even know that they are pregnant,” the ACLU stated in a release today. “The six-week ban that we are challenging today is not an isolated attack on abortion by Ohio politicians. Instead, it builds on decades of abortion restrictions that already exist in the state…”
Gov. Ivey defends her decision to support the bill stating that the house bill, The Human Life Protection Act, is testament to the state’s “deeply held belief” that all life is precious and a sacred gift from God.
In a report from The New York Times, experts have counted roughly 30 abortion laws have been passed during this state legislative session which isn’t more than previous years. The key differences are the laws themselves, which seem to incite an all attack on the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v Wade which set the precedent for constitutional rights in abortion.
These begs the question whether or not supporters for anti-abortion legislation are hoping that lawsuits will take the case to the U.S. Supreme court in an attempt to overturn the landmark case altogether.
With a more conservative court there is a great chance that changes to how this issue is handled will change. However, this does mean that the ruling will be completely overturned with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. leaning more towards keeping the integrity of the court intact.
“It is a jolt to the legal system when you overrule a precedent,” he said during his 2005 confirmation hearing. “Precedent plays an important role in promoting stability and even-handedness.”
Even with the uncertainty of how things will play out in court, the ACLU has vowed to keep fighting against these restrictions.
“Make no mistake, while the right to abortion is under unprecedented attack, abortion is a constitutional right and it is currently legal in all 50 states… we will do everything we can to ensure that people are able to get the care they need without shame, obstacles, and stigma,” the group said in a release.
As of now there are six states that have only one abortion clinic and seven states this year that have passed heartbeat bills making abortion illegal the moment a fetus has a heartbeat.