The ‘Death Sentence’ Abortion Bill Would Make Abortion Punishable By Up To 99 Years In Prison
The addition of conservatives on the Supreme Court has energized Republicans in the south to start legal fights in their states that could challenge Roe v. Wade. The latest is also potentially the most extreme: Alabama has proposed a bill that would essentially ban the reproductive health procedure in the state.
On Tuesday, Alabama representative Terri Collins introduced legislation that would make performing abortions at any point during a woman’s pregnancy a felony. The bill does not make exceptions for cases of rape and incest, but does if the pregnancy poses “a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.”
HB314, or as Collins is touting it, a bill that “simply criminalizes abortions,” would ban the procedure after two weeks of conception, “which is the earliest point that pregnancy can be medically determined,” Refinery29 reports. Currently, abortion care is banned in the state after 21.6 weeks and there is a 48-hour waiting period.
Under the bill, should a doctor perform the procedure, they could be charged with a Class A felony, which carries a prison sentence of 10 to 99 years.
The legislation also compares abortion care to the Holocaust and other genocides.
“More than 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States since the Roe decision in 1973, more than three times the number who were killed in German death camps, Chinese purges, Stalin’s gulags, Cambodian killing fields and the Rwandan genocide combined,” it reads.
According to Collins, prohibiting abortion is the “logical next step” for Alabama, which last year voted to ratify “a constitutional amendment declaring Alabama as a pro-life state.”
Sixty-five Alabama legislators out of its 105-member House of Representatives signed the bill as co-sponsors.
Since the start of 2019, 250 abortion restrictions have been introduced throughout the country. In the past year, two states have successfully passed six-week abortion bans, and Georgia will likely soon follow.
Many of these bills, especially HB314, will be met with legal challenges if they pass. This is the goal. Sponsors of the legislation understand these measures violate the precedent set in Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in the US, and hope to ultimately bring their case before the now conservative-leaning SCOTUS, where the decision could be overturned and roll back abortion rights and care for people all over the country.
The ACLU of Alabama has slammed lawmakers for putting politics before women’s health and knowingly passing a bill that could cost taxpayers “hundreds of thousands” of dollars to cover the bill’s legal fees.
“These lawsuits are a part of a plan to overturn Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court,” Randall Marshall said in a statement. “They know they will not win in federal, district, or appeals courts because these bills are flagrantly unconstitutional. However, if a state loses in lower courts, appeals to the Supreme Court and is denied review, then they will owe potentially hundreds of thousands of taxpayer money in attorney fees. None of these states including Alabama can afford to throw money away like that.”