Alabama Senate heads toward vote on abortion ban measure

A bill pending in the Alabama Legislature would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion

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.

Alabama's state Senate passed a bill on Tuesday to outlaw almost all abortions, creating exceptions only to protect the mother's health, as part of a multistate effort to have the U.S. Supreme Court reconsider a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

"We will not stand by while politicians endanger the lives of women and doctors for political gain", wrote Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union's Reproductive Freedom Project, in an email to CBS News following the vote. Republican Senator Clyde Chambliss said as debate began on the proposed ban.

An attempt to add an exemption for rape is expected during the debate Tuesday night.

The Alabama bill goes further by seeking to outlaw abortion outright.

Last week actress Alyssa Milano posted a message on social media calling for women to join her in a sex strike to protest against strict abortion laws in America.

"The heart of this bill is to confront a decision that was made by the courts in 1973 that said the baby in a womb is not a person", Republican state Rep. Terri Collins said in April.

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Just this year, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and OH have outlawed abortion after a doctor can detect an embryonic heartbeat.

"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.

The Alabama measure does not provide any exemptions for cases of rape or incest, meaning that the women or children who are victims in those cases would have to carry a pregnancy to term.

Democrats didn't have the votes to stop the bill but tried to slow down proceedings during the debate.

In other words, an abortionist providing an illegal abortion, or a man beating a woman and killing her baby, would be in deep legal trouble for murder; not the woman so-called "self-terminating".

If signed into law, the bill would take effect in six months. Abortion rights advocates have promised to challenge the controversial legislation if Governor Ivey signs the bill into law.

Ivey has not publicly said whether she will sign the bill if it's approved by lawmakers.

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