The Alabama-dominated state senate passed a law to ban almost all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest, as part of a multi-state effort to reconsider constitutional law in the US Supreme Court of a woman at the procedure.
The senators on Tuesday voted 25-6 for the bill that would make the abortion at any stage of pregnancy a crime punishable up to 99 years or life in prison for the abortion provider. The only exception could be when a woman's health is seriously at risk.
The Senate also rejected an attempt to add an exception to rape and incest. The amendment was voted down from 21 to 11, with four Republicans joining the Democrats in search of the amendment.
"You do not care about the children who have children in this state, who are raped and incested," said Democratic Senator Bobby Singleton after the defeat of the amendment. "You have just aborted the state of the Alabama with your rhetoric with this bill."
The law on the most severe abortion in the country it was previously approved by the House of Representatives of the Alabama and will now go to Republican governor Kay Ivey, who denied his opinion that he would sign but is generally a strong opponent of abortion.
The law will enter into force six months after being signed by the governor, but he is certain to face a legal challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups that have promised to sue.
"Opponents of the law were very loud in their clamor, saying that this would punish rape victims and push women to seek clandestine abortions in unsafe procedures," said Heidi Zhou-Castro of Al Jazeera, referring to Washington.
Roe v Wade
Supporters said the bill was designed to conflict with the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v Wade ruling that legalizes abortion at the national level because it hopes to solicit a court case that could push the judges to review the abortion rights.
"It is to address the issue on which Roe v Wade was decided. Is that child in the womb a person?" The Republican representative Terri Collins, the project's sponsor, stated after the approval of the measures.
Supporters had claimed that the exemptions would weaken their hope of creating a vehicle to challenge Roe.
Collins said the Alabama law was not meant to be a long-term measure and that legislators could add a waiver if states regained control of access to abortion.
"Roe v Wade has ended the lives of millions of children, but we cannot undo the damage caused by decades of legal precedents under the eggs, this bill has the opportunity to save the lives of millions of unborn children "Republican Senator Clyde Chambliss said. in a statement after the account has been transferred.
Encouraged by conservative judges who have joined the Supreme Court, opponents of abortion in different states are trying to challenge access to abortion. Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have approved a ban on abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy.
The Alabama Act goes further by trying to ban outright abortion. There would be no punishment for the woman receiving the abortion, only for the abortion provider. The text of the law compares the abortion to the greatest atrocities in history, including the Holocaust.
The Democrats, who hold eight seats in the 35-member Senate, have criticized the ban as a mixture of political dignity, an attempt to control women and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
"You don't have to provide for that child, you don't have to do anything for that child, yet you want to make that decision for that woman," said Democratic senator Vivian Davis Figures. "It should be that woman's choice."
During the debate, Senator Singleton pointed out and appointed rape victims by looking at the Senate observation gallery. He said that under the ban, doctors who practice abortion could serve more time in prison than women rapists.
In a statement, Staci Fox, CEO and president of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said: "Today is a dark day for women in Alabama and across the country."
The statement added: "The politicians of Alabama will live forever infamy for this vote and we will ensure that every woman knows who should be held responsible."
Outside the Statehouse, a crowd of about 50 people held a demonstration, reciting: "Whose choice? Our choice".
Several women dressed as characters in The Handmaid's Tale, which describes a dystopian future in which fertile women are forced to reproduce.
Al Jazeera and news agencies