Alabama governor signs strictest United States abortion ban into law

Noah Feldman ‘Heartbeat’ abortion bans are going nowhere before 2020

The Alabama Human Life Protection Act makes abortion illegal at every stage of pregnancy, even in cases of incest or rape, unless the mother's life is in danger. Any doctor who performs a proscribed abortion in the state will be committing a class-A felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison. A new law should go further to prohibit states from "interfering in the ability of a patient to access medical care, including abortion services, from a provider that offers them".

Abortion opponents in Missouri have cleared the biggest hurdle to restrict access to most abortions - Senate approval. It still requires another vote of approval in the state's GOP-led House of Representatives. Louisiana's law is virtually identical to a Texas law that the Supreme Court invalidated just three years ago.

After Alabama's governor signed into law the most-stringent anti-abortion bill in the nation, UM experts in law and gender and sexuality studies discuss its repercussions and what's to come. "We have once again silenced women on a very personal issue", said Sen.

But the larger objective of these radical bills is to get the conservative majority on the Supreme Court (thanks to new justice Brett Kavanaugh) to reverse Roe v. Wade and outlaw abortion altogether.

The bill, HB 126, would prohibit abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy - after a heartbeat is detected - though many women often don't know they're pregnant in that time.

Some of those laws have already been challenged in court, and similar restrictions in North Dakota and Iowa were struck down by judges.

"Politicians are putting the health and lives of Missouri women at risk in their race to make our state the one that overturns Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court".

The bill, dubbed Missouri Stands With The Unborn, would outlaw performing an abortion in almost all cases.

While pro-life Americans would be thrilled with this development, pro-choice Americans are sounding the alarm over a "coordinated attack on Roe v. Wade and women's reproductive freedom".

If courts don't allow Missouri's proposed eight-week ban to take effect, it includes a ladder of less-restrictive time limits ranging from 14 to 20 weeks.

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"The anti-abortion lobby is ramping up its coordinated effort to challenge women's access to abortion, and Missouri is the latest target", Michelle Kuppersmith, director of Equity Forward, said in a statement.

State senator Bob Onder (R., Lake St. Louis) said the legislation is the culmination of an incremental approach to protecting the lives of unborn children.

Republicans and Democrats worked for hours to reach a compromise on the bill, which included an expansion of tax credits for donations to pregnancy resource centers, and waters down other provisions.

The approved version of the wide-ranging bill bans abortions based exclusively on race, sex or a diagnosis indicating the potential of Down Syndrome. Other TRAP laws required doctors performing abortions to obtain admitting privileges in a local hospital.

Still, some lawmakers on both sides of the debate walked away unhappy.

"Missouri Gov. Parson should be ashamed of riding the disgraceful coattails of 25 white men in Alabama who just voted to ban safe, legal abortion", Wen said. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

Coleman-Madison said she hopes the measure awakens a "sleeping giant" of women voters in the state.

"Thanks to the leaders in the House and Senate, we have the opportunity to be one of the strongest pro-life states in the country", Parson said on Wednesday.

Under current law, Missouri allows abortions up to 22 weeks into pregnancy; 5,130 abortions were provided in Missouri in 2014, according to Guttmacher Institute data.

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