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Alabama has become the latest US state to pass a bill which makes abortion illegal in almost all cases. State’s Republican governor, Kay Ivey, signed the bill (HB314) after state’s Senate, which is dominated by men, backed the ban. It is interesting to mention that none of its four female senators backed the ban. The new bill will ban abortion at any stage and punish providers with prison for the rest of their lives. This bill does not even recognize those cases when abortion can be helpful medical procedure. The ban is covering all cases with virtually no exceptions, including in cases of rape and incest.
Alabama is just another state that passed anti-abortion bills this year after governors of four states - Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio - signed bills banning abortion if an embryonic heartbeat can be detected. Opponents say this amounts to a ban on abortion because cardiac activity in an embryo can be detected as early as the sixth week, before a woman may be aware that she is pregnant.
Supporters of the Alabama law expect it to be blocked in court but hope that the appeals process will bring it before the Supreme Court and they want the court to overturn the 1973 ruling legalizing abortion. The idea is to take advantage of the addition of two conservative justices nominated by President Donald Trump: Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. With those two justices, the nine-member court now has a conservative majority and the supporters of the abortion ban are hoping that the Supreme Court is going to undermine or completely overturn the landmark Roe v Wade ruling. This ruling from 1973 was a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a fundamental "right to privacy" that protects a pregnant woman's liberty to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
As expected, this law has its religious background and the whole process is backed up by religious norms. For example, Alabama’s governor Ivey openly stated that the Christian God played a role in all of this. According to Patheos, Ivey said: “Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Legislature. To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.”