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US' most restrictive anti-abortion bill signed into law

IANS  |  Washington 

has signed into law the most restrictive bill in the US, which passes a near total ban on pregnancy terminations, even in cases of rape, and could punish doctors who perform them with life imprisonment.

"Today, I signed into law the Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Legislature," quoted Ivey, a Republican, as saying in a statement on Wednesday.

"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."

The Senate passed the bill 25-6 late Tuesday night. The law only allows exceptions "to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child's mother", for and if the "unborn child has a lethal anomaly".

Democrats re-introduced an amendment to exempt rape and incest victims, but the motion failed on an 11-21 vote.

Ivey noted in her Wednesday night statement that the new law may be unenforceable due to the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalised in all 50 states. But, the new law was passed with the aim of challenging that decision, she added.

"Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur."

Besides Alabama, anti-campaigners have successfully enacted a ban on all or most abortions in six Republican-led states: Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, and

Yashica Robinson, an at the for Reproductive Alternatives who provides abortion services, told on Wednesday the law would have a "devastating impact" on patients.

She said that she was unclear under what circumstances the law would allow an abortion based on "reasonable medical judgment" and health of the mother.

The bill has elicited a wave of protest from Democrats, including 2020 hopefuls.

Jay Inslee, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Senator and former slammed the legislation as unconstitutional.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Eric Swalwell, former John Hickenlooper, and Massachusetts Senator vowed to protect the Roe order.

Former Democratic presidential nominee called the bill an example of "appalling attacks on women's lives and fundamental freedoms".



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 09:40 IST