Lawmakers in Alabama passed a restrictive abortion bill on Tuesday. Doctors who perform abortions will get a prison sentence of up to 99 years.
The Republic-led Senate voted 25-6 for the bill to be passed. If signed by the governor, it would be the strictest anti-abortion law in the country.
Republican Governor Kay Ivey said she'll wait for the final version of the bill before deciding if she will sign it into law.
The House approved a version of the bill that included an exception for the mother's health. In addition, the Senate committee added an exception for rape and incest.
However, Republicans in the Senate removed the exception for rape and incest. The removal of the exceptions led to a screaming match in the House.
In essence, the passing of the bill means that a rapist in Alabama will serve less prison time than a woman seeking an abortion or her doctor seeking to help her.
Ivey, who has not taken a public stance on the debate, will have six days to sign the legislation. She has however aligned herself s anti-abortion in the past.
If Governor Ivey signs the bill, it will go into effect six months after that. Laura Bassett from the Washington Post pointed out:
"There is no punishment in this bill for the man doing the impregnating, except presumably the obligation to pay child support in some cases."
The bill is set to cause a storm in the coming days. Fox News contributor Guy Benson said on Twitter that he is pro-life, but that "this bill goes too far." He adds:
"I’ll also say this: It’s the opposite equivalent of the radical late-term abortion laws being proposed/passed in various states. These laws are all far outside the mainstream, which favors significant new restrictions, but not blanket bans."