Alabama House panel approves bill that bans nearly all abortions

Alabama House panel approves bill that bans nearly all abortions

The Alabama House Health Committee has approved a bill that would ban nearly all abortions in the state. 

The measure, which would criminalize abortions in all cases unless the health of the pregnant person was in danger, passed via voice vote in the committee on Wednesday, according to reports. The committee approval will allow for the House to vote on the bill. 

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The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Terri Collins (R), looks to enforce some of the strictest regulations on abortions in the nation. If passed, a person performing an abortion could be charged with a Class A felony, which carries a prison sentence between 10 and 99 years, according to Al.com. The news outlet noted that a Class C felony would be handed out to a person who attempted to perform an abortion. 

Al.com reported previously that the bill would prohibit abortions beginning two weeks after conception. While the bill would let women receive an abortion if they had a "serious health risk," the legislation does not address cases of sexual assault or incest. 

“We decided it was time to address the actual issue, which was ‘do we want to allow abortion in our country’ and maybe ask the Supreme Court to revisit their decision so long ago with so little technology we have right now,” Collins said to Al.com. 

Al.com notes that supporters of the bill expect the measure to be struck down by lower courts. However, Collins said her hope is to force higher courts to revisit Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that said a woman had a constitutional right to an abortion.

“I don’t plan to take amendments for this bill because this is not what I think is going forward,” Collins said. "This bill is designed to ask the courts to revisit what I think was a bad decision.”

Al.com noted that opponents called out Collins's bill over the lack of exceptions included in it during a committee hearing. State Rep. Neil Rafferty (D) reportedly asked her to address the fact that rape and incest were excluded from the exceptions. 

“I’m saying that the life that is in that child is a person,” Collins responded.