Alabama adds rape and incest exceptions to one of country's strictest abortion bills

Alabama adds rape and incest exceptions to one of country's strictest abortion bills

An Alabama Senate committee Wednesday voted to add exceptions for rape and incest to one of the strictest pieces of abortion legislation in the country.

The bill, passed by the Republican-led Alabama House nearly unanimously late last month, would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion in the state if it becomes law.

The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-2 to advance the legislation after adding the exceptions for abortion to be allowed if rape or incest caused the pregnancy, according to AL.com. Previously, the only exception to allow an abortion to occur was if the health of the mother is at risk.

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State Rep. Terri Collins (R), the bill's sponsor, opposed the exceptions for rape and incest, saying last month when the bill passed the House that the goal of the legislation was to make it to the Supreme Court to challenge Roe V. Wade, the landmark decision that made abortion legal throughout the country.

Collins on Tuesday appeared before the committee urging it not to add any amendments to the bill, according to the news outlet.

“To accept another amendment that weakens the argument, or diverts the message of the argument, which is the baby in the womb is a person, dilutes the whole message,” Collins said.

State Sen. Tom Whatley (R), who added the amendment for rape and incest exceptions, said he did so because he did not believe the bill could pass the full Senate without it.

A vote is scheduled for Thursday on the Senate floor, where if passed, it would then head to Gov. Kay Ivey (R) to be signed into law.

The legislation it is expected to be challenged by pro-choice advocacy groups in court if it becomes law.