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Alabama Senate erupts into shouting match over abortion bill

The Alabama Senate erupted in a shouting match Thursday after the state’s Republican lieutenant governor attempted to approve a motion to strip a rape and incest exception that was previously added to a controversial abortion bill.

State Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D) took issue with Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth (R), who presides over the Senate, approving the motion to remove the exception on a voice vote instead of going to a roll call vote that the Democrats had wanted.

Video from The Washington Post of the Alabama Senate floor shows a heated shouting match ensuing, with Singleton yelling, “No no, hold up, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman!” as Ainsworth passes the motion.

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Ainsworth in the video can be seen asking for members to audibly signal support or objection for the motion as he passes it while Singleton shouts over him.

Singleton then slams his hand on the podium objecting to Ainsworth’s quick passage on the motion without giving Democrats the opportunity for a roll call vote.

The Senate, following the confusion, ultimately reversed course and decided to postpone a vote on the legislation until next week.

If signed into law, the bill would criminalize almost all abortions and make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion in the state. 

A Senate committee earlier this week voted to add rape and incest exceptions to the bill.