Female lawmaker who voted against Alabama abortion ban: It is time for women to 'rise up'

Female lawmaker who voted against Alabama abortion ban: It is time for women to 'rise up'
© Washington Post

An Alabama lawmaker who voted against the state’s controversial ban on nearly all abortions criticized the measure in a column for Elle on Thursday, saying it is time for women to "rise up."

State Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, one of eight Democrats who opposed the law Tuesday and one of only four women in the chamber, introduced an amendment requiring the state to provide free prenatal and medical care to any woman denied an abortion under the law, which was voted down.

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“I wanted to shout, 'This isn't your body that you're making decisions about!' Instead, I made sure the ramifications of the bill were understood, like a likely increase in back alley abortions. The other congressmen remained quiet as I brought up these points,” Coleman-Madison wrote. “I could tell, as I caught glimpses of several of them, that there was a kind of a shame on their faces.”

Coleman-Madison also expressed dismay at Gov. Kay Ivey’s (R) decision to sign the measure, saying that while she respected Ivey, she had prioritized her party over the people of Alabama in signing the bill into law.

"All 25 of the senators who ended up voting 'yes' on the bill were male. I'm angry and I'm mad about the outcome," she wrote. "I'm numb, in a sense, because I can't believe this is happening. It's devastating. How can a man, who doesn't know what it's like to carry a baby, make a decision about a woman's body?"

Coleman-Madison’s state senate colleague, Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D), also spoke out against the legislation, telling CNN’s “New Day” that the legislation “raped women.”

"I hate to think the fact that if someone would rape my daughter at 12 years old ... that is just sad to tell my daughter that she had to carry that baby for nine months here in the state of Alabama and look that rapist in the face for the rest of her life,” Singleton said Wednesday.

The legislation bans abortion in all cases except when the life of the mother is threatened, with penalties of up to 99 years in prison for anyone performing an abortion. Some proponents of the law have expressed hope that it will lead to the Supreme Court’s conservative majority revisiting the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.