Alabama governor signs abortion ban into law

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed a law banning abortion in almost all cases but noted that the ban is unenforceable. 

"To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians' deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God," Ivey said in a statement. 

"To all Alabamians, I assure you that we will continue to follow the rule of law."

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The ban, which is the nation's most restrictive, would prohibit abortion in nearly all cases, including rape or incest.

Alabama's state legislature sent the bill to Ivey's desk Tuesday, drawing rebukes from 2020 Democratic presidential candidates and other national politicians.

Ivey wrote in a statement Wednesday that the bill "closely resembles" an unenforceable abortion ban that has been part of Alabama law for more than 100 years.

Under the law, physicians performing abortions could face felony charges and be punished by up to 99 years in prison.

"No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable," Ivey said.

Legal experts say the law goes against the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade, which established a right to abortion. Opponents of abortion, meanwhile, have pushed restrictions such as the Alabama bill through state legislatures in hopes that the Supreme Court will overturn the ruling.

"The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur," Ivey wrote.

Planned Parenthood vowed Wednesday to sue over the law. 

Updated 6:23 p.m.