Alabama senate set to vote on abortion ban today

Alabama senate set to vote on abortion ban today
© Stefani Reynolds

The Alabama state Senate is expected to vote Tuesday on a bill that would make almost all abortions illegal after a previous vote on the measure devolved into yelling and confusion.

The bill would ban abortion except for cases where the pregnancy is a serious threat to the mother's health, according to Reuters. Anyone who performs an abortion could be sentenced to between 10 and 99 years in prison, but the person receiving the abortion would not face criminal punishment. 

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The bill was tabled last week after a shouting match erupted in Alabama's Senate after an exception for cases of rape and incest was removed from the legislation.

Republican Gov. Kay Ivey has not said whether she will support the bill, but is generally opposed to abortion. 

Proponents of the bill say they hope it will result in a legal challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that guaranteed a woman's right to an abortion. 

Alabama's bill comes amid a slew of anti-abortion legislation in Republican-controlled states. 

Sixteen states have passed or are currently considering abortion bans once a fetal heartbeat is detected, about six weeks into pregnancy. Four states have approved so-called heartbeat abortion laws, which have been met with swift legal challenges.