After an Alabama State Senate session devolved into a shouting match, legislators decided to table a vote on the most restrictive abortion bill in the United States.
Senators were scheduled to vote on Thursday (9 May) on a controversial bill amendment.
The amendment would criminalize abortions and make performing them a felony punishable up to 99 years in prison. It also states doctors cannot perform abortions once a fetus is ‘in utero’.
This makes the bill the most restrictive legislation policing abortion anywhere in the country.
The House version of the bill provided a single allowance for abortions in which the mother’s life is in danger. In the Senate, an amendment also allowed for exceptions in the cases of rape or incest, though legislators fiercely debated this.
During Thursday’s sessions, Democrats shouted for a roll-call vote. A roll-call vote is when each senator audibly votes ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on a bill and the votes are recorded.
BREAKING: Alabama Republicans just tried to sneak through a measure that would make nearly all abortions a felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison without even so much as a normal a roll call vote.
Watch all hell breaking loose on the Alabama Senate floor: pic.twitter.com/C9KKSGqbqG
— Arlen Parsa (@arlenparsa) May 9, 2019
The state Senate is moving the vote to next week.
A way to undo Roe v. Wade
Rep. Terri Collins (R) sponsored the bill and stated its purpose is to spark a new debate on abortion. The end goal is for litigation to move through the court system, eventually reaching the Supreme Court and challenging the 1973 case Roe v. Wade.
This is similar reasoning to the passage of Georgia’s recent restrictive abortion bill.
Gov. Kay Ivey (R) is opently anti-abortion and many expect her to sign the bill into law if it reachers her desk.
Abortion is a decision — and a right — that affects all women, not just straight women. It is an especially crucial health concern for LGBTI women, who have higher rates of younger pregnancies and are also being denied healthcare under the Trump administration.