New Delhi: Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama, on Wednesday signed the controversial Alabama Human Life Protection Act, which bans almost all abortions in the state, nearly 24 hours after the Republican-controlled Senate voted to send her the bill without adding exceptions for victims of rape and incest despite impassioned pleas from their Democratic colleagues.
Ivey said in a statement, “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.”
However, the bill, will not take effect for six months. “Closely resembled an abortion ban that has been a part of Alabama law for well over 100 years,” she added.
As a result of the new law, doctors in the state could face up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion unless a woman's health is at "serious" risk.
The legislation has acquired intense rage from Democratic lawmakers, civil rights groups, and people across the country, even concerning some anti-abortion Republican lawmakers who struggled with how restrictive the measure was.
Ivey confirmed that the bill was planned to challenge the landmark 1973 decision Roe v. Wade, which established a woman's constitutional right to end a pregnancy, by attempting to legally define a fetus as a person with rights. Abortion rights advocates, including Planned Parenthood Southeast, have already vowed to challenge the law in court.
"Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973," she said.