The Alabama state Senate passed the country’s strictest abortion bill this week in a 25-6 vote ― and as many people noted, all 25 of those “yes” votes came from white male senators.
“These 25 men, who will never be pregnant, just legislated more rights to rapists than to women, girls & victims of rape/incest,” Nahanni Fontaine, a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba in Canada, tweeted Wednesday alongside an image of the state senators.
The Human Life Protection Act, passed Tuesday night, is an extreme anti-abortion measure that bans the procedure in all cases, including rape and incest. The only exception to the legislation is if the life of a pregnant woman is at risk.
If Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signs the bill into law, performing an abortion procedure would become a felony offense punishable by a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. Ivey has not publicly stated whether she will sign the bill.
The legislation would go into effect within six months of the governor’s signature.
Of the 27 Republicans in the state Senate, 25 voted to pass the bill and two did not vote. Amendments introduced by the state’s only four female senators were all dismissed.
Many people on Twitter this week noticed the irony of a group of male politicians legislating women’s bodies.
“25 white men in Alabama, who can never get pregnant, decided that rapists’ rights are more important than the rights of the women and girls they’ve raped,” Twitter user OhNoSheTwitnt wrote.
If passed into law, the bill would disproportionately affect marginalized women, particularly poor women of color who already struggle to afford safe abortions.
“Wealthy women will still be able to afford access to a safe abortion, in secret, regardless of a ban,” Guardian reporter Rossalyn Warren pointed out on Twitter. “Yes the law in Alabama is an attack on women ― but more specifically, it’s an attack on poor and marginalised women.”
Rolling Stone senior writer Jamil Smith argued that the abortion ban will “put a lot more black women in prison than anyone else.”
Alabama is only the latest state to pass an extreme anti-abortion measure. Just this year, Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia and Mississippi have passed laws banning abortion after six weeks, a point at which many women don’t even realize they’re pregnant. And Texas lawmakers are considering the death penalty for any woman who undergoes an abortion procedure.
Scroll down to read more reactions to the group of white men who just passed the country’s strictest abortion ban.
This story has been updated with information about the Alabama state House vote on the bill.