People across the country are devastated after the Alabama state Senate passed the country’s strictest abortion bill.
The state Senate on Tuesday night passed the Human Life Protection Act, 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.
The bill passed 25 to 6. All the yes votes were made by white male senators.
If signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey (R), 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 into law.
The legislation would go into effect within six months after the governor’s signature.
“These 25 men, who will never be pregnant, just legislated more rights to rapists than to women, girls & victims of rape/incest,” Twitter user Nahanni Fontaine, a Canadian politician, wrote after the state Senate passed the bill. “This is some backwards, archaic, intentionally repressive crap.”
Many others on Twitter weighed in on the controversial vote, including Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).
“This is a war on women, and it is time to fight like hell,” Gillibrand wrote.
Warren called the legislation “dangerous” and “exceptionally cruel,” adding that “we are not going back” to a pre-Roe v. Wade era in which abortion in the U.S. was illegal.
Alabama is among numerous states considering extreme anti-abortion legislation. 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. Texas lawmakers are considering the death penalty for any woman who undergoes an abortion procedure.
Women on Twitter likened the draconian anti-abortion legislation to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a fictional TV series that portrays a dystopian future where women are seen as second-class citizens and many are only used to have children.
“This is how The Handmaid’s Tale started,” the musician Lizzo tweeted. “It’s shit like this and we gon look up and be enslaved again y’all ― stay vigilant because this is terrifying.”
Others urged action.
“Don’t shake your head at Alabama and then keep going about your day. Realize that this is a warning,” director Ava DuVernay wrote. “It’s Alabama and abortion today. It’s you and your rights tomorrow. Your silence will not save you. So speak up.”
Read more reactions to Alabama’s abortion ban below: