Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey Signs Nation’s Strictest Abortion Bill

The bill makes it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion in nearly all cases.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed the nation’s strictest abortion bill on Wednesday, making it a felony in the state for a doctor to perform an abortion in nearly all cases.

“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,” she said in a statement.

Ivey’s signature comes a day after the state Senate passed the bill 25 to 6, clearing the way for doctors who perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy to face a minimum of 10 years in prison, except for in cases where the life of the pregnant woman is at risk.

The new law is set to become effective within six months of her signature, but it’s expected to face a host of legal challenges. Ivey acknowledged Wednesday that the bill may be “unenforceable” for the foreseeable future but said she hopes it will prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that ruled states may not put an undue burden on women seeking an abortion.

“Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973,” she said. “The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Dr. Leana Wen said on a conference call with reporters that her organization is ready to do “whatever it takes” to stop the Alabama law from going into effect.

“[Y]our signature just put Alabama women’s lives in danger,” she tweeted at Ivey after she signed the bill. “And women all over America are paying attention.”

Unlike other governors in states attempting to pass restrictive abortion bans, Ivey was not forthcoming about her plans to sign the bill. At an earlier press conference on Wednesday, she was noncommittal on her plans but said that “all human life is precious.”

Two bills banning abortion at approximately six weeks are moving through the Missouri and Louisiana legislatures, and another bill in Michigan aims to outlaw the most common procedure done to conduct second-trimester abortions.

This story has been updated throughout.

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