Alabama Senate passes near-total ban on abortion, sends bill to governor

Alabama lawmakers have passed a near total ban on abortion. If signed into law, it would be the most restrictive abortion measure in the United States.

Posted: May 14, 2019 4:32 PM
Updated: May 15, 2019 8:02 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Latest on the Alabama Senate taking up a proposed abortion ban (all times local):

8:40 p.m.

Alabama lawmakers have passed a near total ban on abortion. If signed into law, it would be the most restrictive abortion measure in the United States.

The state Senate on Tuesday passed the bill that would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony.

The bill now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey, who will decide whether to sign the legislation into law. The Republican has not said publically whether she supports the measure.

Senators voted 25-6 for the bill that already cleared the House of Representatives.

The bill contains an exception for when the pregnancy creates a serious health risk for the woman, but there is no exception for rape or incest.

Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia recently have approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy.

Critics have promised a swift lawsuit to challenge the ban if enacted.

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8:25 p.m.

Alabama lawmakers are near a vote on a proposed abortion ban that would be the most restrictive anti-abortion measure in the United States.

Senate Republicans filed a cloture petition to cut off debate at 8:33 p.m. and force a vote on the measure.

The bill would make it a felony to perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy.

Supporters say they hope to spark a court case to challenge the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Republicans fended off attempts to amend the bill and add an exception for rape and incest.

If approved Tuesday night, the bill will go to Gov. Kay Ivey for her signature. It is unclear whether the Republican governor supports the measure.

The legislation comes after four states have approved abortion bans once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

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7:25 p.m.

Alabama senators rejected an effort to exempt cases involving rape and incest from a proposed abortion ban in the state.

Senators on Tuesday voted 21-11 against adding the rape and incest exception to the proposal that would make performing an abortion a felony.

Some lawmakers expressed discomfort about the lack of an exemption for rape.

After the amendment's defeat, Democratic Sen. Bobby Singleton called the bill a "shame" and a "disgrace."

Others say they opposed exceptions because their goal is to create a court case to challenge the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

The bill is expected to get a vote Tuesday night.

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6:45 p.m.

About 50 opponents of a bill that would severely restrict abortion in Alabama are demonstrating outside the Statehouse as legislators debate the measure inside.

A woman with a bullhorn led protesters in a chant of "Whose choice? Our choice" as a crowd composed mainly of journalists looked on.

Laura Stiller of Montgomery came to the demonstration dressed as a nurse and carrying wire coat hangers. She says the bill is nothing but a weapon to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

The group gathered as the Alabama Senate debated the measure before a vote expected for Tuesday night.

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4:15 p.m.

Alabama lawmakers have begun debating a proposal to outlaw most abortions in the state.

The GOP-dominated Senate is expected to vote Tuesday evening on the bill that would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony.

The legislation comes after four states have approved abortion bans once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

The bill overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives 74-3.

Some GOP state senators have expressed discomfort that the bill doesn't include an exception for rape and are expected seek an amendment on the bill.

Supporters say their goal is to create a court case to challenge the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Opponents have scheduled an evening protest outside the Alabama Statehouse.

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12:30 a.m.

Alabama lawmakers are headed toward a vote on a proposal to outlaw most abortions that has splintered Republicans over its lack of an exception for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.

The GOP-dominated Alabama Senate is expected to vote Tuesday evening on the bill that would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony.

The bill overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives 74-3, but some GOP state senators have expressed discomfort that the bill doesn't include an exception for rape.

Others say they oppose exceptions because their goal is to create a court case to challenge the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

The legislation comes after four states have approved abortion bans once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

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