Speech to Text for Alabama Senate debates abortion ban
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this session just started and my sources i've talked to today have told me ... this will either wrap up quickly, or go well into the night as senators debate an amendment, to this flat-out ban on abortion. the house has already passed decatur representative terri collins' abortion bill. it makes it a felony for anyone to perform an abortion in alabama, two weeks after pregnancy. if caught, the doctor or health care provider could be punished by 99-years in prison. the house version only makes the exception for the mother's life being in danger. when the bill reached the senate last week, senators got in a yelling match over an amendment to allow exceptions for rape and incest. lieutenant governor will ainsworth tabled the vote until today. collins has made no secret about this bill - she says it's meant to be a direct challenge to roe v. wade. speaking to waay 31 monday night ... she said she will pull the bill if the senate adds the rape and incest amendment. she said the bill stands a better chance of being heard by the nation's high court, if it doesn't contain that language. collins did tell us ... if the bill becomes law and makes it all the way to the supreme court ... it will eventually contain that rape and incest exception. so that's the big question this afternoon ... what happens as senators start their work. i'm here for the long haul ... i'll be updating you throughout the afternoon and evening and will let you know when we have big developments. live in montgomery bt waay31. the legwork for this bill started back in november, with amendment two. voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment to the state constitution. it says there's nothing in alabama's consitution that guarantees a woman's right to an abortion. at the time, it seemed largely symobolic. representative collins has said the passage of amendment two shows people in alabama aren't in favor of abortion. as the supreme court has shifted to a conservative majority many states are passing bills that limit access to abortions - hoping the ensuing legal fight lands at the high court. a number of states have passed so-called "heartbeat bills" this year. those measures make abortion illegal once a fetal heartbeat is detected. none of them go as far as alabama's law. georgia and ohio have laws on the books. similar laws in mississippi, kentucky, iowa and north dakota have been blocked by federal judges. breken terry will be at the state house all afternoon and into the evening if necessary. look for live updates here on waay 31, and online at waay tv dot com.