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May 20, 2019 Group Watch: News & Views from the State House

As the legislature carried out its 19th, 20th and 21st days of the regular session last week, an international spotlight was turned on Montgomery and Alabama with the passage of the country’s most restrictive abortion law. On Tuesday, the law passed both chambers with overwhelming majorities (74-3 in the House; 25-7 in the Senate). On Wednesday, Governor Ivey signed the bill into law.

Emotions on both sides were running high, with those against it preparing to quickly use the court system to prevent it taking effect and its proponents declaring a victory for life and announcing its ultimate purpose is to pose a challenge to Roe vs. Wade in our nation’s highest court. No one can say yet whether the Supreme Court will choose to take up the case though.

Coverage from national and international media and intense debates on social media made it “the issue” last week, and some of the information circulating has been inaccurate. The law makes almost any abortion at any time illegal; the only exception in the law’s current form is if the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother. But the law will not punish women seeking or getting abortions; it goes after those performing abortions, who can receive a sentence of 99 years for the act.

The law is sure to remain a hot topic over the coming weeks.

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