In The Federalist, Madeline Osburn explains how the goal of Alabama’s strict new abortion law is to challenge Roe v. Wade. She writes (abridged):
On Tuesday, the Alabama state legislature passed a bill effectively banning abortion in the state, but with an underlying goal of challenging the legal precedent across the country: overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.
The bill now goes to the desk of Republican Governor Kay Ivey, who is expected to sign it into law. According to the text of the bill itself, abortion and attempted abortion are felony offenses, “except in cases where abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.” The doctor performing the abortion would be criminally liable, not the mother.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Alabama State Rep. Terri Collins, said her goal was to challenge the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling. “My goal with this bill, and I think all of our goal[s], is to have Roe v. Wade turned over.
Other states are rapidly passing laws that challenge Roe‘s standard, which allowed abortion nationwide up until the point at which a baby could be born and survive outside the womb, or around 24 weeks into a pregnancy. “Heartbeat bills” which prohibit abortion after a fetus’ heartbeat is detected (about six weeks into pregnancy) have passed this year in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio, and previously in North Dakota and Iowa.
States are anticipating that these laws will be appealed and become cases picked up by the now conservative-swinging Supreme Court. An uptick in these bills is likely thanks to the pro-life movement which redoubled its efforts to overturn Roe after the appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. After the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court now consists of five conservative justices (and four liberals) on the bench.
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