A draconian ban on nearly all abortions in Alabama is likely to pass with the approval of Governor Kay Ivey. If signed through, it will be the strictest abortion law in the country, with no allowances for rape or incest. Women and abortion providers would face up to 99 years or life in prison – far longer than even a rapist.
If the bill becomes law it would take effect in six months but critics have promised a swift lawsuit. Randall Marshall, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, told AP News a complaint is already being drafted.
22 Senators voted against including an exception for rape or incest in Alabama’s new draconian abortion law.
Notice any similarities? pic.twitter.com/QNxFC1JU2u
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) May 15, 2019
In a state like Alabama, where over a quarter of the population is Black, a total ban on abortion could disproportionately affect Black women.
The states trying to ban abortion are the states that have the highest proportions of black women living there. That’s not a coincidence, it’s exactly who these white legislators want to take reproductive rights away from.
— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) May 15, 2019
1/2 “Black women know that whenever you criminalize #abortion, then it’s #black #women who are going to be locked up,” says Georgia State Rep. Renitta Shannon, who has sponsored legislation to keep $2 million in taxpayer dollars from going to #CPCs, https://t.co/U6iQItaaTM
— Rep. Renitta Shannon (@RenittaShannon) May 4, 2019
Don’t move forward after reading this like everything is normal. Don’t shake your head at Alabama and then keep going about your day. Realize that this is a warning. It’s Alabama and abortion today. It’s you and your rights tomorrow. Your silence will not save you. So speak up. https://t.co/kIz78uAU1T
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 15, 2019
Related Article: Women in Alabama Could be Jailed Up to 99 Years for Abortions
So the state that ranks 50th in education and 49th in infant mortality wants us to believe they care about children.
They don’t. #AlabamaAbortionBan
— Brett Pransky (@BrettPransky) May 16, 2019
Black women face greater health and social challenges than any other demographic:
- Black women are three to four times more likely to die while giving birth than white women.
- Intimate partner violence is a leading cause of death of Black women.
- Black women face the wage gap between them and their white counterparts, overall worsening income inequality and the uphill battle for Black families to get even close to the generational wealth enjoyed by white people.
“Black people who have abortions aren’t being forced to do so, and trying to coerce Black women into continuing their pregnancies or expanding families is advancing White supremacist notions about what Black women are here for,” wrote Black reproductive rights activist and doula Yamani Hernandez. “Why is it so offensive to imagine that every Black woman in America may not have the desire or means to have or expand their family? We have been coerced enough. Black liberation is not measured in numbers of Black births; it is measured by thriving, autonomous Black lives.”
But that won’t stop the wave of states’ Republicans restricting women’s access to healthcare while completely ignoring the will of the majority of Americans in the hopes that a case will make it to the Supreme Court and overturn Roe v. Wade entirely.
Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have already approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, even though 67 percent of Americans believe that Roe v. Wade should not be overturned, including 43 percent of Republican voters. Two-thirds (67 percent) of Black Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.