Alabama Abortion Ban Likely to Have Disproportionate Effect on Black Women

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.

In a state like Alabama, where over a quarter of the population is Black, a total ban on abortion could disproportionately affect Black women.

Related Article: Women in Alabama Could be Jailed Up to 99 Years for Abortions

Black women face greater health and social challenges than any other demographic:

“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.

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