MONTGOMERY, Al. (Al.com) —
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed the bill to make abortion a felony in Alabama, the governor’s office announced.
“To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God,” Ivey said in a press release.
The Senate gave final passage to the bill on Tuesday night, sending it to Ivey’s desk.
The bill says it will take effect in six months. But the sponsors said their intent was to trigger litigation that could lead to a challenge of Roe v. Wade at the U.S. Supreme Court.
ACLU of Alabama and Planned Parenthood have said they would sue to block the law.
Here is Ivey’s full statement:
“Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Legislature. To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.
“To all Alabamians, I assure you that we will continue to follow the rule of law.
“In all meaningful respects, this bill closely resembles an abortion ban that has been a part of Alabama law for well over 100 years. As today’s bill itself recognizes, that longstanding abortion law has been rendered “unenforceable as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.
“No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable. As citizens of this great country, we must always respect the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court even when we disagree with their decisions. Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.
“I want to commend the bill sponsors, Rep. Terri Collins and Sen. Clyde Chambliss, for their strong leadership on this important issue.
“For the remainder of this session, I now urge all members of the Alabama Legislature to continue seeking the best ways possible to foster a better Alabama in all regards, from education to public safety. We must give every person the best chance for a quality life and a promising future.”
The Republican majority in the House and Senate passed the bill over opposition from Democrats. The law makes it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion. The woman would not be criminally liable. The law includes an exception to allow abortions in cases of serious health risks to the woman.
In recent days, Ivey had said she would wait to see the final version of the bill before deciding to sign it.
The bill does not include an exception to allow abortions for victims of rape and incest.
Randall Marshall, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, issued this statement:
“By signing this bill, the governor and her colleagues in the state legislature have decided to waste millions in Alabama taxpayer dollars in order to defend a bill that is simply a political effort to overturn 46 years of precedent that has followed the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. We will not allow that to happen, and we will see them in court. Despite the governor signing this bill, clinics will remain open, and abortion is still a safe, legal medical procedure at all clinics in Alabama.”
Staci Fox, president and CEO at Planned Parenthood Southeast, also issued a statement:
“We vowed to fight this dangerous abortion ban every step of the way and we meant what we said. We haven’t lost a case in Alabama yet and we don’t plan to start now. We will see Governor Ivey in court. In the meantime, abortion is still safe, legal, and available in the state of Alabama and we plan to keep it that way.”
Mike Cason of Al.com contributed to the contents of this report.