(VitalNews.org) – Democrats feared a wave of draconian abortion restrictions would arise when the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade in 2022. Now, Alabama Democrats are trying to push back on their state’s total abortion ban.
State law allows no exemptions from the ban, even if the woman’s pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. The only exemption that allows abortion is when the mother’s life is in danger.
But without at least some support from Republicans, it is unlikely Democrat efforts to add exemptions will be successful.
On February 7, state Senator Vivian Davis Figures, a Democrat, filed a bill to add rape and incest to the list of exemptions. The Alabama House is working on a similar bill. However, both chambers are dominated by Republicans who are generally opposed to expanding the availability of abortion.
Davis told the media that a girl or woman traumatized by rape or incest would be “re-traumatized” by being forced to carry the pregnancy to term against her wishes.
Democratic state House member Mary Moore agreed, saying that politicians should not be “playing doctor” or forcing raped children to carry a pregnancy from that assault.
Alabama’s near-total abortion ban was enacted in 2019 in hopes that Roe vs. Wade would be overturned. The U.S. Supreme Court did overturn the landmark case in 2022. Roe was decided in 1973, and it stopped U.S. states from banning abortion in the first trimester and set up a schedule by trimester of how far states could go to regulate the procedure.
When the 2022 SCOTUS overturned the law, many abortion proponents incorrectly said the high court took rights away from women. But the overturning of Roe only removed the prior regulatory scheme and returned the question of regulating abortion back to the states.
In 2018, 59 percent of Alabama voters backed a state constitutional amendment recognizing “the rights of the unborn child.”
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