Alabama’s three abortion clinics insist they’re not planning to close their doors, even as a new state law threatens to criminalize the procedures they provide.
“We’ve been through this fight over and over again,” Dalton Johnson, owner of the Alabama’s Women’s Center, told me yesterday. “Our main goal is to keep the women apprised that we will be challenging it in court.”
Alabama’s Women’s Center in Huntsville – whose two doctors provide about 2,000 abortions every year – is one of just three abortion clinics left in a state where there were more than 20 back in the 1990s. Now the abortions they provide would become almost entirely illegal under a sweeping restriction signed yesterday by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican who said in a statement that the 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.”
The measure, which is easily the most restrictive abortion law in the country, would make performing an abortion a criminal act – including in cases of rape or incest. Doctors caught attempting to perform an abortion could face up to 10 years in prison and those who actually complete the procedure could receive a sentence as long as 99 years. The law does not penalize the woman receiving the abortion.
There are three exceptions in which it permits abortions: if the woman’s life is at risk, if the fetus has a “lethal anomaly” or if the pregnancy is ectopic, in which a fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus.
From the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Southeast: “Sen. Singleton points out that under #HB314 a rapist would get 10 years in prison and a doctor who provided an abortion would get 99.”