Hillary Clinton on Wednesday called the recently signed abortion law in Alabama, and other pieces of legislation that restrict access to the procedure, an example of “appalling attacks on women’s lives and fundamental freedoms.”
Clinton joined the chorus of Democratic voices speaking out against the restrictive abortion bill signed into law by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday, which amounts to a near-total ban on the procedure in the state. Clinton lumped that bill in with recently passed legislation in other states that aims to limit access to abortion.
“The abortion bans in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi are appalling attacks on women’s lives and fundamental freedoms. Women’s rights are human rights. We will not go back,” Clinton tweeted, echoing her 1995 speech at the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women.
The controversial new Alabama law could punish doctors who perform abortions with life in prison. The law does not allow exceptions for cases of rape and incest but only “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” for ectopic pregnancy and if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly.”
“None of us should accept a future in which our daughters and granddaughters have fewer rights than we do. Choose a way to help, ask a friend to join you, and let’s get to work,” Clinton added, pointing her followers to advocacy groups and organizations that are working “to elect pro-choice candidates” and “organize for the future.”
The Alabama Senate passed the bill 25-6 late Tuesday night and it found its way to Ivey’s desk on Wednesday.
The measure appears aimed at setting up a legal battle over Roe v. Wade that could land in the Supreme Court. Given the amount of legal challenges it’s likely to face, along with past rulings on other anti-abortion legislation, the law will probably be tied up in court for years, delaying enforcement. The Supreme Court has discretion over which cases it hears, and there is no guarantee the justices would take up the Alabama law if it is struck down in lower courts.
“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 news release.
Legal battles over other abortion-related bills are already underway elsewhere.
Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project have filed a lawsuit to block Ohio’s so-called heartbeat bill, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, before it takes effect.
Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood, said in a press conference Wednesday that the future is dangerous for women’s health rights, especially under the Trump administration.
“We have a President of the United States who willfully lies to the American people to score political points and to provide political cover for politicians who are passing extreme anti-women’s bills. With Trump in the White House and (Brett) Kavanaugh in the Supreme Court women’s health and rights are under assault like never before,” Wen said.