For now, we wait. CNN reports Gov. Kay Ivey is not expected to receive the abortion bill passed by the Alabama state Senate until this afternoon. Then the clock starts ticking: She has six days to sign it if she plans to do so. It would then be six months before it kicks in. The bill makes performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison, with the sole exception being for women whose health is at serious risk. Al.com notes Ivey has in the past been in favor of "pro-life positions" that, like this bill, don't allow exceptions for rape or incest. A selection of reaction to the bill's passage:
- GOP State Rep. Terry Collins sponsored the bill, and his motivation was clear: "This bill is about challenging Roe v. Wade," he said. At CNN, Chris Cillizza writes that the bill will have to get in line. The Alabama law would be the nation's toughest, but it has been preceded in recent weeks by new legislation in Ohio and Georgia. What the Supreme Court will actually consider next is a Louisiana law that would require doctors who are performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. A ruling on that is expected "in the summer of 2020—right in the heart of the presidential campaign," writes Cillizza.
- "There’s no way to guarantee which state-level bill will eventually make its way to the Supreme Court, or whether the sitting justices would reverse Roe in a single decision," write Emma Green for the Atlantic. Sure, there are now five conservative justices on the bench. But they "may hesitate to fully knock down Roe. Precedent is a powerful legal principle, allowing attorneys to advise their clients and facilitate consistency in how laws are enforced over time."