Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) signed the state’s abortion ban on Wednesday evening, making the law the most strict anti-abortion measure in the country.
Under the new law, all abortions in Alabama will be illegal at any stage of the pregnancy unless the mother’s health is in danger. There are no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. Doctors who perform abortion procedures will face up to 99 years in prison.
“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,” Ivey said in a statement. “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.”
Civil liberties and women’s advocacy groups are expected to fight the ban in court as a violation of Roe v. Wade, which is exactly what anti-abortion conservatives are aiming for. They believe the battle will end up in the hands of the conservative-leaning Supreme Court, where Roe may be overturned.
The Alabama governor pointed to that goal in her statement.
“Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973,” Ivey said. “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.”
Abortion is still legal in Alabama for the time being. The new ban will not take effect for at least another six months.