Alabama near-total abortion ban facing legal challenge

David Crotty Getty Images

David Crotty Getty ImagesMore

Most have been challenged in the courts. Physicians would also face a 10-year sentence for attempting to perform an abortion. Ivey has not publicly taken a stance on the bill but has previously aligned herself as anti-abortion, lamenting the courts striking down another Alabama abortion law previous year. I'm furious, I'm outraged, I want to scream "I told you so" at the men who told me I was being "dramatic" about the threat of women's rights under a Trump presidency.

Let us first state the obvious, from a pro-life perspective: Good for Alabama.

The ban makes performing or attempting to perform an abortion a felony, penalizing the doctor with up to 99 years in prison. The only exemptions for the law will be where completing the pregnancy will be a danger to the physical (not mental) health of the mother.

Like numerous abortion bans that have been passed on the state level, the Alabama law is expected to face an nearly immediate legal challenge and even if it is signed into law by the governor, it is unlikely to go into immediate effect.

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But if Governor Ivey refrained from signing the bill for any reason-it's possible that she'll take issue with the lack of exception for rape or incest-what would happen?

This week the Maine Legislature passed a bill that requires private insurance companies to cover abortion services and ends the ban on coverage through the state-funded portion of Medicaid. "This thing isn't going to go into effect for a long time, if at all". The ACLU has vowed to challenge it in the courts. Kentucky, Ohio, Mississippi, and Georgia this year passed bills that would ban abortions after six weeks.

However, several other Supreme Court decisions have been categorically overturned regardless of respective stare decisis classification; among them Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 case that established the "separate but equal" principle that was subsequently overturned in 1954 by Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Three other conservative-controlled states have passed similar so-called "heartbeat bills".

US Sen. Susan Collins staked her legacy and her pro-choice credentials on Kavanaugh's commitment to precedent, despite the strong support he received from anti-abortion forces and the rhetoric of the president who nominated him.

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Just this year, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and OH have outlawed abortion after a doctor can detect an embryonic heartbeat. Opponents say the measures are unconstitutional and interfere with women's ability to access safe medical care.

Before reaching the Supreme Court, the Alabama law would need to be challenged in federal district court. The "reversal" method is controversial and has not been medically accepted.

Louisiana, South Carolina and Missouri are halfway towards passing a fetal heartbeat law.

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen in Washington, U.S., June 11, 2018. "Thomas Jefferson, moreover, wrote in an 1804 letter to Abigail Adams that "[to] give [ ] to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional, and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislature and executive also, in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic branch". Writing about a different ruling, Breyer said it causes one to wonder 'which cases the court will overrule next'.

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