The bills passed on Friday include one that would restrict access to later abortion in the state, and another bill that would make it a separate crime to kill or injure a fetus during an attack on a pregnant woman.
The decision strikes one of the most restrictive anti-abortion measures in the country but leaves in place other components of the law.
The controversial measure was softened somewhat with an amendment, but advocates decry its chilling effect on medicine and its unconstitutionality.
After six hours of, at times, heated and racially charged debate Tuesday, the Alabama house passed four bills restricting abortion, the most severe of which would ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected and with no exceptions for rape or incest.
After passing a second house committee vote on Friday, a 20-week ban looks poised to pass the West Virginia house and could potentially pass the senate as well.
The new bills would ban abortion as early as six weeks, make it extremely difficult for minors to obtain abortions, make all women wait longer to get an abortion, and force women carrying fetuses with fatal anomalies to hear about perinatal hospice options that may not even exist in the state.
Unlike in recent years, when the thrust of legislative activity was on regulating abortion, this year legislators seem to be focusing on banning abortion outright.
A federal judge today upheld Arizona’s unconstitutional pre-viability ban on abortion, allowing the law to go into effect later this week. The law bans all abortions at 20 weeks from a woman’s last menstrual period (LMP) with no exceptions for a pregnant woman’s life or health unless she is experiencing a dire and possibly life-threatening emergency.
H.R. 3803, sponsored by Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ), denies a woman access to a medically necessary abortion and includes no exceptions for situations where continuing a pregnancy will place at risk a woman’s health or ability to have children in the future.
A Minnesota Representative tells a woman testifying against the proposed fetal pain ban that she should have given birth, like Rick Santorum’s wife did.