Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs nation’s strictest abortion bill

Lydia O’Connor

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed the nation’s strictest abortion bill on Wednesday, making it a felony in the state for a doctor to perform an abortion in nearly all cases.

“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,” she said in a statement.

Ivey’s signature comes a day after the state Senate passed the bill 25 to 6, clearing the way for doctors who perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy to face a minimum of 10 years in prison, except for in cases where the life of the pregnant woman is at risk.

The new law is set to become effective within six months of her signature, but it’s expected to face a host of legal challenges. Ivey acknowledged Wednesday that the bill may be “unenforceable” for the foreseeable future but said she hopes it will prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that ruled states may not put an undue burden on women seeking an abortion.

“Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973,” she 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.”