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USHow does Alabama's near-total abortion ban bill compare to Georgia's 'fetal heartbeat' law?

16:40  15 may  2019
16:40  15 may  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Abortion restricting bills inch closer to becoming laws in Alabama, Georgia

Abortion restricting bills inch closer to becoming laws in Alabama, Georgia The expected signing of the bill in Georgia, slated for Tuesday, comes after much uproar over the bill, including threats from within the film and television industry. Georgia is one of several states that have pushed for bans prohibiting abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected -- which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy and when some women may not yet know they are pregnant. However, no such ban has actually gone into effect as they have been stopped by legal challenges.

How does new Alabama abortion law compare to Georgia ' s ' fetal heartbeat ' law ? Alabama and Georgia have signed more restrictive abortion laws . Abortion bill passes in Senate: Bill on near - total ban on abortion sent to governor. Here are similarities and differences between the

More: How does Alabama ' s near - total abortion ban bill compare to Georgia ' s ' fetal heartbeat ' law ? The Massachusetts senator called Alabama ' s law "dangerous and exceptionally cruel" and tweeted Wednesday evening that "Women across the country are watching and we will fight back."

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – In 2019, more than a dozen states have either passed or attempted to pass stricter abortion legislation. Alabama's Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would be the most restrictive in the nation.

Georgia's Gov. Brian Kemp has already signed a bill that would make performing an abortion illegal once a heartbeat is detected. That new law is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

Two other states – Ohio and Mississippi – have passed similar legislation. The bills are expected to face litigation.

Stricter abortion bans are conservative-led states' gambit to overturn Roe vs. Wade

Stricter abortion bans are conservative-led states' gambit to overturn Roe vs. Wade ATLANTA - When Republican lawmakers in Alabama weighed a stringent new bill that would outlaw almost all abortions, they did not pretend that it complied with federal law or that it would go into effect anytime soon. "Yes, it's unconstitutional," state House Rep. Terri Collins, the bill's sponsor, said last week at a hearing. "All our pro-life bills are unconstitutional right now. 

– Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a near - total abortion ban Wednesday, putting in place one of the nation' s most restrictive laws on the procedure and But in a nod to the likely legal challenges the bill would face, Ivey' s statement also said that Alabama ' s pre-1973 ban on abortion is unenforeceable

Unlike other laws restricting abortion , the Alabama law does not make any execptions for instances of rape or Republican governors in Georgia and Missouri have signed their own restrictive measures to curb More: How does Alabama ' s abortion ban bill compare to Georgia ' s ' fetal heartbeat ' law ?

Here are similarities and differences between the Georgia law and the proposed Alabama law:

When can you get an abortion?

Current state law in both states outlaws abortion after 20 weeks unless the woman's health is at risk. Georgia's newly signed law would change the time period to six weeks of pregnancy, a time period in which many critics say many women aren't yet aware of their pregnancy.

Alabama lawmakers in the House and Senate have sent a bill to Gov. Kay Ivey's desk that would ban nearly all abortions in the state at any stage of the pregnancy unless the mother’s physical or mental health is in jeopardy.

In Alabama: Alabama Senate approves near-total ban on abortion; sends bill to the governor

In Georgia: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signs fetal heartbeat bill, one of most restrictive abortion laws in nation

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power

States passing abortion bans have among the lowest rates of women in power When the Alabama State Senate passed their controversial bill which would ban most abortions, not one of the four female state senators voted for it. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The fact that there are only four female state senators in the Heart of Dixie comes as little surprise to political observers, as the state ranks among the lowest in terms of female representation in state legislatures.

More: How Alabama ' s abortion bill compares to Georgia ' s ' fetal heartbeat ' law . If signed, the near - total ban would not take effect for six months. Planned Parenthood representatives did not specify a timeframe for a lawsuit on the conference call but said they would use the time to prepare a

More: How does Alabama ' s near - total abortion ban bill compare to Georgia ' s ' fetal heartbeat ' law ? Elizabeth Warren. " Alabama just signed into law the most extreme abortion ban since Roe v. Wade in a blatant attempt to overturn the Supreme Court decision.

What about in cases of rape or incest?

The law Kemp signed in May does include an exception in cases of rape and incest. As the law is written, it requires that the pregnancy is at 20 weeks or less and an official police report must be filed alleging the rape and/or incest.

The same is currently true for Alabama but the state's House passed a bill without an exception for rape and incest. The Senate weighed an amendment from Democrats asking for an exemption in cases of rape and incest, which failed to pass. The Senate passed the bill without exemptions and sent it to the governor.

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If abortions are a crime, what is the penalty? Who is liable?

Currently, breaking abortion law in Georgia can be punished with imprisonment "for not less than one nor more than 10 years." The newly signed bill gives no indication as to who would be charged with penalties and what, if any, those penalties would be.

Abortion rights: Why it's hard to gauge Americans' support

Abortion rights: Why it's hard to gauge Americans' support Republican-run state governments are clearly aiming for a Supreme Court showdown over Roe v. Wade. Georgia recently passed a law banning most abortions after six weeks, and Alabama just passed a near-total abortion ban. Both efforts are part of more than a dozen such successful and unsuccessful attempts this year. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Not surprisingly, the blowback has been stiff from abortion rights groups and politicians. Some have even called for a boycott of Georgia.

Alabama governor signs near - total abortion ban into law . Law criminalizing procedure in nearly all cases likely to face legal challenges. But in a nod to the likely legal challenges the bill would face, Ivey' s statement also said that Alabama ' s pre-1973 ban on abortion is unenforeceable due to the

Alabama ' s ban is the latest in an onslaught of state-level anti- abortion measures that activists hope will be taken up by the Supreme Court and potentially Brian Kemp signed into law the state' s so-called " fetal heartbeat " bill , a measure that will prohibit abortions after a heartbeat is detected in an

How does Alabama's near-total abortion ban bill compare to Georgia's 'fetal heartbeat' law? © Mickey Welsh / Advertiser Anti abortion ban bill protestor Bianca Cameron-Schwiesow, dressed as a handmaid, waits outside of the Alabama statehouse after HB314, the near-total ban on abortion bill, passed the senate in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday May 14, 2019.

Some have speculated that since the bill recognizes unborn children as "natural persons," that women who choose abortion or miscarry or the medical professionals who help them, would face murder charges, but the term has been used routinely in the previous criminal code, which the measure does not repeal.

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Alabama is currently weighing whether to punish a doctor who performs an abortion with a Class A felony – punishable by life or 10 to 99 years in prison. Attempting to perform an abortion would be a Class C felony, punishable by one to 10 years in prison. The woman seeking an abortion would not face charges under the bill.

Courts say anti-abortion 'heartbeat bills' are unconstitutional. So why do they keep coming?

Courts say anti-abortion 'heartbeat bills' are unconstitutional. So why do they keep coming? As often as they are introduced, these bills get stymied. They are held up in committees, rejected in legislative votes, vetoed by governors and struck down in courts. Not one state has managed to put a heartbeat bill into lasting practice. But there is a strategy.

Alabama Rep. Terri Collins, a Republican from Decatur who sponsored the bill, says the purpose of the bill is to challenge the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

"The heart of this bill is to confront a decision that was made by the courts in 1973 that said the baby in the womb is not a person," Collins said. "This bill addresses that one issue. Is that baby in the womb a person? I believe our law says it is. I believe our people say it is. And I believe technology shows it is."

Nate Chute is a producer with the USA Today Network. Follow him on Twitter: @nchute

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This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: How does Alabama's near-total abortion ban bill compare to Georgia's 'fetal heartbeat' law?

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