Republicans are attacking a woman’s right to choose. And if you think their anti-abortion platform will have no effect on Black communities, think again.
The Alabama Senate on Tuesday passed the most restrictive abortion ban in the country. Gov. Kay Ivey was expected to sign the bill into law within days, according to CNN.
“As this legislation is still making its way through the legislative process, the governor intends to withhold comment until it makes its way to her desk for signature,” Kay’s spokesperson said.
The bill would give doctors up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion. “Democrats re-introduced an amendment to exempt rape and incest victims, but the motion failed on an 11-21 vote,” CNN reported.
Staci Fox, president of Planned Parenthood Southeast, told CNN that the legislation wasn’t legal.
“[E]ven the authors of this bill know that it is blatantly unconstitutional and wouldn’t stand up in court,” she said before adding, “We’ve seen the continual chipping away year after year in Alabama and efforts get bolder and bolder each year. I think with the President and now Kavanaugh on the court, the politics in Alabama just feel emboldened to take this egregious swipe at women’s health care.”
The legislation was also a swipe at Black women.
“Black women know that whenever you criminalize abortion, then it’s Black women who are going to be locked up,” Georgia state Rep. Renitta Shannon told Rolling Stone. “Whenever you don’t cover abortions through insurance, it’s young Black women who are going to suffer — we’re the majority of the minimum-wage earners. All this stuff is connected.”
Alabama also happens to have highest the proportion of Black women out of any U.S. state, according to data scientist and policy analyst Samuel Sinyangwe.
In addition, Alabama Senate Republicans are all white men.
“Of the 27 Republicans, all white men, that dominate the 35-seat Alabama senate, 25 voted to pass the bill late on Tuesday,” the Guardian reported.
The developments in Alabama were not only a declaration of war on women but a war on Black women, in particular. It’s been happening all over the country. Even in Ohio, Republicans were pushing the “Heartbeat Bill,” which “would allow criminal charges against both doctors and pregnant women seeking abortions. It would characterize an ‘unborn human’ as a person under Ohio’s criminal code, meaning abortions could be punishable by life in prison or even the death penalty.”
The Alabama bill, HB 565, which was introduced in March. Clearly, many Republicans want to ban abortion and have complete control over women’s reproductive health. Abortion was made legal nationwide in 1973 with the “Roe v. Wade” decision.