What happens next with Alabama's near-total abortion ban
House Democratic leaders today reacted to the Alabama abortion bill, calling it a “disgrace” and “reckless.”
“It lays bare the reality that part of the right-wing conservative agenda in the United States of America is to take away reproductive health and freedom of the people of America. That is a disgrace,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, chairman of the Democratic caucus, told reporters.
Rep. Katherine Clark, vice chair of the Democratic caucus, called the action "reckless behavior.”
“We are not going back. Women in this country are not going to allow our fundamental rights to be infringed upon,” Clark said.
Alabama state Sen. Clyde Chambliss ushered the abortion bill through the chamber.
"Even if its origins are in very difficult situations, that life is still precious," the Republican said in explaining his support for the bill.
Chambliss said the bill impacts women who are "known to be pregnant." In a news release, Chambliss touted that his bill outlaws surgical abortions as soon as a pregnancy can be medically determined.
Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, said in a press conference today that the future is dangerous for women’s health rights, especially under the Trump administration.
“We have a President of the United States who willfully lies to the American people to score political points and to provide political cover for politicians who are passing extreme anti-women’s bills. With Trump in the White House and (Brett) Kavanaugh in the Supreme Court women’s health and rights are under assault like never before,” Lee-Gilmore said.
Correction: This post has been updated to accurately attribute a quote from President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund Dr. Leana Wen.
Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, an Alabama Democrat, suggested that Democrats create a "castration bill."
"We said, 'You make the choice about your healthcare, you go out and get your own health insurance.' Well, shouldn't I also be able to make the choice about my body?" she said.
"It wasn't so very long ago when we started talking about the rights of women. Maybe we need to come up with a castration bill. I mean you guys come up with some crazy bills," she said to cheers in the crowd.
She even said she'd like to open up Republicans' minds and see what's inside, and suggested they speak to their mothers.
"I know God made women different. He really did. You all came from a woman. Did you not get anything from her? If you have a mother and she's still alive, deep down she would tell you this is not right. You're shaking your head, but I bet she would," Coleman-Madison said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running for president in 2020, called the Alabama state senators who voted to pass the restrictive abortion bill "hypocrites."
They "decry 'big government,' yet they want to control every aspect of women's bodies, private decisions, and futures," Sanders tweeted.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has not yet received the abortion bill passed by the state's Senate last night.
Lori Davis Jhons, spokesperson for Ivey, said they are not expecting to receive the bill until after the legislature gavels in later this afternoon.
"The governor will thoroughly conduct a review before providing any additional comment," Jhons said.
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 last year.
What happens now: Ivey has six days to sign the legislation, though the bill would not take effect until six months after becoming law.
Sen. Vivian Davis Figures, one of six Democrats who voted no on the bill, debated Republican Sen. Clyde Chambliss on the Senate floor last night.
"Do you know what it's like to be raped?" she asked. "Do you know what it's like to have a relative commit incest on you?"
Chambliss responded "no" to both questions. (Some context: Democrats had introduced an amendment to exempt rape and incest victims from the near-total abortion ban, but the motion failed.)
"You don't have to raise that child. You don't have to carry that child. You don't have to provide for that child. You don't have to do anything for that child — but yet, you want to make the decision for that woman, that that's what she has to do."
"I want to make the decision for that child," Chambliss responded.