Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill into law Wednesday that will ban nearly all abortions in the state.
Here's what you need to know about the law:
1. What does it say?
House Bill 314, sponsored by state Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, criminalizes performing almost all abortions at any stage of pregnancy.
Under the legislation, doctors convicted of performing an abortion could be sentenced to "life or 10 to 99 years in prison," the Montgomery Advertiser reported. Doctors who attempt an abortion could face one to 10 years in prison.
Women who receive abortions "will not be held criminally culpable or civilly liable," the law says.
Collins said the legislation was designed to challenge the U.S. Supreme Court's 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 a womb is not a person," Collins said last month, according to NBC News.
2. Are there any exceptions?
HB 314 includes exceptions for when "a woman's life is threatened or in case of a lethal fetal anomaly," NPR reported. The legislation defines the latter as "a condition from which an unborn child would die after birth or shortly thereafter, or be stillborn."
Although Senate Democrats proposed an exception for victims of rape or incest, the GOP-led Senate rejected the measure 21-11, CNN reported.
3. How did lawmakers vote?
The majority Republican Senate passed the bill in a 25-6 vote Tuesday. The decision came two weeks after the state's GOP-led House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the measure, 74-3.
"I would say that we're all very pleased to have this done," Collins told reporters Tuesday night, according to AL.com. “We're excited about the possibilities that it could mean."
Meanwhile, Democrats blasted the news.
"The state of Alabama ought to be ashamed of herself," said Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton, D-Greensboro. "You ought to be ashamed. Go look in the mirror."
4. What's next?
The bill was signed into law Wednesday afternoon and would take effect in six months.
5. The measure is already facing legal challenges.
The American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations vowed to fight the ban if it becomes law.
"The Alabama Senate just passed #HB314 after voting against an amendment for rape, incest exceptions," the Alabama ACLU said in a Facebook post. "Today’s decision shows how little they regard bodily autonomy. This law punishes victims of rape and incest by further taking away control over their own bodies and forcing them to give birth."
The statement continued: "The ACLU of Alabama, along with the National ACLU and Planned Parenthood, will file a lawsuit to stop this unconstitutional ban and protect every woman’s right to make her own choice about her health care, her body and her future."
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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