Will Alabama's Law Against Abortion Really Be Passed?

Alabama ban on abortionReturn of the angel makers

In the end, the head of the Democrats, Bobby Singleton, almost burst into tears in the Alabama Senate: He must now go to his daughter and tell her, child, you play no role in Alabama. Previously there had been tumultuous scenes in the Parliament of Montgomery.

Alabama: No rape or incest abortion

Alabama made history this Tuesday - the Southern Senate passed "the nation's strictest ban on abortion," as the Washington Post wrote. There should only be exceptions if the mother's life is seriously endangered by the pregnancy. Abortions should not even be allowed after rape or incest. The ban should apply from the sixth week of pregnancy - when the heartbeat of the fetus can be heard. At this point in time, many women do not even know that they are pregnant. Doctors are threatened with harsh sentences - those who abort, according to the bill, are expected to go to prison for up to 99 years.

The example of Alabama sets a precedent. On Friday, Missouri followed suit with a similarly draconian law. Previously to Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio. Republican states are campaigning against national abortion laws across the board. Since January 2011, there have been 423 tightening of abortion laws in 33 states, calculates Elizabeth Nash from the Guttmacher Institute, an independent research group.

Pro Life Movement wants to overturn the fundamental decision made in 1973

The regulations of the individual federal states have no legal force at all - federal law applies. As a result, women have had a fundamental right to an abortion since 1973. This judgment went down in American jurisprudence as the "Roe versus Wade" case. It was always hostile in conservative circles and in the deeply religious states. But now Republicans like Terri Collins are also hoping to tip "Roe v. Wade". Collins, who initiated this legislative initiative in Alabama, said the so-called heartbeat laws would never come into effect until national abortion law is revised.

And that is exactly what the conservative advocates of the pro-life movement are after: To enact the strictest possible laws at the state level so that as many lawsuits as possible are filed and in the end the highest court, the Supreme Court, has to deal again with the law of abortion . The opportunity has not been so good for a long time, says Eric Johnston of the Pro-Life movement in Alabama: Now there is again a conservative majority in the Supreme Court.

No revision possible with the current conservative majority

Since Donald Trump sent Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, two extremely conservative federal judges to the Supreme Court, the anti-abortion lobby groups have been hoping for a revision of "Roe v. Wade". Senator Clyde Chambliss of Alabama also wants to protect unborn life under all circumstances. Either way, it is a gift from the Creator, he says.

The hardliners not only ignore questions of conscience or individual fates - but also federal judge John Roberts. He's a conservative, but he always voted with the liberals when it came to defending the individual's right to abortion against invasive states. As long as Donald Trump cannot fill one or more seats in the Supreme Court, the anti-abortionists will not succeed, it is said. And Joan Biskupic, an expert on the history of the Supreme Court, doubts that a revision of the abortion law can be made with the current conservative majority in the highest court.

Fear of an increase in unsafe methods

Meanwhile, national abortion law is being thwarted by all means at the state level. For example, by reducing the number of clinics and minimizing the number of authorized doctors. In Missouri, North and South Dakota, in West Virginia or Kentucky - in more and more states there is only one single clinic that is authorized to perform abortions. In a number of federal states, regulations have been introduced that stipulate that there must be 72 hours between the consultation and the actual termination - which means that, for example, young girls from the country no longer see any possibility of exercising their rights. Sarah Traxler, a doctor from South Dakota, fears that more and more women are resorting to unsafe means.

The anti-abortion tactics could still pay off in the end, if Donald Trump can appoint more federal judges. The president has also warned of the conservative turnaround in the case law - and could not only have had the revision of the abortion law in mind.