After Alabama lawmakers approved a bill that would outlaw virtually all abortions in that state, two Florida Democratic lawmakers are hammering that proposal and vowing to prevent a similar measure from passing in Florida.
That legislation still must be signed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. Ivey has not commented on the bill, but reports say she’s expected to sign it.
“Alabama is waging a war on women with their ban on abortion care: women who miscarry will be left in fear of imprisonment, physicians can be jailed for 99 years for providing life-saving medical care, and victims of rape and incest will be forced to carry any pregnancy resulting from their assault to term — no exceptions,” Book said in a fiery statement Wednesday.
“As a rape survivor, I would not wish that trauma on my worst enemy. The right to comprehensive, safe and legal family planning is under attack and the stakes are high: women’s self-determination over her body, medical decisions, and autonomy over her LIFE.”
The Alabama bill would ban abortions from the moment of conception and, as Book mentioned, institute a potential 99-year prison sentence for doctors.
The only exceptions included in the legislation are if the life of the mother is at risk or if the fetus has a lethal anomaly. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
Book’s comments about women being “in fear of imprisonment” stem from a concern that women could be considered “accessories” to a crime. However, the bill states that women who seek abortions will not be punished.
“No woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to be performed shall be criminally or civilly liable,” the relevant section reads.
A recently approved Georgia bill restricting abortions has stoked concerns that women could be charged for obtaining an abortion there. But some analysts have pushed back on that reading of the bill as well.
“Every day, women across our country face the deeply personal decision of whether to continue their pregnancy. Every pregnancy and every woman’s circumstances are different,” Eskamani said in a statement on the two measures.
“Instead of respecting a woman’s decision, anti-abortion opponents have resorted to inflammatory, shaming rhetoric and extreme laws that punish women and criminalize providers. The south has become ground-zero for anti-abortion legislation, with Georgia’s Governor signing a six-week abortion ban into law and now Alabama on the verge of signing a bill that would ban nearly all abortions.
“We stand in bold opposition to these laws, certain that they will fail when their constitutionality is tested and prepared to continue our fight in protecting safe and legal access to abortion in Florida.”
Book also indicated a desire to stop similar measures should they be raised in the Florida Legislature.
“Florida women — regardless of political affiliation — we must raise our raise voices against these archaic, dangerous policies,” Book said.
“I vow to stand up to fight and defend the right to choose in the Florida Senate. There should be no decision made about women without women, and I will be drafting a bill to ensure just that.”
Some legal analysts have said the Alabama and Georgia measures are an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Those bills appear to clearly conflict with the 1973 Supreme Court case, as well as its successor, Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Activists already plan to challenge both measures in the courts, which could eventually lead to a follow-up review by the Supreme Court.