Breaking: Alabama Legislature Passes Bill to Outlaw Abortion, Criminalize Doctors
For Immediate Release: May 14, 2019
Would make providing an abortion a felony, could send doctors to prison for 99 years
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Alabama state legislature approved the most extreme abortion ban since Roe v. Wade was decided. If this bill is signed into law, it would outlaw abortion and includes unprecedented criminal penalties against doctors, threatening them with life in prison for treating women. HB 314, which passed over vocal objections from Alabama women, would open doctors up to felony charges punishable by up to 99 years in prison for providing and attempting abortion, making this the most extreme ban of its kind to pass in nearly 30 years.
The Alabama legislation is a part of a sweeping national strategy by the Trump administration and women’s health legislators to restrict reproductive health care and outlaw safe, legal abortion. Since the start of 2019, bills attempting to restrict abortion have been filed in 45 states, including Alabama. Earlier this month, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a six-week ban into law, which means that the total number of six-week bans that have ever passed has tripled since the beginning of the year. This is despite widespread support for abortion access and Roe v. Wade.
Statement by Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
Politicians in Alabama just passed the most extreme and dangerous policy since Roe vs. Wade, banning abortion at any point in pregnancy -- going so far as to threaten doctors with life-in-prison. Doctors and public health leaders agree: the cost will be women’s lives.
In a state that has some of the worst health outcomes for women in the nation—such as the highest rate of cervical cancer -- Alabama is putting women’s lives at an even greater risk. Politicians who say they value life should advocate for policies to solve the public health crises that are killing women, not dismantle what little access to health care Alabamians have left.
With a record number of extreme bans on abortion and Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, our fundamental right to health care is under assault like never before. We will do whatever it takes to stop this dangerous bill so that patients can continue to access the care they need. We are in for the fight of our lives, for our patients’ lives.
Statement from Staci Fox, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates:
Today is a dark day for women in Alabama and across this country. Banning abortion is bad enough. Imprisoning doctors for providing care goes beyond the brink. Alabama politicians will forever live in infamy for this vote and we will make sure that every woman knows who to hold accountable.
In the coming days we will be mounting the fight of our lives -- we will take this to court and ensure abortion remains safe and legal. For now, Planned Parenthood's doors are open for the many patients who need access to care.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.
As the organizing, advocacy, and electoral arm of Planned Parenthood Southeast, Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates (PPSEA) engages in electoral activities including voter education and mobilization. We believe elected officials should support policies and programs that help women and their families make responsible choices about the prevention of unintended pregnancies and plan for healthy families. PPSEA works to educate and mobilize the public and elect lawmakers who support these policies.