Alabama's Republican governor Kay Ivey this week signed into a law a controversial bill proposing a near-total ban on abortion after it passed the state's Senate and House of Representatives.
Her signature makes it illegal for women to seek terminations in the southern state even in cases of rape or incest, a victory for the pro-life movement and the Christian right against the historic protections provided by the Roe vs Wade ruling of 1973 as well as a dangerous and regressive hammer blow to women's rights.
Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act. To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation sta… https://t.co/iGzfUDMGRk
— Governor Kay Ivey (@Governor Kay Ivey)
The American Civil Liberties Union’s Alabama chapter promised in a tweet on Tuesday night following the Senate vote - which passed 25-6 - that it would file a lawsuit against the state in order to "stop this unconstitutional ban and protect every woman’s right to make her own choice about her healthcare, her body and her future."
In a further worrying development, the state of Missouri followed suit on Thursday with a 24-10 vote in its own Senate in favour of banning abortions eight weeks into the pregnancy, again making no exceptions for cases of rape and incest.
That now looks set to be signed into law too, with Missouri's own Republican governor, Mike Parson, known to support the motion.
With a conservative majority on the Supreme Court following the highly contentious appointment of Brett Kavanaugh last year to replace the late, left-leaning Justice Anthony Kennedy, "heartbeat abortion" bans have been rolled out in Mississippi, Kentucky and Ohio.
Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Louisiana and West Virginia are all considering similar proposals and may follow suit.
One of the most shocking responses to the Alabama bill's passage came from the Trump White House.
The president's press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, insisted the state's decision was about "defending the dignity of life", making a ludicrous and disingenuous accusation against the Democratic Party in gory language:
Unlike radical Democrats who have cheered legislation allowing a baby to be ripped from the mother's womb moments from birth, President Trump is protecting our most innocent and vulnerable, defending the dignity of life, and called on Congress to prohibit late-term abortions.
Not only was the statement deplorable, it was also medically nonsensical, leaving members of the public as baffled as they were angry.
who wants to tell the geniuses at the White House that it's not possible for "a baby to be ripped from the mother's… https://t.co/SJj1HE2iv5
A number of leading Democrats came forward to denounce the anti-abortion legislation, including Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whose example will hopefully inspire a brighter tomorrow.
The abortion bans in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi are appalling attacks on women's lives and f… https://t.co/PLrJ3NL4xg