SSN Commentary

Alabama’s Total Abortion Ban and the Red Flag You Missed

Policy field

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San Jose State University
University of Washington Bothell

Originally published as: Grace Howard and Meghan Eagen-Torrko, "Alabama’s Total Abortion Ban and the Red Flag You Missed," Rewire News, May 16, 2019.

On Wednesday afternoon, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed the most restrictive abortion law in the United States—a total ban on abortion at any time in the pregnancy, with an exception for risk to the pregnant person’s life, but no exception in cases of rape or incest. The law turns abortion into a class A felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison.

Many decry this legal development as a dangerous and unprecedented step to curtail reproductive rights in a post-Roe era. For us—a political scientist who studies reproductive law, and a nurse clinician-researcher specializing in reproductive care—it seems like a natural next step.