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Alabama Senate Delays Vote on Abortion Ban After Rancorous Debate

HeadlineMay 10, 2019

Alabama’s state Senate delayed a vote Thursday on a law that would ban virtually all abortions, after a rancorous floor debate that saw lawmakers repeatedly shout in protest. The bill would make providing an abortion a Class A felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison. Alabama Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton objected after Republican leaders sought to remove amendments from the abortion ban that would have allowed exemptions in cases of rape or incest.

Sen. Bobby Singleton: “He didn’t even make a motion, Mr. President!”

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth: “Hold on, sir.”

Sen. Bobby Singleton: “He did not make a motion!”

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth: “He made a motion to table.”

Sen. Bobby Singleton: “He did not make a motion! There was no motion from the other side.”

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth: “He made a motion to table.”

Singleton and other Democrats also protested when Republican leaders attempted to pass amendments on a voice vote. They demanded a roll call so that lawmakers’ votes would be put on the record. This is Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute of Reproductive Health.

Andrea Miller: “I mean, the reality is, what happened in the Alabama Senate just shows how high the stakes are right now, when a state is planning to ban all abortions outright and not only eliminate access to abortion care for the people in their state, but in an effort to eliminate it for everyone all across the country, because they hope they’ll be the ones to bring the case to the Supreme Court that will overturn or severely eviscerate Roe v. Wade.”

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