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Alabama Senate passes HB 314; abortion ban heads to Ivey’s desk

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Senate on Tuesday passed HB 314, the bill sponsored by State Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur) that is aimed at getting the U.S. Supreme Court to re-examine Roe v. Wade on the basis of personhood.

Amidst multiple hours of debate after 4:00 p.m., the Senate rejected an amendment that would have added exceptions for rape and incest by a 21-11 vote. View that roll call vote here.

This means the Senate passed the bill “cleanly” exactly as it was passed by the House. HB 314 bans all abortion except when the life of the mother is in danger. The legislation criminalizes performing abortions, with performing an abortion becoming a Class A felony and attempting to perform an abortion becoming a Class C felony.

This comes after the Senate Judiciary Committee last Wednesday tacked on an amendment by State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) adding the exceptions for rape and incest. The full Senate then removed that amendment on the floor on Thursday. A final floor attempt to add the amendment back onto the bill was rejected on Tuesday.

Collins and State Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville), who is carrying the bill in the Senate, argued that adding exceptions for rape and incest dilutes the legal challenge the bill is trying to mount, as the question at hand is whether the baby in the womb is a person and should have rights as such, regardless of how that baby was conceived.

Collins has even said, “Well, how do we say, ‘The baby inside is a person unless they’re conceived in rape or incest’? If that amendment was to get on the bill, then I’ll kill the bill because it won’t go to the Supreme Court. It will contradict itself. And so that’s why we’re trying to keep it clean…”

Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth (R-AL) previously called on the Senate to pass HB 314 without amendment.

Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper) has also emphasized the core purpose of the bill in challenging Roe v. Wade.

State Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) told reporters on Tuesday that senators have received death threats over HB 314, which is why some members were provided personal security details for the day.

Final passage occurred on a 25-6 vote.

HB 314 now goes to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk. She has not said if she will sign or veto the bill. A gubernatorial veto could be overridden by a simple majority in both legislative chambers.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn