MIAMI - The Alabama senate passed the most restrictive abortion bill in the United States on Tuesday, banning any termination of pregnancy and punishing doctors who perform the procedure with life in prison.
The text, which the Republican-led senate sent to Governor Kay Ivey's desk for signature into law, does not include exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
The largest human rights defense organization in the United States, the ACLU, promised to file a lawsuit to block its implementation, although the bill's backers have expressly said they want to bring the case to the Supreme Court.
Now that the court has a conservative majority in the wake of President Donald Trump's election, some Republicans want it to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling that recognized women's right to abortion.
"You just raped the state of Alabama yourself," state senate Democratic leader Bobby Singleton said after senators eliminated an amendment seeking exceptions to the abortion ban.
"You're saying to my daughter you don't matter in the state of Alabama... It's ok for men to rape you and you're gonna have his baby if you get pregnant," he added, his voice sometimes breaking with emotion.
Other states follow
Missouri senators are set to take up one of the nation's most restrictive proposed abortion bans.
The Republican-led Senate is expected to consider legislation to ban most abortions after eight weeks pregnancy before lawmakers' Friday deadline to pass bills.
The only exception would be in cases of medical emergencies, not rape or incest.
If approved, Missouri would join four other states that have passed bans on abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. That can occur about six weeks into a pregnancy.
The Missouri bill comes as abortion opponents across the U.S. push for new restrictions in hopes that the more conservative U.S. Supreme Court will overturn its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion.
The Missouri measure also includes a near-total ban on abortion, but that would only kick in if Roe v. Wade is overturned.