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Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe.

Weinberg calls Alabama abortion law an ‘absolute horror’

Measure effectively bans almost all abortions

By Nikita Biryukov, May 16 2019 11:09 am

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg slammed Alabama lawmakers over the passage of a bill that effectively bans abortions at all stages of pregnancy in the state.

“It is an absolute horror,” Weinberg said. “I almost feel like it’s Groundhog Day. We won this battle 40 years ago, and I have news for the men of Alabama and the men of Georgia and all the other people that have led this movement back to the 19th century: Women have always been pro-choice, and they will continue to be pro-choice whether these guys like it or not.”

Under the law, which Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law Thursday, doctors can be charged with a felony and face up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion in almost all circumstances, including in cases of rape or incest.

The law does include an exception for cases in which the pregnancy poses significant risk to the mother’s life.

Weinberg said those restrictions would endanger Alabama women.

“These kinds of laws make sure that women get back-alley abortions, self-induced abortions and will be living and dying in a lot less safe of an atmosphere, and it’s disgusting,” she said.

Civil and abortion-rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have pledged to mount legal challenges to the bill.

The measure’s supporters expect it to lose those challenges.

They hope that their appeals make it to the Supreme Court of the United States and eventually overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Weinberg said she would like to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, who has frequently sued to stop policies implemented by President Donald Trump, add his weight to the legal challenges against the bill, adding that it was unclear whether he had an avenue to do so because early legal fights over the measure will take place in Alabama courts.

“I don’t know what the legal road is to do that, I’m not a lawyer and I couldn’t possibly figure that out,” Weinberg said. “But if there is one, I hope we take it.”

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