May 16, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As pro-lifers celebrate Alabama’s newly-enacted law to criminalize almost all abortions, the reaction from Democrat politicians, left-wing personalities, and pro-abortion activists has been decidedly more hostile.
The Alabama Human Life Protection Act bans abortion for any reason other than to “avert (a mother’s) death or to avert serious risk of substantial physical impairment of a major bodily function” (mental or emotional health would not qualify). It makes physicians committing an abortion a Class A felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison and attempting to committ an abortion a Class C felony punishable by up to ten years.
The Act passed the state legislature Wednesday after overcoming attempts to dilute it with rape and incest exceptions, and Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed it into law later that day, declaring it “stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.”
The state chapter of the left-wing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says it’s preparing a lawsuit to block the law from taking effect—something bill supporters actually look forward to, as the measure was meant to provoke a legal battle culminating in a review of Roe v. Wade—but in the meantime, their allies in the political, activist, and media spheres are making their feelings known.
The Democrats running for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination took to social media to declare that the law “extreme” and an “utter disgrace.” They claimed it would harm women and demanded that it “be declared unconstitutional”:
Republicans in AL, FL, GA, and OH are ushering in laws that clearly violate Roe v Wade and they should be declared unconstitutional. Roe v Wade is settled law and should not be overturned. This choice should remain between a woman and her doctor.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 15, 2019
The governor of Alabama just signed a near-total ban on abortion. What an utter disgrace.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 15, 2019
We must say loud and clear that women's health care is under attack. We will not stand for it and we won’t go down without a fight. Too much is at stake.https://t.co/YYLUhN5ZcG
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 15, 2019
Twenty-five men in the Alabama Senate passed this ban. Women across the country are watching and we will fight back. https://t.co/3XxEzq7bWB
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 15, 2019
The Alabama legislature is ignoring science, criminalizing abortion, and punishing women.
Instead, the government's role should be to make sure all women have access to comprehensive affordable care, and that includes safe and legal abortion.https://t.co/pU0rKy0fED
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) May 15, 2019
Planned Parenthood CEO Leana Wen claimed that signing the pro-life law marks a “terrifying time for women in Alabama,” while NARAL president Ilyse Hogue teased “big plans to fight back in the coming days with actions in all 50 states”:
Last night, 25 white men voted to take away women’s right to safe, legal abortion. This is a terrifying time for women in Alabama & across the country, but we are demanding access to the healthcare we need.
I want to thank the 2020 candidates for defending our rights. Thread ⤵️
— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) May 15, 2019
Governor of Alabama just signed a total abortion ban into law. This is a tipping point. We've got big plans to fight back in the coming days with actions in all 50 states. Sign up for more info at https://t.co/AqDRUxMCDD. Retweet cuz we are all in this together! #StoptheBans
— ilyse hogue (@ilyseh) May 15, 2019
Echoing a common talking point, New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested that the law would make abortion punishable with jail time, including “women victimized by rape+incest,” while lamenting the lack of “added punishments for rapists.” In fact, the law specifies that all penalties fall on the abortionist and a “woman who receives an abortion will not be held criminally culpable or civilly liable.”
Alabama lawmakers are making all abortions a felony punishable w jailtime,incl women victimized by rape+incest.
Of course, no added punishments for rapists.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 15, 2019
In addition, the Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles noted that Alabama already “has some of the toughest rape laws in the country,” with first-degree rape qualifying as a Class A felony punishable by up to 99 years, the same classification as committing an abortion under the new law.
Numerous entertainment personalities rallied against the law as well, People reports. Singer Lady Gaga called it “heinous” and an “outrage” and former Captain America star Chris Evans called it “absolutely unbelievable,” while Bravo talk host Andy Cohen “there is a cold place in hell for the Alabama Senate.” Actress Alyssa Milano, who has been leading the charge against Georgia’s more moderate heartbeat abortion ban, tweeted a photo of herself holding her daughter and declaring “her rights are human rights”:
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 15, 2019
Notably, several right-of-center voices, including conservative pundit Ben Shapiro, Human Events publisher Will Chamberlain, National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru, Townhall’s Guy Benson, and even 700 Club televangelist Pat Robertson objected to the bill on largely-strategic grounds, arguing that it will fail to overturn Roe, and that without without a rape exception it may be too “extreme” for voters to accept.
“Well, you cowards can be uncomfortable all you want,” conservative pundit Matt Walsh responded. “Just step out of the way because we're having this fight whether you like it or not.”