Alabama House Passes Law Banning Abortion After Fetal Heartbeat Detected, Even In The Case Of Rape Or Incest

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The Alabama House of Representatives passed the nation's strictest abortion measure on Tuesday, one that bans all abortions the moment a fetal heartbeat can be detected, even if the pregnancy was conceived through rape or incest

The House voted 73-29 for the measure, which would eliminate most abortions in the state. The bill now goes to the Senate.

A fetal heartbeat can be detected in a fetus as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

The bill has no exceptions for women who become pregnant through rape or incest.

Jennifer Dalven, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Reproductive Freedom Project, called the measure “blatantly” unconstitutional.

"It would be the most extreme law by far in the country," Dalven told the Chicago Tribune.

North Dakota passed a similar fetal heartbeat ban, but a federal judge blocked its enforcement.

Africa-American Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Ala., accused House Republicans who supported the bill of being hypocritical.

"Ninety-nine percent of those of you sitting here now, you know if your daughter got pregnant by a black man, you're going to make her have an abortion," Holmes said. "You're not going to let her have the baby."

The House also passed measures Tuesday to extend the waiting period for an abortion from 24 to 48 hours, require parents to present a birth certificate or adoption papers when giving consent to a minor, and require mothers seeking an abortion for a fetus with diseases or birth defects to be informed about hospice care for the child.

Sources: NBC News, Chicago Tribune