Alabama's governor defends near-total abortion ban bill, but doesn't commit to signing

Brad Harper

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey told reporters Wednesday that her office hadn’t gotten a bill that would criminalize abortion in nearly all cases, and that she’d have to review it before making a decision.

She then defended some of the bill’s most contentious points.

The Alabama Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would make it a Class A felony, punishable by life or 10 to 99 years in prison, for a doctor to perform an abortion in the state. Attempting to perform an abortion would be a Class C felony, punishable by one to 10 years in prison.

The Senate rejected an amendment that would have put in exceptions for rape and incest. Ivey was asked Wednesday about victims of rape and incest who would be required by law to carry their babies to term.

“All human life is precious,” she said.

If signed into law, it would likely trigger a costly legal battle for the state. Ivey dismissed that as a concern.

“You certainly cannot deter your efforts to protect the unborn because of cost, even if it means going to the United States Supreme Court,” she said.

Ivey said she expected to get the bill later Wednesday.

More: End Roe v. Wade? Here's what would happen next

If she signs it, the ban would take effect six months after her signature. If she vetoes it, a simple majority in both chambers could override the veto. It passed the House 74 to 3 and passed the Senate 25 to 6.

She spoke after a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama’s new, $388 million engine plant. The ceremony happened on a day when “#BoycottAlabama” was one of the trending hashtags on social media.

Asked if she was concerned that the abortion bill and its backlash could make it more difficult to recruit business to the state, she said only that Alabama is “open for business.”

“It’s a great place to do business,” Ivey said. “We’ve got a business-friendly environment.”

More: After Alabama's abortion bill, Missouri could be next

Bryan Lyman contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Alabama's governor defends near-total abortion ban bill, but doesn't commit to signing