‘I think we raped women last night’, says Alabama Democrat as abortion bill passes

Olivia Petter

After Alabama’s state senate voted to pass the strictest abortion law in the US on Tuesday, virtually outlawing the procedure in every instance, one Democratic senator spoke powerfully about the implications of the decision, saying “I think we raped women last night”.

In an interview with CNN on Wednesday morning, Senate minority leader Bobby Singleton described the bill as “horrible” and urged the Republicans who voted in favour of it to go home to their wives, daughters and sisters and “look them in the face to say what they did”.

Singleton went on to speak about a hypothetical scenario in which his daughter was raped and, under the new laws, would have to tell her to carry the baby for nine months “and look that rapist in the face for the rest of her life”.

“I just couldn’t take it as a father,” he said, “so I had to speak up for women all over the country, for women in the state of Alabama, because this was just wrong.”

Singleton delivered a powerful speech the previous evening in the Senate chamber of Alabama’s State House as the lawmakers prepared to pass the bill.

The senator, who has two daughters aged nine and 10, held back tears as he told the chamber, “What you just said to my little girl is that ‘It’s okay for a man to rape you, and you got to have his baby if you get pregnant”.

“You just said to my daughter, ‘you don’t matter. That the state of Alabama don’t care nothing about you, baby’.

"I got to go home and tell her that ‘you can just be raped by one of your uncles or your cousins, or somebody could just rape you and impregnate you, and you got to carry this baby under Alabama law. Because baby, if you have this abortion, this doctor is going to go to jail for 99 years’.”

On Wednesday, the governor of Alabama signed a bill banning almost all abortions, except in instances where there is a "serious health risk" to the mother. This came one day after the state Senate passed the bill on Tuesday 25-6. It is now set to take effect in six months.

A number of female celebrities have spoken out in light of the news, including Jameela Jamil, Milla Jovocich and, most recently, Lady Gaga, who described the ban as an "outrage" on Twitter.