Alabama ’s Abortion Ban Isn’t Only About Abortion. Opponents Are Afraid it May Drive Doctors Out of the State

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey on May 15 signed into law the strictest abortion ban in the country, sparking fears not only about abortion access, but also about how the policy could worsen disparities that already endanger the health of women living in the south. The law, set to become enforceable in six months, bans nearly all abortions at all stages of pregnancy, with exceptions only for serious threats to the mother’s health. It also makes performing abortions a crime for doctors, who could be convicted of a felony and face up to 99 years in prison. Until the law is enforced, abortion is still legally available in Alabama. Abortion advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union have both vowed to bring legal action against the ban, which is intended to challenge the landmark Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, and say they are confident it will be found unconstitutional before it ever affects abortion access. But even if it is never enforced, opponents say the policy, and others like it introduced recently in nearby states including Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi, could dissuade doctors from practicing in the Southeast, an area already grappling with physician shortages and health inequities. “This law is putting doctors in an impossible position. Alabama is already facing a critical shortage of OB/GYNs, and this is going to further reduce health care access in a state that certainly needs it,” says Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen. And without exce...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized abortion Abortion Ban medicine politics public health Source Type: news

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