The Alabama senate has passed the most restrictive abortion bill in the United States, which places a near-total ban on the termination of pregnancy – even in cases of rape and incest – and could punish doctors who perform the procedure with life in prison.
The text passed by the Republican-led senate has been sent to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk for signature into law and, if approved, is expected to trigger a legal battle which could reach the Supreme Court.
Under the bill, performing an abortion is a crime that could land doctors who perform it in prison for 10 to 99 years. Abortions would only be legal if the life of the mother is in danger or the fetus has a fatal condition.
The largest human rights defence organisation in the United States, the ACLU, promised to file a lawsuit to block its implementation, saying the vote showed “how little they (conservative lawmakers) regard bodily autonomy”.
“This bill punishes victims of rape and incest by further taking away control over their own bodies and forcing them to give birth,” it added.
The National Organization for Women called the bill “unconstitutional” and said its passage would “send women in the state back to the dark days of policy makers having control over their bodies, health, and lives.”
Alabama Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth, who also presides over the state senate, greeted the bill’s passage as a “strong step toward defending the rights of the unborn.”
“With liberal states approving radical late-term and post-birth abortions, Roe must be challenged, and I am proud that Alabama is leading the way,” he added.
The bill’s backers have expressly said they want to bring the case to the Supreme Court.
Now that the top US court has a conservative majority in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election, some Republicans want to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling that recognised women’s right to abortion.
34 US Troops Left With Brain Injuries After Iran’s Revenge Airstrikes
About thirty-four US soldiers have been diagnosed with concussion or traumatic brain injury following the Iranian missile attack on US bases, the Pentagon has confirmed.
The strikes were launched on January 8 in retaliation for the death of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani who was killed in a United States drone strike ordered by President Donald Trump.
The Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, said on Friday that eight service members who had been previously transported to Germany had been moved to the United States.
This comes days after Trump played down the injuries, saying service personnel had suffered “headaches” in the aftermath.
President Trump had said that the US “suffered no casualties” from the attack, which was a reprisal for the US drone strike assassination of the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani.
Questioned later about reports of brain injury, Trump downplayed their severity: “I heard that they had headaches. And a couple of other things. But I would say, and I can report, it is not very serious.”
Hoffman confirmed the injuries on Friday, adding: “This is a snapshot in time, what he wanted to make sure is that you’re provided with the most accurate numbers.”
Michael Kaplen, chair of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Services Coordinating Council and past president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State said that he was “shocked at the ignorant statement” made by Trump.
“To equate traumatic brain injuries as just a headache is insulting and disrespectful to the thousands of military service members suffering from the signature wound of the Iraq/Afghanistan conflict,” he said.
He added that the condition, also known as TBI, is a “life-altering” injury.
“It’s physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral consequences affect every aspect of an individual’s life,” he said. “A brain injury is only ‘mild’ if it is someone else’s brain. There is nothing “mild” about a mild brain injury.”
BREAKING: Coronavirus Cases Confirmed In France, First In Europe
Two cases of the coronavirus have been “confirmed” in France, the first in Europe, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said on Friday.
The first case involved a patient in a hospital in the southwestern city of Bordeaux while the other was in Paris, the minister told reporters.
The SARS-like virus has claimed 26 lives since it emerged on December 31 in a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
As of Friday, more than 800 people have been infected across China, with 177 in serious condition. Authorities were also examining 1,072 suspected case.
6 Killed In Germany Mass Shooting
Six people have been confirmed dead in a mass shooting which occurred in the town of Rot am See in southwestern Germany, on Friday January 24.
The Police has already announced the arrest of a suspect after the shooting which took place at 12:45 p.m. (1145 GMT) Friday near the town’s train station.
Aalen police spokesman Rudolf Biehlmaier told German broadcaster n-tv that initial information suggested that the suspect, a German citizen and one or more of the victims knew each other.
Biehlmaier who confirmed that some of the victims belonged to the same family, said more information will be released at a news conference with prosecutors and local officials at 4:30 p.m.
The police spokesperson said;
“According to my information, there were six dead and several injured. We are working on the assumption that this was a single attacker.”