State Abortion Bans Fuel Battles in US High Court
Lawmakers in the American state of Alabama have given final approval to a ban on nearly all abortions. The bill is part of an effort in several states to have the U.S. Supreme Court reconsider a women's right to end a pregnancy.
Alabama's Republican governor, who has long identified as anti-abortion, signed the bill into law on Wednesday.
The states of Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have all recently approved bans on abortion once a fetus's heartbeat is detected. A heartbeat can develop by the sixth week of a woman's pregnancy. That is before most women know they are pregnant.
The Alabama bill goes further. It seeks to ban all abortions, even in cases of rape. The only exception would be when a woman or girl's health is at serious risk.
The bill would punish doctors who provide abortions with up to 99 years or life in prison. Under the bill, women seeking or undergoing abortions would not be punished.
Aiming to overturn Roe v. Wade
Alabama Senator Clyde Chambliss argued in support of the bill. The Republican lawmaker said the reason for passing the bill was "so that we can go directly to the Supreme Court to challenge Roe versus Wade."
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that a Texas law criminalizing abortion violated a woman's constitutional right to privacy. The ruling, known as Roe v. Wade, protected a woman's right to choose whether to have an abortion.
America's legal system is based on the principle that courts follow rulings laid down in earlier judicial decisions. The Roe v. Wade ruling has faced repeated challenges but has not been overturned.
However, with the addition of two new conservative justices that President Donald Trump appointed to the court, anti-abortion lawmakers hope to have the ruling overturned.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court with its conservative majority voted 5-4 to overturn an unrelated Supreme Court case from 1979. In dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer noted, "Today's decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the court will overrule next."
Back in Alabama, Senator Chambliss said, "While we cannot undo the damage that decades of legal precedence under Roe have caused, this bill has the opportunity to save the lives of millions of unborn children."
Critics have promised to challenge the bill. Randall Marshall, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, said his organization is writing a complaint.
Democrats criticized the ban as a way to control women and as a waste of taxpayer money. Democratic Senator Bobby Singleton said that under the ban, doctors who perform abortions could serve more prison time than rapists.
The group Physicians for Reproductive Health said the near total ban on abortions would have a disastrous effect on healthcare. In a statement, board member Dr. Yashica Robinson said, "Physicians will be unwilling to help patients in need, even when continuing pregnancy is detrimental to a patient's health...out of fear of being scrutinized by the criminal justice system."
In answer to the new laws against abortion rights, American actor and activist Alyssa Milano has called for a sex strike using the social media hashtag #SexStrike. She urged women to refuse sex with men "until we get our bodily autonomy back."
I'm Ashley Thompson.
1.in need 在危难中
You were a brick, a real friend in need.
2.called for 呼吁
Some executive members have called for his resignation.
3.social media 社交媒体
We have all witnessed the power of social media.
4.justice system 司法系统；司法制度
He did not want to reform the criminal justice system in its totality.
5.Physicians will be unwilling to help patients in need, even when continuing pregnancy is detrimental to a patient's health...out of fear of being scrutinized by the criminal justice system.
out of fear of 害怕...
They left the country out of fear of persecution.
I refrain from no endeavor out of fear of unsatisfactory results.
6.It seeks to ban all abortions, even in cases of rape.
In case of 万一；如果
In case of rain, the picnic will be postponed to next week.
In case of fire, call the police station.
万一发生火灾， 请打电话到警察局 。
美国阿拉巴马州议员最终通过了一项几乎全面禁止堕胎的法案 。该法案是美国几个州要求最高法院重新审议妇女堕胎权的努力的一部分 。
最近，肯塔基州、密西西比州、俄亥俄州以及佐治亚州纷纷批准了该项禁令，一旦检测到胎儿心跳就禁止堕胎 。女性怀孕6周后胎儿就会产生心跳，此时大多数女性尚未发现自己怀孕 。
阿拉巴马州的法案更进一步 。该州想要禁止所有堕胎，即使强奸案也不例外 。唯一的特例是在女性健康受到威胁的情况下 。
该法案将会对帮助堕胎的医生处以99年的刑期或终生监禁 。根据该法案，寻求堕胎或正在堕胎的女性不会受到惩罚 。
阿拉巴马州参议员克莱德·查布利斯（Clyde Chambliss）表示支持该法案 。这位共和党议员表示，通过这项法案的理由是，“这样我们就能直接向最高法院挑战罗伊诉韦德案 。”
美国最高法院1973年裁定，德克萨斯州一项认定堕胎违法的法律侵犯了宪法赋予妇女的隐私权 。这项被称为“罗伊诉韦德案”的裁决保护了妇女是否选择堕胎的权利 。
美国的法律体系是建立在法院遵循早期司法裁决中规定的原则上的 。罗伊诉韦德案的裁决曾多次面临挑战，但没有被推翻 。
本周早些时候，最高法院以5对4的保守多数优势推翻了1979年最高法院的一项与此案无关的案件 。对此持有异议的斯蒂芬·布雷耶（Stephen Breyer）大法官指出，“今天的裁决只会令人生疑，最高法院接下来还会推翻哪些案件 。”
继续看阿拉巴马州，参议员查布利斯表示：“尽管我们无法消除 。罗伊诉韦德案判决数十年的法律优先地位所造成的损害，但是这项法案有望拯救数百万未出生孩子的生命 。”
批评者已经承诺要对该法案发起挑战 。阿拉巴马州美国公民自由联盟的主任兰德尔·马歇尔（Randall Marshall）表示，该联盟正在写投诉信 。
民主党人批评这项禁令是一种控制女性的手段，是浪费纳税人的钱 。民主党参议员鲍比·辛格尔顿(Bobby Singleton)表示，根据这项禁令，实施堕胎的医生可能比强奸犯服刑更久 。
生殖健康医生组织表示，几乎全面禁止堕胎将对医疗保健产生灾难性影响 。执委会成员Yashica Robinson在一份声明中表示：“医生将不愿意帮助有需要的患者，即使继续怀孕对患者的健康有害……因为他们害怕受到刑事司法制度的审查 。”
作为对反堕胎新法律的回应，美国演员和活动家Alyssa Milano在社交媒体上以“性罢工”的标签呼吁进行性罢工 。她督促女性拒绝与男性发生性关系，“直到我们恢复身体的自主权 。”