By Rachel Mikva, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Chicago Theological Seminary. First published on The Conversation.
Alabama’s governor signed a bill this week that criminalizes nearly all abortions, threatening providers with a felony conviction and up to 99 years in prison.
It is one of numerous efforts across the United States to restrict access to abortion and challenge the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide.
Six states have recently passed legislation that limit abortions to approximately six weeks after the end of a woman’s last period, before many know they are pregnant. Although the laws have not yet taken effect and several have been blocked on constitutional grounds, if enacted they would prohibit most abortions once a doctor can hear rhythmic electrical impulses in the developing fetus.