Why is Alabama tightening its abortion law?

In Alabama there will be only one exception to the ban on abortion in the future: if the life of the pregnant women is in acute danger. The Republican-led, deeply religious state of Alabama is set to introduce the most restrictive abortion law in the US - even post-rape abortion will become illegal. Journalists are appalled and speculate on how it came to this.

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Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

Full steam backwards

This is what social regression looks like, writes the Tages-Anzeiger:

“It is impossible to believe that the status of women has worsened like this in 2019. Once again, women are being denied the right to self-determination regarding their own bodies. The same circles that see themselves as the guardians of life in the fight against abortion appear to have no problem with mothers and children in precarious situations falling victim to a broken health system. Alabama has voted for life, and anti-abortionists are celebrating. And for all the hypocrisy, they are not even blushing.”

The Guardian (GB) /

Foetus is not the focus

The reasons given for the radically tightened abortion law in Alabama are nothing but lies, writes The Guardian:

“No one at this point in the US abortion debate can believe that the foetus is the focus. It's not about the foetus, it's about the woman. An abortion ban as radical as the one voted for in Alabama is about the elimination of women - particularly poor women - as a threat to the social order; it is a measure designed to ensure that poor people stay poor, and women stay home. ... It is hard enough, in a state such as Alabama, to get the courage up to go to an abortion clinic. But to have to travel vast distances for a frightening procedure that is illegal at home might be for many, too much.”

Libération (FR) /

Secularism more important than ever

France's firmly embedded separation of Church and state is highly relevant again, observes the editor-in-chief Laurent Joffrin in Libération:

“In Donald Trump's circles, in the Supreme Court, in Congress and in the Republican administrations of numerous US states, Evangelists and Pentacostalists are trying to anchor their archaic beliefs in the law, often with success. The same thing is happening in numerous countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. This dogmatic invasion is curtailing women's rights, increasing discrimination against homosexuals and forcing reason and knowledge into regression. The struggle for secularism, which all too often we take for granted, is proving to be incredibly relevant on a global scale.”

Večernji list (HR) /

Men unite against women's rights

The decision of the Alabama State Senate is a fundamental attack on women's rights, states Večernji list:

“Advocates of legal abortion as well as Democratic Party politicians described the events in Alabama as a 'black day for all women' in Alabama and the rest of the US. It's interesting that all the senators who voted in favour of the law are men, which many see as another assault by men on women's rights. ... Anti-abortion activists got a boost when Donald Trump won the presidential election because even during the election campaign he was describing himself as an opponent of abortion.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

Women's freedom and health at stake

Aftonbladet is scandalised by the new abortion law in Alabama:

“In the US feminists are calling for a sex strike in response. Actress Alyssa Milane, who also promoted the MeToo campaign, is among those arguing that women should deny men sex if men (and women) deny women their natural rights. ... Women's sexual liberation was an essential part of the fight for their rights. Women should be able to enjoy sex in the same carefree way as men, without disadvantages. ... The battle over abortion must be waged at the grassroots level and between politicians; how we vote here makes a huge difference. This is about women's health and freedom, because the abortion law saves lives.”

Polityka (PL) /

Warm-up for the elections

Polityka explains why Republicans are putting abortion on the agenda:

“The Republicans are passing the anti-abortion laws with a view to the elections in 2020. They want to reintroduce the abortion agenda, an issue that hadn't played a huge role in political campaigns so far but is heated nevertheless. The aim is to mobilise the voters for whom it is an important or perhaps the most important issue. That also includes conservative voters from the blue collar states in the rural Midwest - which in the 2016 election was a key region because it gave Trump the edge. But two years later, as the Congress elections last year showed, he seems to be losing them.”