WASHINGTON – Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, who’s up for re-election subsequent 12 months, slammed his state’s new restrictive abortion legislation Thursday, calling it “unconstitutional” and “irresponsible’’ and saying it shines a damaging highlight on his house state.
“This invoice, frankly, is shameful. It’s callous,” Jones instructed reporters in a cellphone name. “We have to name this invoice what it’s. We have to name it what Pat Robertson mentioned it’s – excessive. It’s the most excessive abortion ban within the nation.’’
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a invoice into legislation Wednesday that will criminalize abortion in practically all circumstances. It could solely enable exceptions if the mom’s bodily or psychological well being is in jeopardy. Proponents mentioned the purpose to problem Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court docket resolution that struck down state bans on abortion within the first trimester of being pregnant.
Jones mentioned he’s “deeply disenchanted with the acute invoice,” which he mentioned makes use of rape and incest victims as “political pawns.”
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The legislation, essentially the most restrictive within the nation, places Alabama within the nationwide highlight once more.
Jones’ Senate race garnered nationwide consideration in 2017 when he pulled off an upset in opposition to Republican Roy Moore to win a particular election for the seat. Alabama hadn’t despatched a Democrat to the Senate in about 25 years. He’s considered one of two Democrats in Alabama’s nine-member congressional delegation.
Jones, a Democrat in a purple state, is predicted to be in a aggressive race in 2020. Opponents are anticipated to concentrate on his document within the Senate. Neighborhood teams say they’re additionally rigorously monitoring his document.
Jones was not alone Thursday in criticizing Alabama’s new legislation. Home Democrats additionally took purpose.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California known as it a “heartbreaking and unconstitutional assault on primary reproductive freedoms… I don’t wish to be a worry monger, however I do imagine they’re attempting to go on a path that may completely dismantle Roe v. Wade and we’ve to be vigilant and specific our issues on this.”
Even some Republicans, who oppose abortion, mentioned the Alabama legislation goes too far.
Minority Chief Kevin McCarthy of California mentioned he has defended his “pro-life place,” however believes there are exceptions together with rape, incest, or lifetime of the mom. “That’s precisely what Republicans have voted on on this Home,’’ he mentioned.
Republicans in Congress have tried to maneuver a number of items of laws that will limit entry to abortions, although none have gone so far as the Alabama legislation. Final 12 months, Home Republicans handed a invoice that will ban abortion after 20 weeks. The invoice failed within the Senate. This 12 months, Home Republicans, now within the minority, have failed greater than a dozen instances to amend numerous items of unrelated laws with an anti-abortion provision.
Jones mentioned there may be little Congress can do to undo the Alabama legislation and he doesn’t count on lawmakers to strive.
“This can be a very polarizing situation up right here,’’ he mentioned.
Jones mentioned he expects different teams to problem the legislation within the courts. That combat, he mentioned, will value Alabama taxpayers tens of millions.
“I actually hope that our state legislature stops taking part in politics and begins specializing in insurance policies that completely strengthen household,” he mentioned.
Jones mentioned there must be extra of a concentrate on well being care points for youngsters and girls. He famous that Alabama has one of many highest toddler mortality charges within the nation and a rising maternal mortality charge.
“That’s being neglected and overshadowed by what has occurred within the final couple of weeks,” he mentioned.
Contributing: Eliza Collins, Maureen Groppe and Brian Lyman of the Montgomery Advertiser ###
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones calls state’s new restrictive abortion legislation ‘shameful’