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Alabama Attorney General prepares to defend most restrictive abortion ban in the country

(IMG: WPMI) Alabama Attorney General prepares to defend most restrictive abortion ban in the country
(IMG: WPMI) Alabama Attorney General prepares to defend most restrictive abortion ban in the country

Governor Kay Ivey signed the most restrictive abortion bill in the nation into law Wednesday. The bill would make the procedure at any phase during a pregnancy a felony. Doctors could face up to 99 years in prison.

The only exception is when a pregnancy is a serious health risk to the mother. Attorney General Steve Marshall says he is ready to fight for the rights of the unborn.

"The Attorney General's responsibility is to defend the laws of this state, and we're going to do this vigorously. As somebody who strongly supports the right to life, I very much embrace this fight," said

While the abortion clinic in Mobile is temporarily closed due to renovations, there are four others open in Alabama. They’re located in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Montgomery and Huntsville. Planned Parenthood operates the clinics in Mobile and Birmingham but vows to fight for all clinics in the state to remain open.

"What we want people in Alabama to know right now, is that abortion is safe, legal and available in Alabama and we are going to do everything in our power to make sure that remains the case," said spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Barbara Ann Luttrell.

Marshall says he's already thought about legal arguments to support the law.

"To be able to show how science has changed, how the knowledge has changed and eventually be able to allow the court to re-examine what it was factually they used to base their decision on Roe v. Wade," said Marshall.

"Let's be really clear that outlawing abortion does not eliminate abortion. It just eliminates safe, legal abortion. And the consequences are women die," said Luttrell.

Alabama State Senator Cam Ward told Yellowhammer this afternoon, he voted for the bill but has some concerns about legal costs for the cash-strapped state. In 2016, Alabama paid $1.7 million tax dollars to the American Civil Liberties Union after federal courts struck down an Alabama law that required doctors performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges.