Alabama Women Worried New Law Means an Immediate End to Abortion Flood Clinics With Calls - NBC New York

Alabama Women Worried New Law Means an Immediate End to Abortion Flood Clinics With Calls

On the street in Montgomery, some women interviewed by NBC News said they were not put off by the fact that the exceptions for rape or incest were not included in the bill

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    Alabama Women Worried New Law Means an Immediate End to Abortion Flood Clinics With Calls
    Hal Yeager/Alabama Governor's Office via AP
    This photograph released by the state shows Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signing a bill that virtually outlaws abortion in the state on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Montgomery, Ala. Republicans who support the measure hope challenges to the law will be used by conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion nationwide.

    The phones began ringing at the clinic not long after the Alabama governor signed a bill that would ban nearly all abortions in the state, including in cases of rape and incest. The desperate women calling the POWER House, home of Montgomery’s only abortion clinic, all wanted to know the same thing, NBC News reports.

    “They’re asking: ‘Can we still come in? Are you still open?’” said volunteer Bianca Cameron-Schwiesow. “They’re in a panic and they’re scared. And we say that is fine, you can still come in, because they don’t realize that this is going to stay open for the next six months.”

    If not longer. The law is supposed to go into effect in six months, but likely legal challenges from the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood mean it could be years before the controversial Alabama law is enforced, experts have said.

    “They are still terrified though,” said Margot Heartline, who also volunteers at POWER (People Organizing for Women’s Empowerment and Rights). They fear “they’re going to be thrown in jail if they go to a clinic.”

    Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    [NATL] Watch: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Full Opening Statement at House Hearing on Reparations

    Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of “The Case for Reparations,” testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee during a hearing on whether the United States should consider compensation for the descendants of slaves. 

    He delivered a rebuttal to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's comments that "no one currently alive was responsible for that," which Coates called a "strange theory of governance." 

    "Well into this century the United States was still paying out pensions to the heirs of civil war soldiers," he said. "We honor treaties that date back some 200 years despite no one being alive who signed those treaties. Many of us would love to be taxed for the things we are solely and individually responsible for. But we are American citizens and this bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach."

    (Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019)