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Lawmakers in the American state of Alabama have given final approval to a ban on nearly all abortions. The bill is part of an effort in several states to have the U.S. Supreme Court reconsider a women's right to end a pregnancy.

Alabama's Republican governor, who has long identified as anti-abortion, signed the bill into law on Wednesday.

The states of Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have all recently approved bans on abortion once a fetus's heartbeat is detected. A heartbeat can develop by the sixth week of a woman's pregnancy. That is before most women know they are pregnant.

The Alabama bill goes further. It seeks to ban all abortions, even in cases of rape. The only exception would be when a woman or girl's health is at serious risk.

The bill would punish doctors who provide abortions with up to 99 years or life in prison. Under the bill, women seeking or undergoing abortions would not be punished.

Aiming to overturn Roe v. Wade

Alabama Senator Clyde Chambliss argued in support of the bill. The Republican lawmaker said the reason for passing the bill was "so that we can go directly to the Supreme Court to challenge Roe versus Wade."
阿拉巴马州参议员克莱德·查布利斯(Clyde Chambliss)主张支持该法案。这位共和党议员表示,通过这项法案的理由是,“这样我们就能直接向最高法院挑战罗伊诉韦德案。”

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that a Texas law criminalizing abortion violated a woman's constitutional right to privacy. The ruling, known as Roe v. Wade, protected a woman's right to choose whether to have an abortion.

America's legal system is based on the principle that courts follow rulings laid down in earlier judicial decisions. The Roe v. Wade ruling has faced repeated challenges but has not been overturned.

However, with the addition of two new conservative justices that President Donald Trump appointed to the court, anti-abortion lawmakers hope to have the ruling overturned.

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court with its conservative majority voted 5-4 to overturn an unrelated Supreme Court case from 1979. In dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer noted, "Today's decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the court will overrule next."
本周早些时候,最高法院以5对4的保守多数优势推翻了一项来自于1979年的跟最高法院无关的案件。持有异议的斯蒂芬·布雷耶(Stephen Breyer)大法官指出,“今天的裁决只会让人怀疑,最高法院下次将会推翻哪些案件。”

Back in Alabama, Senator Chambliss said, "While we cannot undo the damage that decades of legal precedence under Roe have caused, this bill has the opportunity to save the lives of millions of unborn children."


Critics have promised to challenge the bill. Randall Marshall, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, said his organization is writing a complaint.
批评者承诺要对该法案提出挑战。阿拉巴马州美国公民自由联盟的主任兰德尔·马歇尔(Randall Marshall)说,该联盟正在写投诉信。

Democrats criticized the ban as a way to control women and as a waste of taxpayer money. Democratic Senator Bobby Singleton said that under the ban, doctors who perform abortions could serve more prison time than rapists.
民主党人批评这项禁令是一种控制女性的方式,也是浪费纳税人的钱。民主党参议员鲍比·辛格尔顿(Bobby Singleton)表示,根据这项禁令,堕胎的医生可能比强奸犯还要蹲更久监狱。

The group Physicians for Reproductive Health said the near total ban on abortions would have a disastrous effect on healthcare. In a statement, board member Dr. Yashica Robinson said, "Physicians will be unwilling to help patients in need, even when continuing pregnancy is detrimental to a patient's health...out of fear of being scrutinized by the criminal justice system."
生殖健康医生组织表示,几乎全面禁止堕胎将会对医疗保健产生灾难性影响。执委会成员Yashica Robinson在一份声明中表示:“由于担心受到刑事司法制度的严格审查,医生会不愿意帮助有需要的患者,即使继续怀孕对患者的健康有害。”

In answer to the new laws against abortion rights, American actor and activist Alyssa Milano has called for a sex strike using the social media hashtag #SexStrike. She urged women to refuse sex with men "until we get our bodily autonomy back."
在回应新的反堕胎权利的法律时,美国演员和活动家Alyssa Milano在社交媒体上使用“性罢工”的标签呼吁进行性罢工。她督促女性拒绝与男性发生性关系,“直到我们恢复身体的自主权为止。”

I'm Ashley Thompson.