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The abortion ban approved Tuesday night by the Alabama Senate and signed into law Wednesday by Republican Governor Kay Ivey is more than just the most restrictive legislation passed by any state in the 46 years since the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide.It is also the opening of a new front in the abortion wars, and the clearest statement yet that the tsunami of state abortion restrictions introduced this year is less about actually enforcing those particular restrictions than about giving the justices an opportunity to reverse the 1973 ruling.

“It’s like a racehorse in the Kentucky Derby — blinders on all side,” said Democratic Sen. Rodger Smitherman shortly after he voted against the bill, which would ban all abortions for any reason and carry prison sentences of 99 years to life for doctors who perform them. “They just keep on this Roe v. Wade thing.”


译者注:1972年,得克萨斯州两个年轻的女权主义者萨拉·威丁顿和林达·科菲试图挑战当时的堕胎政策。她们选中了一名希望堕胎的21岁女子,化名为简·罗(JaneRoe),韦德(Wade)则是当时达拉斯县的检察官。几经周折,1973年 1月22日,美国联邦高院最后以7比2的表决,确认妇女决定是否继续怀孕的权利受到宪法上个人自主权和隐私权规定的保护,这等于承认美国堕胎的合法化。

The result is a multi-tiered conversation — one about abortion rights, one about abortion politics and one about legal strategy.


In the first, pro-choice groups cite polls that consistently show public support for Roe and opposition to the government involving itself in women’s medical decisions; anti-abortion groups portray abortion as murder, not medical care.


In the second, both groups fundraise and create petitions — to unseat legislators who don’t vote their way, to persuade governors to sign or veto legislation, and, in the case of pro-choice coalitions, to urge blue state legislators to strengthen abortion rights as red states weaken them.


And on the third level, both groups try to predict which cases the newly constituted court might accept and how they might rule. It is the newest territory in this evolving landscape, where strategy is still being debated.


“What we’re seeing now is much more of a full-frontal attack” on abortion rights and access compared with recent years, Elizabeth Nash, a senior state issues manager at the Guttmacher Institute told Yahoo News. “We are seeing a real shift away from the incremental strategy that dominated abortion laws for decades and now we’re seeing the goal of banning abortion outright.”


Not all anti-abortion groups agree with the tactic, even if they are in sympathy with the broad aims. Conservative televangelist Pat Robertson said: “I think Alabama has gone too far. It’s an extreme law, and they want to challenge Roe v. Wade, but my humble view is this is not the case we want to bring to the Supreme Court because this one will lose.”


But those who crafted it predict that their overarching legislations will be more likely to be heard by the court.


“The back door hasn’t worked, I’ll just tell you,” said Rep. Rich Wingo, a Republican member of the Alabama House, who helped craft the ban, which compares abortion to Nazi concentration camps, Russian gulags, and genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia. Incremental methods to eradicate abortion “haven’t worked to date,” he said. “This is a yes or no, up or down.”
Alabama’s governor also welcomed the court fight.

阿拉巴马州众议院共和党议员里奇·温古(Rich Wingo)说:“我只能告诉你,后门不管用。”温古帮助起草了这项禁令,将堕胎与纳粹集中营、俄罗斯古拉格集中营以及卢旺达和柬埔寨的种族灭绝相提并

“No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable. As citizens of this great country, we must always respect the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court even when we disagree with their decisions,” Ivey wrote in a statement Wednesday. “Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.”


On a press call this morning with reporters, Planned Parenthood officials addressed questions of whether pro-choice groups are playing into the hands of anti-abortion groups by challenging all these laws. If the goal is to appeal a bill all the way to the Supreme Court, then perhaps not challenging them would stymie the strategy?


And there are some more creative pushbacks as well. In Alabama, Democratic Sen. Vivian Figures attempted to add amendments that would, among other things, make vasectomies a felony and require lawmakers who vote for the ban to personally pay the legal fees to defend it in court.