Alabama Abortion Ban Underscores U.S. Shift Toward Right

A new near-total abortion ban in the U.S. state of Alabama signals a conservative tilt in many parts of the United States, at a time when people on the left and right are increasingly divided, experts said.

On Wednesday, Kay Ivey, the state's governor, signed a new law that would ban all abortions, except in cases in which the mother's life is in danger, in the latest challenge to the 1973 landmark Supreme Court case that ruled that women have a right to have an abortion.

The Alabama law would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion, and even victims of rape and incest would not be permitted to terminate their pregnancies.

The ban is the latest in a trend toward more restrictive abortion policies, with the U.S. states of Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia and Mississippi recently creating similar bans, hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down the current law of the land, which considers many abortions to be a woman's right.

Some believe this is a reaction toward recent moves in states such as New York and Virginia to relax restrictions on late-term abortions.

A May 2018 Gallup poll found that 60 percent of the U.S. people believe abortion should be legal during the first trimester, although merely 13 percent believed women should be allowed to terminate their pregnancy during the third trimester.

"What you are seeing is people wanting to have a test case on what are the limits of (the current abortion laws) in front of the Supreme Court," Republican strategist and TV news personality Ford O'Connell told Xinhua.

Read more from Matthew Rusling at Xinhua 

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Analysis & Political Strategy