5-speed listening (Level 6)

Alabama state sued over abortion bill



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Two high-profile groups in the USA have filed a lawsuit to challenge the near-total abortion ban in the state of Alabama. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the non-profit organization Planned Parenthood want the law overturned. The ACLU tweeted: "We've been clear. If you attack our constitutional right to reproductive freedom, we will sue." The bill is called the "Human Life Protection Act". It bans all abortions in the state, except when it "is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk" to the mother. The bill criminalizes the procedure and reclassifies abortion as a Class A crime. Doctors who perform an abortion could be imprisoned for up to 99 years.

Passions are running high in Alabama over the abortion bill. One of the biggest points of disagreement with the bill is that it contains no exceptions for incest and rape. President Donald Trump said he did not support the ban because of the lack of exceptions. The Alabama House of Representatives and the state Senate overwhelmingly rejected attempts to include those exceptions in the law. Alabama's governor said even after incest and rape, life is of the utmost importance. She said: "This legislation stands as a powerful testament...that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God." The two groups pushing for the law to be reversed said it was a "manmade public health emergency".

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