Things got heated in the Alabama Senate chamber on Thursday, when shouting erupted during a debate over a proposed abortion ban. The legislation was ultimately tabled with discussion to resume Tuesday, allowing senators to take the weekend to calm down.
What are the details?
The bill being considered would prohibit abortion in nearly all instances, and make “performing the procedure a felony punishable by up to 99 years imprisonment,” according to
The Washington Post.
While it passed by a procedural vote of 23 to 6 before debate began, the
Associated Press reported that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle became angry when “some Republicans stripped exceptions for rape and incest from the bill” without a roll call vote.
The hubbub was reportedly over Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth (R) quickly sustaining a movement to table the amendment containing the exceptions, leading to a dust-up between him and Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D), according to the
WABM-TV’s Lauren Walsh captured some of the footage:
Other Republicans also cried foul over the parliamentary procedures, with Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Cam Ward threatening to filibuster in spite of his support for the bill. Ward insisted, “I am not going to move (from) here until we get a fair process.”
Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R) told The Advertiser, “It got a little chaotic on the floor, which is why I chose to carry it over to call of the chair, let people go home, talk to their constituents, and come back.”