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We're about 30 minutes out from the Alabama State Senate vote for the near-total ban on abortion. #alpolitics
there's one protester outside the state house passing out coat hangers
Gallery is packed
The gallery erupted in applause when sen. Vivian Figures walked out into the chamber wearing a white suit with a pink shirt.
y'all it's hot up here
Chambliss "this decision could have an impact on our state as well as our nation. it could have an impact on millions of yet to be born children. so its a serious discussion and a serious debate and i look forward to the next minutes, hours, however long it should be."
"I'm not trained medically so I don't know all the proper timelines, but I have been told there is some period of time you can know when a woman is pregnant" gallery is cackling at this statement.
"once that person is known to be pregnant then this bill will take into effect. that bill will highlight that period of time." people are losing it up here in the gallery, laughing at Chambliss' intro
the gallery is watching this like it's a sitcom. lot's of mumbling, giggling, applause #alpolitics
Sen. Smitherman describes how his child had birth defects in the womb. Him and his wife chose to have the baby because they believed in God. "I became a professional in resuscitation." "The point is I had the choice."- gallery claps
"That's up to God and the Lord to make a judgment that's not up to us," Sen Smitherman. "We're telling a 12 yo girl who through incest and rape is pregnant and we're telling her that she doesn't have a choice."
Sen. Figures came up to the gallery to encourage folks not to clap because she doesn't want anyone "on either side" to get kicked out. #alpolitics
"It does not make sense that we are going to spend millions and millions of dollars to take something up here that is going to be declared unconstitutional when we need millions and millions of dollars so our kids can have insurance so our rural hospitals can open." Smitherman
"What are y'all gonna do with all those eggs?" Smitherman asks about embryos used during IVF
"I take on the ebonics language when I'm in my community... Who geeked up?" Smitherman says senators are all "geeked up" (amped up) about overturning Roe V. Wade but haven't thought what that means for folks in Alabama.
Ok sidenote....these men arguing the medical logistics of the female reproductive system is wild. See my story from yesterday: al.com/politics/2019/…
Chambliss describes a family member that chose to bring a disabled child into the world and he has a "good" life. "Sometimes as advanced as the medical profession is we don't always get it right."
Chambliss discusses the importance of trusting God's plan. Smitherman responds "You cannot compare religion. Religion is a one on one relationship with that being."
gallery laughs when Chambliss references the fact that God gives humans free will and a choice.
"There's a window of time when a woman knows shes pregnant that every option that's on the table now is available. She has to do something to know whether she's pregnant or not. It takes time for all the chromosomes to come together." Chambliss
"If we pass this bill, my hope is that all ladies will be educated by their parents or guardians that should a situation like this occur, you need to go get help immediately so they could get the physical help they need. If they wait justice delayed is justice denied." Chambliss
I'm a little bit confused if he's arguing a person could get an abortion if they didn't know they were pregnant? Will work on finding out what he means.
Smitherman asks what happens with a person who is pregnant bc of incest. "Until a woman is known to be pregnant," Chambliss said. Gallery groans collectively.
we are still harping on "after the female is KNOWN to be pregnant." I think this is a way to excuse the morning after pill.
Chambliss said the state would have to determine if the woman knew she was pregnant, despite the bill saying it would not prosecute the woman, only the physician.
Smitherman said we are telling women they can go anywhere but a doctor to have an abortion. Says things will go back to back alleys and coat hangers. Chambliss said he hopes no woman would do that. *Gallery groans.* #alpolitics
Folks in the gallery are trickling out because of the heat up here. We've got home made fans and rolled up sleeves. Y'all tell someone to turn up the AC.
Chambliss wears a pin that he says is the same size as a fetus's feet at 10 weeks. He says science has advanced significantly since Roe V. Wade.
"This ain't about nobody's party. This is about the right of the woman to make a choice," Sen. Smitherman
Smitherman concludes his questions. But says he has another page of questions to come back to after someone else takes the floor.
Figures takes the mic. She asks him how that is different from him voting for the bill earlier that would deny parental rights to someone convinced of incest.
Figures said she doesn't believe in abortion but "It should be the woman's choice. That woman knows what shes up against. She knows whether she can or cant provide for that child."
"for you all to want to pass a bill that is going to take that choice away from that woman--just like sen Smitherman said--you want to play God. You all think you rule the world. And you may think you do, but you do not." Figures referring to the Rep. male-dominated majority
Figures said she is ashamed that this bill was written by a woman, Sen. Collins. #alpolitics
Figures brings up @acvollers reporting this morning. References the $1.7 dollars the state paid the ACLU after another abortion law was ruled unconstitutional and what the money could have paid for. al.com/politics/2019/…
Figures introduces an amendment: any attorney fees billed as a result of a lawsuit that ensues as a result of this legislation will be paid for by the senators that voted for the bill. *gallery applause/woos*
roll called. the amendment failed 6 to 24.
FIgures said Roe V. Wade made it so all women could get an abortion, bc rich women were always able to get abortions. She said this bill would primarily affect the health of poor rural women. She is proposing an amendment to address Medicaid.
amendment doesn't pass. Figures is about to announce another amendment.
"was there anything in there that said what would happen to the man that got her pregnant?" Figures is about to bring the heat.
"why you all want to control our bodies I will never ever know..." next amendment will "have some equality about this thing"
Figures wants to make it a Class A felony for a man to have a vasectomy. Roll is quickly called and it failed. I don't think they liked that one.
Figures said she takes offense to the language referencing the Civil Rights movement in the bill.
Sen. Coleman-Madison, one of three women in the room. Takes the mic.
"I'm hoping your wives and daughters, especially the ones in high school and college, are watching," Coleman-Madison
Coleman-Madison said women will always find a way to have abortions, except poor people won't have safe options.
“This bill isn’t about the right to life. This bill is about control.” Coleman-Madison
Coleman-Madison said the sin is not abortion but bringing a child into the world without resources for them and the mother
"We want them here, but we don't want to take care of them." Coleman-Madison #alpolitics
"This bill doesn't do anything to address the real issue. For the life of me I'm trying to figure out why do we pass laws like this when we don't have any support to help people," Coleman-Madison She's referring to healthcare, education, medicaid, etc
Coleman-Madison said she wishes she could open up the Republican men's brains to take a peak inside. She says their mother's would all say this bill is not right.
"We want the government out of our bedroom." Says she wants them out of her womb. The gallery loved that one.
"If you don't know. You're not known to be pregnant" Chambliss said. Coleman-Madison said that is a typical male answer. Truly I don't know what that means or how that would be enforced.
"If God gives us choices, why do you think you're smarter than God?" Coleman Madison asks Chambliss. "It is not our place as humans to extinguish that life"
Coleman-Madison brings an amendment: if a woman is forced to keep a child, Alabama must provide prenatal and medical care until the child is 13.
Amendment failed. I’m headed down to cover the protest outside the state house. Follow @MikeCasonAL @itsmelissabrown @lyman_brian @StatehouseKim for abortion ban updates til I get back 🤗
Alright y’all what did I miss?
The ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Power House were all outside the state house protesting. Here a protestor chastises all the Y chromosomes up in the senate
Singleton asks how we are supposed to know what an attempted abortion is. Chambliss admits he does not know what an attempted abortion is. But then says it's when a baby survives an abortion.
Singleton is bringing another amendment. Says it will help us all sleep at night.
Singleton says he doesn't think anyone in the room wrote this bill, but it was pushed by ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council )
"we could be saving babies lives with this money" Singleton emphasizing the legal fees taxpayers will face supporting this bill in court.
Singleton wants to bring the amendment up again to make exceptions for rape and incest. #alpolitics
this amendment forced a fraction in the Republican senators last week. It's what brought on the chaos and resulting tabling of the bill til today.
fails 11 to 21.
Singleton said he is taking his second hour bc he can't let this bill pass without that amendment. #alpolitics #senddinner
"You just raped Alabama with this bill. You just raped every little baby, you just raped every little girl. You raped her all over again with this bill." Singleton
"live with it gentlemen" singleton. Lots of folks are leaving the gallery after the amendment failed. #alpolitics
"The super majority only passes super bad bills." Singleton. He says he hopes they have a cloture ready, bc he is happy just talking. #alpolitics
Singleton breaks down. He has two little girls. "You just said to my daughter 'You don't matter. You don't matter in the state of Alabama. The state of Alabama don't care nothing about you baby."
I don't know about y'all but I'm a woman before I'm a reporter and this is one emotional debate.
"The population in this state is over 50% females. It's time you start letting your voices be heard. Not only just coming here to talk some sense into these legislators, but letting your voices be heard at the polls." Figures
"We're just going to rally the troops again. It is for the sake of our future and our children." Figures said they are going to need all the promised outside support offered around the country to make Alabama a democracy again.
Singleton and Figures show no signs of stopping
"As long as I have breath in me and I know that God is using me in this capacity, I will be here to fight the good fight." Figures #alpolitics
Also. This is a filibuster. There hasn't been a vote on the ban yet.
cloture is being presented. vote to follow
y'all singleton just asked them to read the entire nine page bill prior to the vote.
Chimes are ringing to prepare for the vote
Bill is being read by a computer
⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️That’s it folks. Near total Alabama abortion ban bill passes without rape or incest exception 25-6
Lots of men celebrating with hand shakes and fist bumps outside the chamber
Rep Collins said she has been talking with those around Gov. Ivey and she expects her to sign the bill.
Good night. Look for @MikeCasonAL’s story soon. All eyes really were watching Alabama tonight.

Photo is of protestors’ Handmaids Tale cloaks hung up in a tree outside the State House while they pack up to go home.
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