Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a controversial abortion bill into law on Wednesday evening that criminalizes nearly all abortions in the state.

The Alabama Human Life Protection Act, also known as HB 314, was passed by a vote of 25-6 in the Alabama Senate on Tuesday night and sent to Ivey’s desk for approval.

“Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Legislature,” Ivey wrote in a statement. “To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.”

Ivey recognized that the bill may be unenforceable in the short term and said citizens must respect the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court “even when we disagree with their decisions,” alluding to the 1973 Roe v. Wade landmark court decision that made abortions legal.

Her statement implies that the bill is meant to draw attention to the anti-abortion cause even if it never takes effect.

“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.”

Alabama lawmakers turned down an amendment to the bill that would have provided exemptions for cases of incest and rape. All abortions in the state are banned except in cases where pregnancy presents a serious health risk to a woman.

“Abortion is murder,” Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth said in support of the bill earlier this week. “Those three simple words sum up my position on an issue that many falsely claim is a complex one.”

The bill won’t take effect until six months from now, and critics are confident that it will be struck down in court.

The Yellowhammer Fund, which “provides funding for anyone seeking care at one of Alabama’s three abortion clinics,” vowed on Wednesday night to fight the bill from all sides and continue to aid women seeking abortions.

“We need to make sure that harmful policies and restricting abortion access are no longer federal policy AND we need to make sure that folks can get the abortions they need until that day,” the fund wrote.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama said on Wednesday it will file a lawsuit in conjunction with the national ACLU and Planned Parenthood asking the for the law to be blocked.

“This means abortion is still legal in Alabama and will stay legal for the foreseeable future,” the Alabama ACLU wrote.


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