Pro-choice campaigners have reacted with fury after 25 male Republicans in Alabama’s senate passed a near-total ban on abortion in the state.
The Republican-dominated Alabama Senate voted 25-6 for the bill that would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison.
The only exception to the law would be when the woman's health is at serious risk.
Democratic Senator Bobby Singleton reacted angrily at the vote - and at the gender of those who passed the bill.
He fumed: “You’ve got 27 men over on the other side ready to tell women what they can do with their bodies.”
Senators also rejected an attempt to add an exception for rape and incest. The amendment was voted down 21-11, with four Republicans joining Democrats in the seeking the amendment.
Senator Singleton added: "You don't care anything about babies having babies in this state, being raped and incest.
"You just aborted the state of Alabama with your rhetoric with this bill.”
Others on Twitter - including Democratic Presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren - reacted angrily at the group of men deciding on what women are allowed to do with their own bodies.
The shameful faces of the 22 Alabama Senators who voted for a— JohnPaul (@JPJaval) May 15, 2019
near total abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest.
STOP THE REPUBLICAN WAR ON WOMEN. pic.twitter.com/AFLjLySlOD
What Alabama is doing is blatantly unconstitutional and disrespects the fundamental right a woman has to make decisions about her own body.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 15, 2019
I say to Gov. Ivey: Veto this cruel bill. Stop the attack on women’s rights. https://t.co/yByOIyJ6XL
This is a law aimed at controlling women; keeping them impoverished, domesticated and oppressed. Women can never be equal as long as they do not have control over their bodies. This is an outrage. https://t.co/CWiFopA3YW— Sophie Walker (@SophieRunning) May 15, 2019
This ban is dangerous and exceptionally cruel—and the bill’s authors want to use it to overturn Roe v. Wade. I've lived in that America and let me tell you: We are not going back—not now, not ever. We will fight this. And we will win. https://t.co/WNlr7Ys73q— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 15, 2019
There are 4 million people in Alabama, and 25 MEN had the power to make a decision for all 4 million. In middle school, I learned this is what you call an oligarchy. #RoeVWade— Phinesse tha Finesser (@PhinesseNFerb) May 15, 2019
Following the vote, the title of Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid's Tale began trending on Twitter, with many opponents drawing comparisons to the dystopian classic.
The story focuses on an imagined future when an authoritarian government named Gilead attains control of the former United States.
With fertility rates falling, those women able to conceive become Handmaids, forced to submit to ritualised rape to bear children for powerful men and their wives.
Writer Caitlin Moran shared an image of the 22 male senators who voted against an exception for rape or incest, adding: "Gilead is being brought to you by the following people."
Gilead is being brought to you by the following people: https://t.co/LrUT6dkbp7— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) May 15, 2019
They all read The Handmaid's Tale and thought it was a set of instructions? https://t.co/WyaMW78IIw— Dr. Ann Olivarius (@AnnOlivarius) May 15, 2019
Lawyer Dr Ann Olivarius posted: "They all read The Handmaid's Tale and thought it was a set of instructions?"
Emmy Bengston, a communications worker for Democratic presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted a picture showing "Alabama" trending on Twitter, alongside a host of sport-related topics.
Along with it, she wrote: "I keep thinking about the flashback scene in Handmaid's Tale when the women characters lose their jobs and bank accounts and instinctively know what it means and what's coming, and most people - especially the men - are kind of oblivious and don't take it seriously."
We might as well start greeting people like “Blessed be the fruit” because this IS #HandmaidsTale...in real life.— A N G E L A | R Y E (@angela_rye) May 15, 2019
I stopped watching #HandmaidsTale a few episodes into last season cos the climate in our country was starting to feel a little too close to Gilead. I will probably never watch that show again. It hurts too much. It’s not fiction.— Hello Jaime 🔜 🇧🇲 (@hello_jaime) May 15, 2019
Emboldened by conservative justices who have joined the Supreme Court, abortion opponents in several states are seeking to challenge abortion access.
Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia have approved bans on abortion once a foetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur in about the sixth week of pregnancy.
The Alabama bill goes further by seeking to outlaw abortion outright.
"Our bill says that baby in the womb is a person," Republican Representative Terri Collins, the bill's sponsor, said on Monday.
Read more from Yahoo News UK:
There would be no punishment for the woman receiving the abortion, only for the abortion provider.
Supporters said the bill is intentionally designed to conflict with the US Supreme Court's landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision legalising abortion nationally, because they hope to spark a court case that might prompt the justices to revisit abortion rights.
Democrats, who hold just eight seats in the 35-member Senate, criticised the proposed abortion ban as a mixture of political grandstanding, an attempt to control women and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
"You don't have to provide for that child. You don't have to do anything for that child, yet you want to make that decision for that woman," Democratic Senator Vivian Davis Figures said.
"It should be that woman's choice.”
Randall Marshall, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, said a complaint is being drafted to challenge the ban.
Marjorie Newman-Williams, President of Marie Stopes International US, told Yahoo News UK: “The Alabama abortion ban is cruel and unconstitutional. We hope that it will be blocked by the courts, and we’re deeply alarmed to see states attempt to punish women for making choices about their own bodies, lives and futures.”