May 14 (UPI) -- Alabama's Senate passed a near complete ban on abortion late Tuesday and sent it to Gov. Kay Ivey, who could sign it into law and make the state one of the nation's most restrictive on the procedure.
The Republican-led Senate voted 25-6 to pass the bill, which criminalizes all abortions except for when the life of the mother is at risk. It institutes a 10- to 99-year prison sentence for doctors who perform an abortion and 1- to 10-year sentence for doctors who attempt to do so.
Ivey, a Republican, has not said whether she'll sign the bill. Her office said late Tuesday she will examine the proposal carefully.
"The governor intends to withhold comment until she has had a chance to thoroughly review the final version of the bill that passed," spokeswoman Lori Jhons said.
The bill's sponsor, Alabama House Rep. Terri Collins, said legislators crafted the bill specifically to address language in the 1973 Supreme Court ruling on Roe vs. Wade that mentions a baby being "in utero."
"This bill's purpose is to hopefully get to the Supreme Court and have them revisit the actual decision, which was is the baby in a womb, a person?" Collins said.
Protesters gathered outside the Alabama State House before and after the vote, leading chants in a rally against the ban.
The bill passed the House by a vote of 73-3 last month, with nearly all Democrats leaving the chamber in protest before the vote. The Senate was on course to pass it last week, until an argument broke out on the chamber floor and the vote was postponed.
The dispute erupted between Sen. Clyde Chambliss and Senate Democrats after Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth approved Chambliss' motion to strip an amendment from the bill -- without a floor vote -- that excepted abortion in cases of rape and incest.
The American Civil Liberties Union has said it will challenge the bill if it becomes law.