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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says abortion bans are a "brutal form of oppression" and are about "owning women"

Ala. signs near-total abortion ban into law

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes approving abortion bans is a "brutal form of oppression" and newly-passed laws aren't just about "controlling" women's bodies – they're about controlling their sexuality. Ocasio-Cortez's tweets come after several states approved strict abortion laws, most recently Alabama and Missouri. Alabama's bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday, is a near-total abortion ban.

The "Human Life Protection Act" bans abortions in the state except when "abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk" to the woman. It criminalizes the procedure, reclassifying abortion as a Class A felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison for doctors. Attempted abortions will be reclassified as a Class C penalty, according to the bill.

Ocasio-Cortez criticized the bill ahead of the signing. "Alabama lawmakers are making all abortions a felony punishable w jailtime, [including] women victimized by rape+incest," she wrote on Twitter. "Of course, no added punishments for rapists. It's going to @GovernorKayIvey's desk. She will decide the future of women's rights in Alabama."

After the bill was signed, Ocasio-Cortez doubled down on her views about abortion laws. "Abortion bans aren't just about controlling women's bodies. They're about controlling women's sexuality. Owning women," she tweeted. "From limiting birth control to banning comprehensive sex ed, US religious fundamentalists are working hard to outlaw sex that falls outside their theology."

"Ultimately, this is about women's power," she wrote in another tweet. "When women are in control of their sexuality, it threatens a core element underpinning right-wing ideology: patriarchy. It's a brutal form of oppression to seize control of the 1 essential thing a person should command: their own body."

Several states have passed strict abortion laws recently. In April, Ohio passed a bill that outlaws abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. On Wednesday, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit to challenge the bill. 

The law is not in effect yet, but is gaining national attention because of an 11-year-old girl in the state who became pregnant during a rape. The girl was allegedly rapped by a 26-year-old multiple times, according to police reports. Ohio's new law says that victims like her won't have a choice to have an abortion — they would have to carry and deliver their rapist's child. 

The law prohibits any woman from obtaining an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually about five or six weeks into a pregnancy. That's before most women even know that they're pregnant.

As Ocasio-Cortez pointed out in her tweets, Alabama's legislation also makes no exceptions for victims or rape or incest. Missouri's bill includes exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Doctors would face five to 15 years in prison for violating an eight-week cutoff. Women who receive abortions wouldn't be prosecuted.

Ocasio-Cortez is not the only outspoken opponent of the abortion laws. After a strict abortion law was passed in Georgia, making abortions illegal after six weeks, several filmmakers said they would boycott the state. Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams said they would be donating profits from their new HBO show to organizations fighting the law.