New York - Doctors who conduct abortions in the US have for decades been attacked in their homes, had their clinics firebombed and their families threatened.
Almost a dozen doctors and staff have been murdered - one doctor as he was handing out hymn books during a Sunday church service.
Such have been the brutal tactics of America’s "right-to-life" militants - but these zealots’ illegal acts appalled other Christians, even when they also believed that life begins at conception.
Now, however, doctors who perform virtually any abortion face up to 99 years behind bars in one southern state. And their punishment will be completely within the law.
Alabama’s state Senate voted 25-6 on Tuesday night to approve a hugely controversial law that will ban all abortions in the state, except for cases where the mother’s life is at serious risk. Even pregnancies that are a consequence of rape or incest must be allowed to run their course under a measure pushed through by the conservative Republicans who control the state’s legislature.