After getting called out for spreading misinformation about the new abortion ban signed into effect in Alabama, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blamed Twitter’s character limitations and the reading levels of her critics for her mistake. Ocasio-Cortez used Twitter to criticize the new law, which the governor signed on Wednesday. The new law essentially bans nearly all of the abortions in the state of Alabama.
The abortion ban also makes performing an abortion a felony, which is punishable up to 99 years or life in prison. According to the new law, these sentences don’t apply if the mother’s health is at risk, but it doesn’t include exceptions for women who are impregnated by incest or rape.
In her tweet, Ocasio-Cortez wrote: “Alabama lawmakers are making all abortions a felony punishable w jail time, including women victimized by rape+incest. Of course, no added punishments for rapists. It’s going to [Governor Kay Ivey’s] desk. She will decide the future of women’s rights in Alabama.” Conservative commenters immediately called out the tweet. They pointed out that the bill specifically targets those that provide abortions and it’s not meant to punish the women seeking an abortion.
Michel Knowles, from the Daily Wire, tweeted: “This is a lie,” and then cited a portion of the law that specifically addresses the situation. The bill’s text read: “Section 5. No woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to be performed shall be criminally or civilly liable. Furthermore, no physician confirming the serious health risk to the child’s mother shall be criminally or civilly liable for those actions.”
Caleb Hull wrote: “Everything about this tweet by @AOC is false. Women who receive abortions in Alabama do NOT face jail time under the new Heartbeat bill. It is doctors who face prison if they illegally perform abortions and are convicted of a felony, not the pregnant women.”
Instead of admitting that she had misspoken, Ocasio-Cortez chose to blame Twitter for only allowing a certain amount of characters. In her tweet, Ocasio-Cortez wrote: “It’s a felony punishable by jail, [including] cases of women pregnant by rape or incest. Twitter is 280 [characters] – read the context clues in grammar of the tweet.”
Ocasio-Cortez continued by saying: “But good to know you’re here to promote criminalizing medical providers aiding victims of rape and incest! good job.” The young Democrat challenged those who claimed that women wouldn’t face felony charges, insinuating that female medical professionals could face felony charges for providing abortion services to women.
A debate was ignited all across the country when Alabama initiated the abortion ban. Critics argue that the bill is going too far, while those with more conservative values say that the new law rightfully targets those that provide abortions.
The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has made the vow to sue because of the new law, which was initially approved on Tuesday in the state Senate. The ACLU confirmed their plans to sue on Wednesday.
In a similar manner, the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, signed into effect the “heartbeat” bill, which prohibits women from getting an abortion any time after six weeks of pregnancy. The “heartbeat” bill takes into an exception the cases of rape, incest, or the mother’s life is in danger.