A victory for pro-choice advocates was handed down by District Judge Myron Thompson on Tuesday when he blocked the near-total abortion ban from going into effect next month in Alabama.
The Human Life Protection Act (HLPA) was set to take effect on Nov. 15 and now a challenge to the law will make its way through court after being blocked through a preliminary injunction. The law called to ban nearly all abortions except those performed to prevent serious health risks of the mother. The HLPA would include rape and incest.
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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alabama and Planned Parenthood filed a joint lawsuit against the state of Alabama. The head of both organizations praised the decision by the court to overturn the law.
“The state’s repeated attempts to push abortion out of reach by enacting unconstitutional laws restricting abortions has already cost taxpayers nearly $2.5 million,” Randall Marshall, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama and one of the plaintiffs in the case, said in a statement. “This ill-advised law will cost taxpayers more money.”
The conservative state of Alabama is one of six states attempting to challenge the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade. They include Ohio, Georgia, Iowa, North Dakota, Kentucky and Mississippi; all of which went red in the 2016 presidential election.
“This is not only a victory for the people of Alabama — it’s a victory for the entire nation,” Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates, said in a statement. “We said it from the start: This ban is blatantly unconstitutional and we will fight it every step of the way. We will continue fighting this law in court until it is permanently blocked and we will work every day to make sure that abortion remains safe, legal and available in Alabama.”
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While this represents a small victory, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said he plans to advance this case to the highest court.
“The district court’s decision to grant the plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction of Alabama’s 2019 abortion law as to pre-viability was not unexpected,” Marshall said in a statement. “As we have stated before, the State’s objective is to advance our case to the U.S. Supreme Court where we intend to submit evidence that supports our argument that Roe and Casey were wrongly decided and that the Constitution does not prohibit states from protecting unborn children from abortion.”
There are three clinics that provide abortions in Alabama: Reproductive Health Services in Montgomery, Alabama Women’s Center in Huntsville and West Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa.