UPDATE: Alabama Court Strikes Down Abortion Clinic Restrictions

John Michael Davis

On August 4, Alabama district court judge Myron Thompson ruled unconstitutional a law which would have made getting an abortion in the state more difficult. The law was put on hold since its being targeted with a lawsuit.   Similar to the federal Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, the axed Alabama state law would have shut down abortion clinics by introducing additional, often unattainable regulations for clinics and physicians. Advocates contend these restrictions would have closed three of Alabama’s 5 remaining abortion clinics by requiring they obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. Judge Thompson's decision took the state's active pro-life movement into account when determining the feasibility and legality of the requirement.  According to Alternet:  It is very difficult for physicians in Alabama that perform abortions to get hospital privileges because hospitals are wary of making themselves a target of the state's notoriously violent protestors. Most that do provide abortions in the state live outside of it and fly in because of the danger to themselves and their families – which then disqualifies them from obtaining local privileges. As Thompson noted, the law would have thus closed three of the state’s five clinics.   The decision has gained the attention of Alabama’s Gov. Robert Bentley, who stated he was “extremely disappointed” and would support an appeal to the ruling.              

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John Davis is an intern at In These Times.
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