Alabama Abortion Ban Blocked by Federal Court

MONTGOMERY, Ala. October 29, 2019 – A U.S. District Court in Alabama granted a preliminary injunction today blocking an extreme Alabama law that would have banned abortion in nearly all instances and that threatened doctors with up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion. This harmful ban, which was scheduled to take effect on November 15, would have dismantled abortion access for nearly one million women of reproductive age in Alabama.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Alabama, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America brought the lawsuit on behalf of Alabama abortion care providers and their patients. Today’s decision comes on the heels of decisions by other courts blocking similar bans in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio.

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Randall Marshall, Executive Director, ACLU of Alabama had the following reaction:

As expected, the court has blocked the law and it will not go into effect. Abortion remains legal in Alabama. The state’s repeated attempts to push abortion out of reach by enacting unconstitutional laws restricting abortions have already cost taxpayers nearly 2.5 million dollars. This ill-advised law will cost taxpayers more money.”

Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project:
“Today’s decision recognizes this ban for what it is: a blatantly unconstitutional attack on the fundamental right to abortion. The Alabama ban, and the others like it, are the culmination of a nationwide strategy to push abortion out of reach.  In the past nine years, states have passed 479 restrictions on access to abortion, leaving increasingly vast areas of our country with few or no abortion providers. The ACLU will continue fighting for a future that safeguards people’s ability to get abortion care, upholds basic rights and justice, and respects our decision-making — no matter where we live and no matter how much money we make.”

Dr. Yashica Robinson, comprehensive women’s health specialist and plaintiff in the case:
“This win is critical to our patients and to health care providers like myself.  The abortion care we provide is essential health care, and these ruthless attacks from anti-abortion politicians have no place in Alabama.  We will keep fighting to ensure that we can provide care that our patients need and to keep abortion accessible in our communities.”

Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“Once again, the courts have affirmed that we have a right to access safe, legal abortion. Politicians in Alabama, and across the country, are putting people’s health and lives at risk in their attempts to ban abortion outright in this country. Today’s victory means that people can still access the health care they need across Alabama — for now. We will continue to fight to ensure that everyone can access health care — including safe, legal abortion.”

Staci Fox, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast:

This is not only a victory for the people of Alabama — it’s a victory for the entire nation. 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.

The ruling can be found here: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/preliminary-injunction-blocking-alabama-abortion-ban\