Judge strikes down AL abortion law - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Judge strikes down AL abortion law

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A federal judge announced his decision on Alabama's abortion law on Monday morning. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled Alabama's law unconstitutional.

[Read the judge's decision (pdf)]

The judge ruled that the staff admitting privileges requirement violates the due process rights of women seeking abortions.

The law currently requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit patients to nearby hospitals. Right now, three of Alabama's five clinics use out-of-town doctors who don't have admitting privileges. 

The temporary restraining order remains in effect until the resolution of other issues in the litigation and the case is not closed. Appeals are expected.

“We are extremely disappointed by today’s ruling," said Gov. Robert Bentley. "Abortion is a fundamental assault on the sanctity of innocent human life, and I believe that it should only be done as a last possible effort to save the life of the mother. As a doctor, I firmly believe that medical procedures, including abortions, performed in Alabama should be done in the safest manner possible. This law ensures that if a complication arises there is continuity of treatment between doctor and patient. This ruling significantly diminishes those important protections. I will always fight for the rights of the unborn, and support an appeal of today’s decision.”

The ACLU of Alabama also responded to Monday's ruling in Planned Parenthood Southeast, Inc. v. Strange.

"We are glad that Judge Thompson found the admitting privileges to be unconstitutional," said Executive Director Susan Watson. "These admitting privileges were not designed to make women safer. Major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, oppose them. We are proud to know that Alabama’s women will continue have access to safe and legal abortions."

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