Federal Judge Rules Alabama Abortion Law Unconstitutional

A federal court on Monday ruled that Alabama’s law requiring abortion-providing doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals is unconstitutional.

The law was originally passed in 2013 and was promptly challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have also expressed opposition to admitting privilege restrictions, charging:  “There is no medical basis to require abortion providers to have local hospital admitting privileges.”

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson wrote, “A significant number of the women would be prevented from obtaining an abortion; others would be delayed in obtaining abortions, exposing them to greater risks of complications; and even the women who are able to obtain abortions would suffer significant harms in terms of time, financial cost, and invasion of privacy.”

“The evidence compellingly demonstrates that the requirement would have the striking result of closing three of Alabama’s five abortion clinics,” Thompson wrote.

Thompson also cited a history of violence against abortion clinics and providers, noting that “abortion providers and women seeking abortions in Alabama today live and work in a climate of extreme hostility to the practice of abortion.”

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