A Victory for Abortion Access in Alabama

A federal district court this week blocked two abortion restrictions in Alabama that would have dramatically reduced abortion access in the state by closing clinics and limiting the procedures doctors are able to provide. The decision should send a message to politicians across the country that they should stop interfering with a woman’s right to have an abortion if she needs one.  

The first law, SB 205, would have forced abortion clinics within 2,000 feet of a K-8 public school to close. It could have shuttered the only abortion clinics in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa, which provide over half of the abortions in the state. 

Anti-abortion protestors lobbied the legislature to pass the law in order to shield students from the very disruption they create by protesting outside of clinics. In his decision to block the laws from taking effect, Judge Myron Thompson exposed the law’s true intentions, which is not to stop the disruption, but stop the provision of safe, accessible abortion..

“The law has essentially rewarded the protesters with the intended goal of their disruption: the harassing, and even closing, of the clinics,” Judge Thompson wrote. “The message of the law is arguably that the greater the disruption, the greater the likelihood that the State will react with laws to curb that disruption by placing additional restrictions on the clinics.”

The second law, SB 363, would have banned the standard medical procedure for providing abortions in the second trimester of pregnancy. Bans on abortion procedures similar to SB 363 have been challenged — and blocked from taking effect — in three other states: Kansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

 Laws that attempt to block abortion access in Alabama are not new. In the past three years, the American Civil Liberties Union has challenged seven abortion restrictions in Alabama. When lawmakers pass such unconstitutional laws, it is the Alabama taxpayer who has to foot the bill. 

In 2013, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood challenged a requirement that singled out abortion providers and required them to have staff privileges at a local hospital. After the Supreme Court struck down a similar provision in Texas, Alabama dropped its appeal of the court’s decision striking down the Alabama law. That lawsuit cost the state at least $1.7 million in legal costs.

In 2015, the state of Alabama attempted to prevent Planned Parenthood from participating in the Medicaid program. Again, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood sued, and the state reinstated Planned Parenthood in the Medicaid program and agreed to pay $50,000 in legal costs.  

People and courts all over the country are sending a loud and clear message: Stop interfering with a woman’s personal decisions. The question now is this: Will politicians get the message?

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Anonymous

Yea, God got the message! So now you baby killers will either have to shut down or come up with the money to built elsewhere! I hate what God hates; the shedding of innocent blood. TEACH your children how to abstain from sex by telling them the truth. That there is a God who loves you, but hates killing and sex outside of marriage. HIS laws are because he loves you, and meant to protect your heart and spirit from evil. REPENT and Believe on Christ.

Margo Channing

ANONYMOUS, if god is so great, why are you hiding behind "anonymous"? Don't you trust this entity to protect you? And how many children have you adopted? None, I suspect. Get off this site and find one that is more supportive of your antediluvian (that means, outdated and old, FYI) attitudes.

MacMacaroo

You seem to be confused. The article concerns the defeat of two laws which RESTRICT abortion access.

Alabama lost.

Lynnriver

Maybe you think abortion should be illegal but people teaching their kids to abstain from sex has never worked. Having abortion remain safe and legal saves more lives in the end because there has never been a shortage of desperete preganant young women willing to try anything so people like you don't judge them for having sex. If you want less abortions then contraception should be accessible and affordable and abortion should remain legal. You care about blood being shed but you fail to understand just how much blood will be on the hands of those who would deny a woman's right to make that decision for herself. No one likes the idea of abortion but most people who understand that it is something that is between a woman and her doctor know that just making it illegal doesnt stop it from happeninf

Speak for those...

Alabama sounds like a model state! I wish more states really cared about women enough to help them make the best life decisions. Sometimes when you are in crisis, it is difficult to make a good decision. A caring person will guide you away from taking a human life and toward the best options.

MacMacaroo

Excuse me if I've misunderstood, but it appears that you are conflating helping women make the best decisions with attempts to deny them access to any facility which, in your opinion, is always a wrong decision. Is that help, or is it coercion?

Anonymous

This is an aspect of the progressive movement that I don't like. (Of course, there's the progressive movement outside of the progressive movement, as John Stauber explains, but that's another story [bit.ly/2dkbE6V].) I'm leftwing, which doesn't mean that I agree with all major leftwing positions. Abortion rights constitute one major leftwing position that I don't agree with. Many, probably most, of those on the Left don't believe in an actual creator God. Then there are those who take the position that God is humankind, collectively. And among those ones, Some can articulate that position, while others who hold to it are not fully aware that that's their position and so they can't articulate it. If one were to articulate that position for them and they were being honest, then they would be able to say, "Yes, That's what I believe." From my Christian (outside of Christendom, which is comprised of Christian churches and organizations that work with the godless, wild beast of corporatocracy) standpoint, That position is a lie. And I call it The Lie. It's components are 1. the force belief (which existed before George Lucas started spouting his nonsense about a dark side that you can never come back from once you cross it, except when you do) and according to which everyone, including God (or whatever you want to call evolved, collective humankind) has a good side and an evil side, and 2. the belief in biological evolution (which available evidence is actually against). If you believe the Lie, Are you evil? Not automatically. I would say that that is an evil belief. But life isn't that simple. The apostle Paul hated and persecuted Christians before he changed his mind. God knows when someone has gone too far, which is a condition that actually exists (as Jesus explains at Matthew chapter 12, verses 31 & 32). Limited, imperfect human beings aren't able to know for sure when someone is knowingly and willingly fighting God, although with some people (think of mass murderers like George W. Bush or Joseph Stalin), you can safely assume that that is what you're looking at. But that's not the same as absolutely knowing. The inspired Bible writer (Psalms were written by David and others) gave us what is God's view of unborn life: "You kept me screened off in my mother's womb. I praise you because in a wonder way I am made. Your works are wonderful. I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret, when I was woven in the depth of the earth. Your eyes even saw me as an embryo. All it's parts were written in your book, regarding the says when they were formed, before any of them existed." - (parts of Pslams 139:13-16) David is there referring to the Creator's design for human beings. In life, I have found, there are sometimes no win situations. For me, This having to accept that someone, even if she (and her enablers) is a good person, who kills (against God's laws) her unborn child via abortion (talking about 'unnecessary' abortion), is free to do so if there's no persuading her, with love, not to. As the Christian Bible states at Romans chapter 14:12, "Each of us will render an account for himself to God." Do those who don't accept that abortion is acceptable and who don't accept that it is acceptable to do nothing about women contemplating abortion (that isn't necessary) think it's acceptable to violate other laws of God? But really, With the practice of abortion so widespread, How could it not result in major upheaval and chaos to try to act on such a belief and stop all unnecessary abortions and the doctors who conduct them? Would God want that when, in fact, humans don't truly have the power to kill a soul? Unnecessary abortion is disgusting (in my view) and against God's law (in my view), but his own Word reveals that only he can destroy a soul. We can choose to screw up royally, but He will in fact sort it out and set things right in the end. Unborn children are simply sleeping in a special deep sleep that we know as death, as the account at John chapter 11:1-44 reveals. (Lazarus died again, but his remarkable experience was intended as a lesson for us about God's plan of salvation for imperfect humankind.) We will see them again unless we choose to request that God strikes us from his book of life. In that case, We won't see them again, but not because they are dead. "Do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, Be in fear of he who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna." - Matthew 10:28

MacMacaroo

Then to put it more succinctly, what you're saying is that you support a woman's right to choose, yes?

Helen Hunter

You sound like an intelligent and well-meaning person. As another one, I give you my opinion:
I've found everything makes sense once I remove "god" from my thinking. We can only believe about "god" what we want to believe, because there is no evidence for any "god"'s existence. The common confusion about a loving god who yet hates sin, or hates Russians, or lefists, or rightists, comes from the contradictory things different people believe about "god". Haters believe in a hating god. Lovers believe in a loving god. Trying to believe the Bible, or Koran, or other writings, are infallibly true adds to the confusion.
Let's just deal with each other as equal human beings. Hard enough, I know. Blessings.

aldiobilda

People should understand that the only thing that is acheived by making abortions harder to access is more death. The way to prevent abortions is to allow for greater and more affordable access to contraception. Education that includes more than "only dirty girls do it" or "abstain or go to hell" is required because no matter how much they teach abstinence only sex education it does not work. The areas with abstinence only education are the areas with the highest rate of STD and STIs and the highest rate of teen and unplanned pregnancies. There has never been a shortage of desperate young pregnant women who are willing to try anything to keep judgemental people from knowing that they had sex. The fact is that making it illegal only harms women because then you have a woman who gets a pill from the internet or sees a person who will "help" in a cheap hotel room and then more women are hurt or killed along with the unwanted fetus. The only way to save more lives is to keep it safe and accessible. No one likes the idea but YOU DON'T GET TO DECIDE FOR ANYONE BUT YOURSELF. I am pretty sure that those clinics people like to stand in front of saying awful things to anyone who goes in, prevent way more abortions than those people and also prevent way more abortions than they perform. You don't haveto like it and no one does but you should mind your own business instead of standing in judgment of people you do not know.

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