The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Alabama, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed a lawsuit challenging an extreme law that bans abortion in nearly every case and punishes doctors with up to 99 years in prison for providing care.
Alabama House Bill 314 (HB 314) bans nearly all abortions in the state. Governor Kay Ivey signed HB 314 into law on May 15, 2019, making Alabama the fifth state this year to ban abortion. The federal lawsuit, which was brought on behalf of all of Alabama’s abortion providers and their patients, seeks immediate relief to prevent Alabama’s unconstitutional abortion ban from taking effect in November 2019.
This near-total abortion ban is the latest in a long line of medically unnecessary and politically motivated restrictions passed by anti-abortion politicians in Alabama that aim to push care out of reach. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood Southeast have successfully challenged multiple previous such restrictions. They have never lost a challenge to an abortion restriction in Alabama.
Alabama’s extreme abortion ban is part of a national strategy to push abortion care out of reach. Earlier this year, Kentucky, Georgia, Ohio, and Mississippi also enacted laws banning abortion, and, since the Alabama ban was signed into law, additional bans were enacted in Missouri and Louisiana. The ACLU has already obtained an injunction blocking the Kentucky ban. The ACLU, together with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, have also filed suit against the ban in Ohio and are preparing a legal challenge in Georgia. No abortion ban, including Alabama’s, is in effect and abortion remains legal in all 50 states.
Since 2010, state politicians have passed more than 400 medically unnecessary and politically motivated restrictions nationwide that force patients to delay care, shut down clinics, and make abortion care unaffordable.
In addition to Dr. Yashica Robinson, plaintiffs represented in the case are Alabama Women’s Center, Reproductive Health Services, West Alabama Women’s Center, and Planned Parenthood Southeast. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive relief to hold Alabama’s ban unconstitutional and unenforceable.