MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of Alabama took emergency legal action today on behalf of Dr. Yashica Robinson and three independent abortion clinics to prevent Alabama from using the guise of the COVID-19 crisis to prevent people from obtaining abortion care. Both the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology have said that abortion is a time-sensitive, essential medical procedure that cannot be delayed.

“Government response to the spread of COVID-19 must be grounded in science and public health, not politics,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “As leading medical experts have recognized, abortion is essential, time-sensitive health care. Alabama’s attempts to prevent patients from accessing abortion care does nothing to slow the spread of COVID-19, it just stops people from getting this essential care.”

“Abortion providers take seriously their responsibility to protect the health and safety of their patients, the staff, and their community,” said Randall Marshall, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama. “But pregnant people need health care whether it’s prenatal care and childbirth services or abortion care. Preventing them from getting an abortion doesn’t do anything to stop the COVID-19 virus, it just takes the decision whether to have a child out of their hands.”

This is far from the first time the state of Alabama has taken action to prevent people from access abortion care. Just last year, the state passed a law banning virtually all abortions and making the provision of abortion care a crime punishable by up to 99 years in prison. That law has been blocked by the court.     

Today’s action was filed on behalf of Dr. Yashica Robinson and three independent abortion clinics, the Alabama Women’s Center, Reproductive Health Services, and West Alabama Women’s Center by the ACLU and the ACLU of Alabama.

Stay Informed