MONTGOMERY, AL — A federal judge Tuesday struck down legislation passed earlier this year that would ban most abortions in Alabama. The ban was set to take effect Nov. 15.
The legislation was passed in May, drafted by Eric Johnston of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition and framed as an attempt to challenge Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down state bans on abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Alabama’s ban, the most severe of those passed this year by multiple states, would have made it a Class A felony for a doctor to perform an abortion and a Class C felony for attempting to perform an abortion unless there is a serious health risk to the mother. There were no exceptions in the law for pregnancies that were the result of rape or incest.
According to The New York Times, the preliminary injunction, which was issued by Judge Myron H. Thompson of the United States District Court in Middle Alabama, will remain in effect until the “court resolves the case in full.”
“While we are relieved to learn that abortion will remain legal in Alabama for the foreseeable future, this changes nothing when it comes to the crisis marginalized communities have faced and will continue to face when it comes to accessing a termination,” said Amanda Reyes, Executive Director at Yellowhammer Fund. “Conservative lawmakers hope that the American public will forget about our state and those who remain unable to easily, quickly and affordably access safe abortion care even with the total abortion ban being put on hold. But we at Yellowhammer will continue to advocate for and assist these people, and will not allow their needs to go unmet or their struggles to be forgotten.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood vowed upon the ban’s approval they would fight the ruling, and filed the lawsuit within days of the passage of the bill.
The ACLU made an announcement via social media regarding Judge Thompson’s ruling Tuesday:
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