This morning U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled a 2013 Alabama abortion law unconstitutional. The law, commonly known as the Women’s Health and Safety Act, would have required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Three of Alabama’s five abortion clinics use traveling doctors, who would not have been able to obtain admitting privileges. The law would have forced those three clinics to either hire in-state doctors or close their doors.
Judge Thompson originally planned to release his decision in July, but decided to delay until after a similar case in Mississippi was decided upon. The Mississippi case featured a similar law and a federal appeal court ruled 2-1 that it was unconstitutional.
The following is a statement from ALGOP Chairman Bill Armistead:
“Planned Parenthood and other like organizations claim that legislators who passed this law were simply trying to make it impossible for Alabama women to obtain abortions. Contrary to their opinion, the Women’s Health and Safety Act was designed to protect women. As Republicans we are opposed to abortion, but beyond that we are proponents of life. If a woman does have an abortion, it is important that she receive proper care. By nullifying the 2013 law, we now risk the possibility of women not being correctly taken care of in the event of complications.
“While we might not agree with a woman’s decision to obtain an abortion, we cannot neglect her right to medical safety. Planned Parenthood claims today’s ruling as a victory; a clear display that the organization cares more about the right of a woman to have an abortion than her actual safety.”