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Judge: Alabama abortion clinic law unconstitutional

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Alabama abortion law overturnedA federal judge has blocked an Alabama law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, making it the second such law to be ruled unconstitutional within a week.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued an order Monday that temporarily blocks enforcement of the Alabama statute, which he said would place an undue burden on women seeking an abortion by forcing the closure of three of the state’s five clinics. A federal appeals court issued a similar ruling last week on a Mississippi law, which would have shuttered that state’s only clinic.

Thompson wrote that the Alabama law, passed last year, would “dramatically reduce the capacity of abortion clinics within the state” by eliminating abortion services in Birmingham, Mobile and Montgomery.

“The loss of abortion services in those cities would prevent some women who live there from obtaining abortions and delay others’ abortions,” he wrote. “The increased distances would present financial difficulties and psychological obstacles for women who could previously obtain an abortion in their own cities, as well as costing unnecessary additional time and causing women to forgo their medical confidentiality.”

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