Judge Strikes Down Alabama Pro-Life Law That Would Close Four of Five Abortion Clinics

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 28, 2016   |   1:49PM   |   Montgomery, Alabama

An Alabama judge sided with abortion clinics Friday and overturned a law requiring that they have hospital admitting privileges for emergency situations.

U.S. District Judge Mryon Thompson ruled that the Alabama regulation is “unconstitutional” because it would “impose a substantial obstacle to a woman’s choice to undergo an abortion,” according to the Associated Press. Thompson previously blocked the law from taking effect.

The law could have led to as many as four of the five abortion clinics in the state to close because they could not or would not meet the safety requirement, the report states.

The legislation passed in 2007 and requires abortionists to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital or contract with a doctor who can handle abortion complications properly. However, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alabama filed a federal lawsuit against the law because they believed it caused undue burden for women seeking abortions.

Thompson previously exempted one abortion clinic from following the law, but his new ruling strikes down the regulation entirely, according to the ACLU.

As LifeNews previously reported, admitting privileges legislation is critical because it acknowledges that abortion hurts women and mandates that the state implements measures to ensure that women are given the highest standard of care possible. This is especially necessary in scenarios where women experience complications from abortion, such as hemorrhage, uterine perforation, or infection from an incomplete abortion. In the past, the delay in care has caused women unnecessary trauma, injury and even death.

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Abortion facilities in Alabama are known for failing to meet basic safety standards. For example, in 2013, an inspection by the Alabama Department of Health found that one abortion clinic did not follow even simple safety protocols such as hand washing.

Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue reports more about the unsafe conditions at Alabama abortion clinics:

Requiring abortionists to maintain hospital privileges ensures that patients receive continuity of care. Experts have testified in both Alabama and Mississippi that abortionists often call 911 in the event of an emergency, and leave it to emergency room staff, which seldom include an OBGYN, to figure out the extent of a patient’s injuries or complications. This causes a delay in emergency care.

The hospital privilege requirement also ensures that abortionists meet certain medical standards, which is another layer of accountability that weeds out incompetent practitioners.

Operation Rescue has documented abortion abuses in Alabama, including a facility in Birmingham that was hospitalizing women suffering complications inflicted upon them by untrained staff. Inspectors later discovered 76 pages of health and safety violations at that facility. Later, Operation Rescue joined with CEC for Life and Life Legal Defense Foundation in documenting the fact that the abortion facility continued to operate illegally. It was eventually shut down.

Other documented abuses at Alabama abortion facilities include:

Planned Parenthood in Mobile was cited for numerous violations including failing to follow up on patients complaining of complications.

Reproductive Health Services in Montgomery was cited for failing to follow infection-control protocols that had the potential of spreading infection or disease to multiple patients.

• The West Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa was cited for multiple violations including failure to wash hands, sanitize surfaces between patients.

• The Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives in Huntsville, which recently closed because its facility could not meet standards, employs abortionist Raymond Lopez who recently spent every weekend for six months in jail due to a court order in a domestic case. That facility’s plans to relocate next to a middle school have been put on hold.

• At Planned Parenthood in Birmingham, which recently closed under suspicious circumstances, employs abortionist Aqua Don E. Umoren, who is facing discipline for incompetence and negligence related to the incompetent abortion, which was done on a woman suffering an ectopic pregnancy that Umoren failed to diagnose with disastrous consequences to the patient. That case remains open.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard a challenge to a similar Texas law. The law is arguably responsible for saving the lives of tens of thousands of unborn babies by closing abortion clinics that are unable to protect women’s health. The laws requires abortion clinics to meet the kinds of medical and safety standards that legitimate medical centers meet. Abortion advocates challenged the law, which includes hospital admitting requirements, arguing that abortion clinics should not be held to the same health standards as other outpatient ambulatory facilities.