Abortion Clinic Sues to Stay Open Across the Street From a Local Middle School

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   May 6, 2016   |   12:44PM   |   Huntsville, Alabama

Alabama abortion activists want Gov. Robert Bentley to know that they are ready for a fight if he signs a new bill that would ban abortion clinics from doing business near public schools.

Earlier this week, the Alabama House gave final approval of the bill, sending it to Bentley’s desk, LifeNews reported. The state Senate passed the bill in March.

The legislation would ban abortion facilities from building within 2,000 feet of public elementary or middle schools and prohibit the state health department from issuing or renewing a health center license to current abortion clinics within the same distance of the schools. If passed, the legislation could close the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives Services (AWCRA) in Huntsville or at least force it to move.

The abortion clinic opened across the street from a middle school in Huntsville several years ago. According to the Times Daily, the facility administrator, Dalton Johnson, said they moved to that location after being forced out of a building in downtown Huntsville due to the 2013 Women’s Health and Safety Act. The legislation was initiated after there were multiple botched abortions in Alabama.

Johnson said he plans to challenge the new measure if it becomes law, according to Decatur Daily. The ACLU also threatened to file a lawsuit. ACLU Alabama Executive Director Susan Watson previously called the bill an attack on “the health and well-being of Alabama women.” She said it would be ACLU’s fourth lawsuit against the state in three years, AL.com reports.

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Johnson accused lawmakers of targeting his abortion clinic with a series of legislation, including the school bill. He pointed to an Alabama law that requires abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges. A federal judge struck down the state law last year, but Johnson said his abortion clinic would have been the only one in the state that could have met the requirement, according to the report.

Here is more from the report:

That’s why his clinic is being targeted now, he said.

“It has nothing to do with kids,” Johnson said.

The second abortion bill passed by lawmakers Wednesday prohibits a medical procedure called dilation and evacuation, or “D&E,” unless not performing it poses a serious health risk to the mother.

Johnson said the doctors are trained to perform that procedure in second-term abortions.

“(Lawmakers are) tying the physicians’ hands and putting patients at greater risk,” Johnson said.

… A spokeswoman for Gov. Robert Bentley said Thursday the governor had not yet reviewed the bills and wasn’t likely to sign any legislation the remainder of this week.

The D&E is a gruesome abortion procedure that dismembers unborn babies, tearing them limb from limb. Several states already have passed laws banning the horrific procedure, and others are considering the legislation.

Pro-life lawmakers have defended the ban on abortion clinics near schools, saying abortion clinics should not be doing business near young children. Their concerns are not unfounded. The abortion industry has a reputation of targeting vulnerable women and girls.

This spring, the abortion business Planned Parenthood is constructing an abortion mega-clinic right near an elementary and middle school in Washington, D.C. In December, LifeNews reported that families at the sought-after elementary school in Washington, D.C. are increasingly concerned about the construction of the new abortion clinic next to their school.