Abortion advocates asked a judge on Monday to stop a series of Alabama pro-life laws from going into effect, including one that blocks abortion facilities from doing business near schools.
They also are asking a judge to block two other pro-life laws that ban brutal dismemberment abortions that tear unborn babies limb from limb, and that require abortion facilities to give patients’ copies of their medical records, according to the Alabama Media Group.
One of the Alabama laws that is being challenged in the new lawsuit bans abortion facilities from building within 2,000 feet of public elementary or middle schools and prohibits the state health department from issuing or renewing a health center license to current abortion clinics within the same distance of the schools. The legislation could close two of the most active abortion facilities in Alabama, one in Tuscaloosa and one in Huntsville, or at least force them to move.
On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents the Tuscaloosa abortion facility, asked U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson to temporarily block the laws while it pursues its lawsuit, the report states. The laws are scheduled to go into effect Aug. 1.
The abortion facility is challenging the following pro-life laws, according to the news report:
- The law prohibiting abortion clinics within 2,000 feet of K-8 public schools, which would force the closure or relocation of clinics in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa.
- The law prohibiting the dilation and evacuation abortion procedure, which the lawsuit argues is the safest and most common method of second-trimester abortions.
- A ruling by the Alabama Department of Public Health, which requires that every abortion patient receive a copy of her medical records before leaving the facility. The lawsuit argues such a requirement would “jeopardize” the “privacy” of patients by forcing patients “to receive a paper trail of their reproductive health care.”
WVTM 13 reports the ACLU is arguing that the laws are an “undue burden” on abortion access because they could close two of the busiest abortion facilities in the state and severely limit second trimester abortions.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed a ban on brutal, second-trimester dismemberment abortions in May, LifeNews reported.
Dismemberment abortion, performed on a fully-formed, living unborn baby typically in the second trimester, is a barbaric and dangerous procedure in which the unborn child is literally ripped apart in the womb and pulled out in pieces. The law embodies model legislation from the National Right to Life Committee that would ban “dismemberment abortion,” using forceps, clamps, scissors or similar instruments on a living unborn baby to remove him or her from the womb in pieces. Such instruments are used in dilation and evacuation procedures.
The ACLU previously said it planned to challenge the laws. ACLU Alabama Executive Director Susan Watson previously called the legislation 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.