A federal judge granted Alabama abortion activists’ request on Wednesday and temporarily blocked a new state law banning brutal dismemberment abortions that tear unborn babies limb from limb.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson also temporarily blocked a second state law prohibiting abortion clinics from doing business near public schools, according to the Associated Press. Both laws were supposed to go into effect on Aug. 1.
The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the laws earlier this summer on behalf of the two top abortion businesses in the state. WVTM 13 reports the ACLU is arguing that the laws are an “undue burden” on women’s access to abortion because they could close two of the busiest abortion facilities in the state and severely limit second trimester abortions.
Thompson blocked both laws temporarily while the lawsuit proceeds through the court. An Oct. 4 hearing to determine whether the laws should be permanently blocked is scheduled, the AP reports.
The dismemberment abortion ban has the potential to save hundreds of unborn babies’ lives in Alabama. In 2014, there were 594 abortions in Alabama that occurred in the second trimester or later, the Montgomery Advertiser reports. Dismemberment abortions typically are performed on a fully-formed, living unborn baby in the second trimester. It is a barbaric and dangerous procedure in which the unborn child is literally ripped apart in the womb and pulled out in pieces.
“Alabama children should be protected by law from being torn limb from limb,” said Bill Klein, President of Alabama Citizens For Life, previously. “No human should die this way in a civilized society. It shows a total disrespect for the sanctity of human life.”
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. Dismemberment abortion bans have been voted into law in Kansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Mississippi. Similar legislation has also been introduced in Pennsylvania, Minnesota , Idaho, Nebraska, Missouri, Louisiana, Rhode Island, and Utah.
CLICK LIKE IF YOU’RE PRO-LIFE!
The second Alabama law that is being challenged 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.
The Huntsville abortion clinic opened across the street from a middle school 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. That pro-life legislation was initiated after there were multiple botched abortions in Alabama.
According to the Alabama Media Group, the lawsuit also challenges a ruling by the Alabama Department of Public Health requiring that abortion facilities give every abortion patient a copy of her medical records before she leaves. The ACLU is arguing that the requirement would “jeopardize” women’s “privacy.” Local news reports about Thompson’s decision do not mention whether he blocked this requirement.