A federal judge blocked an Alabama law that would prohibit abortion facilities from doing business near schools.
The AP reports U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson permanently blocked the 2016 law Thursday, claiming it unconstitutionally restricts women’s access to abortion. Thompson also blocked a state law that prohibits dismemberment abortions, a brutal second-trimester abortion technique used to tear unborn babies limb from limb while their hearts are still beating.
“Because these laws clearly impose an impermissible burden on a woman’s ability to choose an abortion, they cannot stand,” Thompson wrote.
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 in Huntsville or at least force it to move.
Here’s more from AL.com:
One would prohibit the state from licensing or renewing the license of an abortion clinic within 2,000 feet of a K-8 public school. That would close two of Alabama’s five abortion clinics, Thompson wrote, and those two clinics perform 72 percent of abortions in the state.
The other law would criminalize the most common method of second-trimester abortion in Alabama, effectively terminating the right to an abortion in Alabama at 15 weeks, Thompson wrote.
Pro-life state leaders said they will appeal the ruling.
With help from the ACLU, the Alabama Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives Services, an abortion facility in Huntsville, sued the state after the laws passed in 2016.
ACLU Alabama Executive Director Susan Watson previously called the legislation an attack on “the health and well-being of Alabama women.”
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. The legislation passed to protect women after there were multiple botched abortions in Alabama.
Pro-life lawmakers have defended the ban on abortion clinics near schools, saying they 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.
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 Alabama 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.