Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall defended his state’s new abortion ban this week, saying the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee a “right” to abortion.
WSFA reports Marshall filed an 11-page legal response to a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union last month.
The lawsuit seeks to overturn a new state law that protects unborn babies by banning all abortions. State House Bill 314, sponsored by Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, makes abortions a felony. Exceptions are allowed if the mother’s life is at risk. Mothers would not be punished for having an abortion under the legislation, but abortionists could face prison time for violations.
This week, Marshall said the state intends to enforce the law and defend it as constitutional, WHNT 19 News reports.
He said Planned Parenthood and the ACLU lack legal standing, according to the report. He also argued that the U.S. Supreme Court was wrong about abortion in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey because the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee a “right” to abortion.
“They were wrongly decided and should be overruled,” he wrote.
Gov. Kay Ivey signed the law in May, ignoring protests from abortion activists and Hollywood elitists.
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“Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur,” Ivey said in a statement after she signed the law.
State Rep. Terri Collins, a pro-life Republican from Decatur, welcomed the legal challenge as an opportunity to end Roe and restore protections to unborn babies across America, the local news reports.
“We expected [pro-abortion groups] to file the motion. They probably did it quicker than we thought they would, but that is fine, that’s a part of that expectation, and that’s what actually moves it along in that court process,” Collins said.
The law represents the views of most Alabama voters. Last year, Alabamans approved a state constitutional amendment that says unborn babies have a right to life. According to figures from the Alabama Secretary of State, 55 percent of the voters were women.
Abortion activists hope for a victory in court, though.
“This law is blatantly unconstitutional, and the ACLU will not stand by while politicians emboldened by President (Donald) Trump’s anti-abortion agenda exploit our health and our lives for political gain,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, an attorney for the national ACLU.
The legal group argued that the law is unconstitutional because it restricts a woman’s “right” to an abortion. According to the ACLU, the law will “inflict immediate and irreparable harm” on patients by “forcing them to continue their pregnancies to term against their will,” AFP reports.
The groups involved in the lawsuit include the three abortion clinics in Alabama, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and Yashica Robinson, an abortionist and OB-GYN.
The abortion industry has succeeded in overturning similar laws in court. In 2012, the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a personhood bill as unconstitutional because it recognized unborn babies as human beings who deserve the right to life.
When considering a similar Missouri statute in 1989, former Chief Justice William Rehnquist ruled that the statute was nothing more than a statement of position that had no bearing on banning abortions or even limiting them in any way.
Missouri had approved a statute saying, “the life of each human being begins at conception” and “unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and well-being.” The statute required that all Missouri state laws be interpreted to provide unborn children with rights equal to those enjoyed by other persons.
There is more hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain.