New Alabama Pro-Life Law Blocked By Federal Judge

CBS News reported on a federal judge blocking Alabama’s pro-life law on Tuesday, October 29, 2019.

The law, the “Human Life Protection Act,” was originally set to go into effect on November 15.

A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the law on Tuesday morning, slamming the brakes on this law’s implementation as the lawsuit challenging the law continues.

Alabama’s attorney general, Steve Marshall, said that decision “was not unexpected.” He pointed out that the purpose of the law was to potentially overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in America.

“As we have stated before, the State’s objective is to advance our case to the U.S. Supreme Court where we intend to submit evidence that supports our argument that Roe and Casey were wrongly decided and that the Constitution does not prohibit states from protecting unborn children from abortion,” Marshall declared in a statement to CBS News Tuesday afternoon.

Planned Parenthood praised the judge for the ruling. “This is not only a victory for the people of Alabama — it’s a victory for the entire nation,” Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, asserted in a statement emailed to CBS News. “We said it from the start: this ban is blatantly unconstitutional and we will fight it every step of the way.”

Myron H. Thompson, a federal judge for the Middle District of Alabama, North Division, wrote a 17-page opinion stating that the law’s enforcement would cause “serious and irreparable harm.”

“A near-total ban imposes substantial costs on women, including those who are unable to obtain an abortion and those who ‘desperately seek to exercise their ability to decide whether to have a child’ and thus ‘would take unsafe measures to end their pregnancies,'” Thompson wrote, citing another lawsuit that took place in Alabama in 2014, Planned Parenthood Southeast v. Strange.

This law was passed in May and would prohibit abortions taking place in Alabama except when “abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk” to the woman, based on the bill’s language. There is no exception for instances of rape or incest. It criminalizes this practice and reclassifies abortion as a Class A felony, which is punishable by up to 99 years in prison for abortion doctors.