Judge blocks strict Alabama abortion ban from taking effect next month

Oct. 29 (UPI) — A federal judge on Tuesday blocked an Alabama law that would have imposed a near-total ban on abortion, beginning next month.

The law was set to take effect on Nov. 15, and aims to bar abortions at any stage of pregnancy. It does not exempt the procedure in cases of rape or incest.

The state’s Human Life Protection Act would have caused “serious and irreparable harm,” judge Myron H. Thompson said in his decision.

The injunction prevents the law from entering force while legal challenges move through the courts.

“A new total ban imposes substantial costs on women, including those who are unable to obtain an abortion and those ‘desperately seek to exercise their ability to decide whether to have a child’ and thus ‘would take unsafe measures to end their pregnancies,” Thompson added, citing a related 2014 lawsuit.

Planned Parenthood Southeast President Staci Fox said the ruling is a temporary victory.

“We said it from the start: this ban is blatantly unconstitutional and we will fight it every step of the way,” she said.

American Civil Liberties Union executive director for Alabama Randall Marshall said the state’s repeated attempts to put abortion out of reach has cost taxpayers $2.5 million.

“This ill-advised law will cost taxpayers more money,” he said.

The law is the most restrictive of any abortion measure passed in the United States this year.

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