Planned Parenthood, ACLU Sue Alabama over Abortion Law

Protesters hold posters in support of Planned Parenthood at a rally to oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and its replacement on Capitol Hill on June 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. Criticism is mounting on the GOP for health care reform legislation being done behind closed doors. (Photo …
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DR. SUSAN BERRY

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a federal lawsuit Friday challenging a new law in Alabama that bans most abortions in the state, save those to prevent a serious health risk to the mother.

The law reclassifies abortion as a Class A felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison for abortionists. Women who undergo an abortion, however, would not be criminally liable.

The complaint was filed in the United States District Court of the Middle District of Alabama.

In a joint press statement, Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said Alabama’s Human Life Protection Act is “blatantly unconstitutional.”

“The Alabama legislature has been pushing abortion care further and further out of reach for years with medically unnecessary and politically-motivated restrictions, and this extreme abortion ban shows us just how far they’ll go to push their anti-abortion agenda,” she said, adding “the ACLU will not stand by while politicians emboldened by President Trump’s anti-abortion agenda exploit our health and our lives for political gain.”

Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, called the Alabama law “dangerous” and “immoral.”

“The facts are on our side, the public is on our side, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure women across Alabama can receive the health care they need today, tomorrow, and beyond,” Wen said.

“Abortion has been safe and legal in this country for more than 45 years and we aim to keep it that way,” said Staci Fox, president and CEO at Planned Parenthood Southeast. “We are protecting the rights of our patients. We are defending the work of the brave folks who came before us. And we are fighting to take this country forward, not backwards.”

Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed the Alabama Human Life Protection Act into law on May 15.

“To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.”

“The heart of this bill is to confront a decision that was made by the courts in 1973 that said the baby in the womb is not a person,” said state Rep. Terri Collins (R), one of the bill’s sponsors. “This bill addresses that one issue. Is that baby in the womb a person? I believe our law says it is. I believe our people say it is. And I believe technology shows it is.”

 

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