The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood are suing Alabama for an extreme law that bans abortion and punishes doctors by up to 99-years in prison. The law was signed into effect by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on May 15, 2019.
According to a joint press release by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, the organizations filed the lawsuit earlier today. The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood hope to overturn the new law that bans abortion and penalizes doctors with prison for performing abortions.
Only nine days ago, Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill. However, the new law is extremely unpopular around the country because of several parameters in the law. Not only does the law ban abortions, but women that become pregnant via rape or incest cannot receive abortions.
Alabama is one of five states that have passed legislation banning abortion this year. Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Mississippi all enacted laws banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. Because a fetal heartbeat is detectable before most women know they are pregnant, the regulations effectively make abortion illegal.
In the statement, the ACLU stated they have already received an injunction in Kentucky that prevents the law from going into effect. Additionally, the ACLU plans to a file similar lawsuits in Georgia. The two organizations already filed a lawsuit in the state of Ohio.
Due to the efforts by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, abortion remains legal in all 50 states.
“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,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.
“This law is blatantly unconstitutional, and 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.”
Randall Marshall, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, reassured Alabama women that abortion would remain safe and legal in the state.
“Make no mistake: Abortion remains – and will remain – safe and legal in Alabama. With this lawsuit, we are seeking a court order to make sure this law never takes effect.”
Marshall continued by scolding Alabama lawmakers for wasting taxpayer money on passing unconstitutional laws,
“We hope our state’s elected leaders take note and stop using taxpayer dollars on a legal gamble that they know is unconstitutional and unenforceable.”
Planned Parenthood echoed their commitment to standing up for patients. Dr. Yashica Robinson, comprehensive women’s health specialist and owner of Alabama Women’s Center, a plaintiff in the case said,
“Our patients at Alabama Women’s Center already have to overcome so much just to get to our doors, and this law further shames them, punishes providers like myself, and stigmatizes essential health care.
Alabama has a long track record of passing laws designed to close clinics and push abortion care out of reach, and just like we have before, we will fight for our patients and do all we can to stay open and continue serving our community.”
“What we’re seeing in Alabama is a manmade public health emergency and we’re fighting back. To patients seeking safe, legal abortion care in Alabama: this extreme ban hasn’t gone into effect yet — and we will make sure of it.
This dangerous, immoral, and unconstitutional ban threatens people’s lives and well-being and we are suing to protect our patient’s rights. 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.”
With multiple states passing bans, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood are working tirelessly to protect women’s reproductive rights. Currently, five states have passed unconstitutional bans on abortion. Also, Missouri passed a similar abortion ban, and the Governor plans to sign the bill into law.
Women’s reproductive rights are under threat around the country. Republicans are hoping a conservative Supreme Court will overturn Roe vs. Wade. Despite their attempts, the law will be difficult to reverse because the Supreme Court hasn’t ruled against abortion in 45 years.
Thankfully for women and young girls, organizations like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood are stepping to protect women’s reproductive rights.
Finally, get involved and donate to the organizations fighting to protect women.
Donate to the ACLU here.
Help Planned Parenthood protect abortion and donate here.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis on The Non-Sequitur Channel. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.
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