Alabama’s Near-Total Abortion Ban Gets Temporarily Blocked

A law that would have nearly banned all abortions in the state of Alabama was temporarily blocked by a federal judge on Tuesday, Oct. 29. The Alabama Human Life Protection Act would have taken effect on Nov. 15 and would have made almost all cases of performing an abortion a felony crime, with the exception of the health of the mother, a mental illness that could result in a woman's or child’s death or if the fetus had a lethal anomaly.

The federal judge who temporarily blocked the bill was U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson. He issued a preliminary injunction, meaning he temporarily prohibited both parties from acting on the bill. In a 17-page opinion, Judge Thompson wrote, “Alabama’s abortion ban contravenes clear Supreme Court precedent. It violates the right of an individual to privacy, to make choices central to personal dignity and autonomy." The law would have made performing an abortion at any stage a Class A felony, punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison for the person providing the abortion. It would have also made an attempt to perform an abortion a Class C felony, punishable by one to 10 years in prison. This is one of the most controversial and restricting abortion laws in the history of the state’s legislature.

The temporary block on this bill makes Alabama the seventh state to have abortion bill bans in 2019, along with Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio and Utah. In May, when the bill was signed into law, an outbreak of protestors stood their ground outside the Montgomery Capitol.

Courtesy: NBC News

The Human Life Protection Act would ban all abortions and make them all felony crimes, including those that resulted from incest and rape. The controversy behind this law has been mounting for several months and has garnered the attention of the entire state. After signing the bill into law on May 15, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey released a statement, saying, “Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Legislature. 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.”

Courtesy: Governor of Alabama

One of the plaintiffs in the case was Randall Marshall, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama. When speaking about the bill’s ban, he said, “As expected, the court has blocked the law and it will not go into effect. Abortion remains legal in Alabama. The state’s repeated attempts to push abortion out of reach by enacting unconstitutional laws restricting abortions has already cost taxpayers nearly $2.5 million. This ill-advised law will cost taxpayers more money.”

While this ban has stirred up controversy across the nation, it has opened the door for further dialogue about abortion law and how it is being treated in this country. In an effort to be as informed and influential as possible, seek reliable information to base decisions and opinions on. The future is in our hands and the only way to make a meaningful impact on our country is to be informed voters, regardless of your beliefs and opinions.

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