Law & the Courts

Federal Judge Blocks Alabama Abortion Ban

(Carlos Jasso/Reuters)

A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction blocking an Alabama law that bans abortion in almost all cases.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued the injunction on Tuesday, preventing enforcement of the ban. The law prescribes a minimum ten-year prison sentence for someone who provides an abortion except in cases where the life of the mother is in jeopardy. Women seeking abortions would not be prosecuted.

Executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union Randall Marshall commented that the decision to block the law was expected. The ban on abortions would have gone into effect in November.

Judge Thompson’s ruling will stay in effect until the court resolves the case in full.

In a statement on Twitter, the ACLU lauded the court’s decision.

“With this federal court ruling, it’s official: None of the state abortion bans passed earlier this year are in effect,” the statement read, referring to abortion restrictions put forward in Ohio, Georgia, Missouri, and other states. “Abortion remains legal in all 50 states.”

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the law on May 15 of this year.

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

Ivey had also cautioned that the law might be impossible to enforce due to court challenges.

“No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable,” she said.

On May 24 abortion provider Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against the law.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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