Federal Judge: Alabama Abortion Law Unconstitutional, Cites History of Racism
US District Court Judge Myron Thompson has issued an injunction that blocks an Alabama restriction on abortions that cans clinic from being within 2,000 feet from any K-8 public schools; as well as banning procedures of second-trimester abortions.
The federal judge cited the historical battle over women’s right to choose: “Incidentally, women in the South have resorted to turpentine before. One study from 1936 reported that rural black women in Georgia consumed turpentine for self-induced abortions. Turpentine relies on ingredients similar to those reportedly used by southern slaves seeking to self-abort.”
Thompson said Alabama’s law targeted two clinics, Planned Parenthood Southeast (PPS) and Reproductive Health Services (RHS) that happen to perform an estimated seventy percent of abortions within that state and this type of precise restrictions would significantly reduce access to abortion providing clinics.
Citing a 1992 US Supreme Court ruling, Thompson said this law created an “undue burden” purposed to instate a “substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.”
Staci Fox, president and CEO of PPS told the press that Alabama “politicians passed this law in order to make it impossible for women in Alabama to get abortions, plain and simple. This victory ensures that women in Alabama can make their own private health care decisions without the interference from politicians.”
In response to the ruling, Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard said this is “merely a hurdle” in what will be a long fight in the federal appeals court system.
Hubbard said: “This battle is a marathon and not a sprint, but it is one that the Republican legislature will continue to fight to protect women in the state of Alabama.”
Journalist Christian Cauterucci pointed out that pointed out that Alabama’s law came about out of a need to “treat-clinics-like-sex-offenders law is almost unbelievable: The state allegedly wanted to minimize the disruption to schools that abortion protesters might cause. Thompson found a few problems with this logic.”
Cauterucci continued: “First, there aren’t many protesters at the two clinics that the law affected, and they aren’t especially noisy. Second, there is no record of protests actually disrupting any school’s “educational environment.” Third, the law is simply unfair: It purports to be concerned about clinic protesters, but it achieves its goal by shutting down clinics themselves.”