Fight’s On: ACLU, Planned Parenthood Sue to Stop Alabama’s Virtual Abortion Ban

A protester wears an “I stand with Planned Parenthood” shirt at a May 21, 2019, rally in Atlanta against recently passed abortion ban bills.
Photo: Elijah Nouvelage (Getty)

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union on Friday filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn Alabama’s law that bans abortions except in cases of “serious” health risk to the mother, saying the law is patently unconstitutional.

The legal counterattack, which was promised after Alabama’s senators gave a final OK to the bill almost two weeks ago, came on the same day yet another stateMissourisigned into law an abortion ban almost as restrictive as Alabama’s.

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This all comes as about half-a-dozen states, including Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi and Ohio, all GOP strongholds, have passed regressive anti-abortion legislation, all in an attempt to force the U.S. Supreme Court to take another look at Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion across the nation, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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Alabama’s law calls for doctors performing abortions to face a felony charge that could be punished by a sentence of 99 years to life in prison. It is set to take effect in November unless a judge says otherwise.

Supporters of a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion on Friday pledged to do whatever needed doing to protect that right.

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“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,” Randall Marshall, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, told the L.A. Times.

And make no mistake: Even as things stand today, getting a safe and legal abortion in Alabama is no easy task. Currently, according to the Times, there are less than a handful of abortion clinics in the state, all of which are plaintiffs in the suit filed Friday by the ACLU and Planned Parenthood.

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But even supporters of the virtual abortion ban say they expect the legislation to go down in flames at the courthouse. However, that’s OK with them. The nation’s highest court is their goal.

“My goal with this bill, and I think all of our goals, is to have Roe versus Wade turned over and that decision ability sent back to the states,” Republican state Rep. Terri Collins, the bill’s sponsor, said when it passed last week, the Times reports.

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