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Federal judge blocks Alabama's abortion ban to allow ACLU, Planned Parenthood legal challenge to proceed


The law would ban almost all abortions in the state

Elijah Nouvelage for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal judge blocked Alabama's abortion ban as a legal challenge to the law by the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood proceeds through the court system, according to

Alabama's law, the Human Life Protection Act, was signed by GOP Gov. Kay Ivey in May. The law would ban abortion in all instances except those in which an abortion would prevent serious health risks to the mother. It is the most stringent pro-life law in the nation.

The decision came in a 17-page opinion from Judge Myron Thompson for the Middle District of Alabama, North Division.

"A near-total ban imposes substantial costs on women, including those who are unable to obtain an abortion and those who 'desperately seek to exercise their ability to decide whether to have a child' and thus 'would take unsafe measures to end their pregnancies,'" Thompson wrote in his ruling.

It is not surprising that the law's implementation, which was scheduled for Nov. 15, was blocked. Strict laws against abortion have little chance of taking effect while Roe v. Wade still stands, and attempted passage of laws such as this one in Alabama, as well as laws in Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, and other states, are aimed at ultimately challenging the Supreme Court's landmark abortion decision.

"This is not only a victory for the people of Alabama — it's a victory for the entire nation," said Staci Fox, president of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates. "We said it from the start: this ban is blatantly unconstitutional and we will fight it every step of the way. We will continue fighting this law in court until it is permanently blocked. We will continue advocating for reproductive health and rights in the State House. And we will continue, full steam ahead, to make sure that abortion remains safe, legal, and available in Alabama."

Alabama currently has three abortion clinics.

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