MONTGOMERY, Ala. (CNS) — A federal judge in Montgomery issued an order July 23 to delay enforcement of a new Alabama law that mandates abortion clinic doctors have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
The law, which was to have gone into effect Aug. 15, also requires abortion clinics to meet the same safety standards as ambulatory care centers.
The action by Judge Myron Thompson, of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, postpones the law until March 24, 2014, so the court can move ahead on hearing a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Women’s Health and Safety Act was signed into law in April by Gov. Robert Bentley, a Republican. Backers of the law say it would make abortions safer. Opponents say it aims to shut down most of the state’s licensed abortion clinics by imposing new regulations they consider unnecessary.
News reports said most of the state’s clinics contract with out-of-town physicians to perform abortions and rely on local doctors with hospital privileges to provide care afterward.
An attorney representing Planned Parenthood called the law unconstitutional, saying it restricts “the ability of Alabama women, including victims of rape and incest, to access safe and legal abortions.”
In June, when the suit against the law was filed, Republican state Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, the legislation’s sponsor, told the Reuters news agency that the goal of the law was not to shutter clinics and that instead of filing suit, its opponents should be “bringing the clinics up to code.”
Win free tickets, help support CatholicPhilly.com
CatholicPhilly.com often partners with our region's top cultural venues. During this two-week period, you can benefit by our association with The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
Make a donation of any amount during this period and you will receive two general admission tickets to Philadelphia's premier educational museum -- that's a $60 value.
Use our secure credit card form by clicking the link below. That will enable us to contact you so we can send the tickets, which are valid to September 2018.
Your donation helps us to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith. Your gift gift of $40, $50, $100, or more will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here: