Judge Blocks Alabama Abortion Ban, State Attorney General Says ‘Objective Is to Advance Case to Supreme Court’

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A federal judge nominated to the bench by then-President Jimmy Carter has blocked Alabama’s abortion ban from taking effect, noting that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a “woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy before viability is a rule of law and component of liberty that we cannot renounce.” The state says that it anticipated the ruling and reiterated that the “Human Life Protection Act,” which includes the exceptions of a “serious health risk” to the mother or if the baby has a “lethal anomaly,” was meant to be a challenge to the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade.

“The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy,” wrote Judge Myron Thompson on Tuesday.

He said that while states have a legitimate interest in protecting what he called “the potential life of the fetus,” a state may “regulate” abortion “only if the laws in question do not pose an ‘undue burden’ to a woman’s right to end her pregnancy.”

“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 asserted.

As previously reportedHouse Bill 314, also known as the “Human Life Protection Act,” says that “[i]t shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion except … if an attending physician licensed in Alabama determines that an abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother.”

It also notes that the definition of an abortion “does not include a procedure or act to terminate the pregnancy of a woman with an ectopic pregnancy, nor does it include the procedure or act to terminate the pregnancy of a woman when the unborn child has a lethal anomaly.”

The performance of an abortion outside of the exceptions would be a class A felony. However, “[n]o woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to be performed shall be criminally or civilly liable.”

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Read the bill in full here.

Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill into law in May, but noted in a statement that the measure is similar to an already-existing statute on the books in Alabama, which was deemed “unenforceable” following the 1973 Roe ruling. She said that HB 314 would probably likewise not be enforced, advising that the state will “continue to follow the rule of law” while it looks to the Supreme Court to revisit the issue.

“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. As citizens of this great country, we must always respect the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court even when we disagree with their decisions,” Ivey remarked.

“Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.”

Attorney General Steve Marshall made similar comments on Tuesday after Judge Thompson issued an injunction against the law.

“The district court’s decision to grant the plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction of Alabama’s 2019 abortion law as to pre-viability abortions was not unexpected,” he said in a statement.

“As we have stated before, the state’s objective is to advance our case to the U.S. Supreme Court where we intend to submit evidence that supports our argument that Roe and Casey were wrongly decided and that the Constitution does not prohibit states from protecting unborn children from abortion.”

Some believe that states should simply ignore and defy Roe rather than wait for the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling as the opinion had no constitutional basis and is an affront to Almighty God.

Ecclesiastes 11:5 reads, “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child, even so thou knowest not the works of God, who maketh all.”

Psalm 139:16 says, “Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect, and in Thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned when as yet there was none of them.”

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