MONTGOMERY, AL (WIAT) — The American Civil Liberties Union, (ACLU), ACLU of Alabama and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of Alabama abortion providers seeking to overturn the nation’s most stringent abortion law.
The lawsuit says the Alabama law to criminalize abortion is clearly unconstitutional and would harm women by forcing them to continue pregnancies against their will.
The Alabama law would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a class “A” felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison for the abortion provider. The only exception would be when the woman’s health is at serious risk. The law would not punish the women, only the doctor.
The ACLU says, the lawsuit comes amid nationwide opposition to the extreme ban and follows a week of protests throughout the country opposing state abortion bans. Earlier this year, Kentucky, Georgia, Ohio, and Mississippi also enacted laws banning abortion, and the Missouri governor is expected to sign a ban soon. The ACLU has already obtained an injunction blocking the Kentucky ban. The ACLU, together with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, have also filed suit against the ban in Ohio and are preparing a legal challenge in Georgia. No abortion ban, including Alabama’s, is in effect and abortion remains legal in all 50 states.
Statement from Gov. Kay Ivey, while signing the Alabama Human Life Protection Act into law:
Today, I signed into law the Alabama Human Life Protection Act, a bill that was approved by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the Legislature. To the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.
To all Alabamians, I assure you that we will continue to follow the rule of law.
“In all meaningful respects, this bill closely resembles an abortion ban that has been a part of Alabama law for well over 100 years. As today’s bill itself recognizes, that longstanding abortion law has been rendered ‘unenforceable’ as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade,” said Gov. Kay Ivey.
The law is scheduled to take effect in November unless blocked by a judge.
The attorney general’s office will be defining the law on behalf of the state.