Federal Judge again promises to rule on Alabama law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital

 

By Dave Andrusko

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson

If you are a pro-lifer in Alabama, it probably seems like forever but…

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson said today that he will rule on the state’s law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges in a nearby hospital by April 2 and will consider only “whether the law violates the due process rights of women seeking abortion,” according to the Associated Press. “The judge set aside all other issues raised by the clinics that sued over the law and by the state officials named as defendants.”

Alabama passed HB57 in 2013. The law was originally scheduled to take effect July 1, 2013. Judge Thompson first extended a temporary injunction against the law through March 24, 2014 (which meant the state was barred from enforcing HB57) and then extended it again.

Judge Thompson had said he would rule by today, but instead gave himself through April 2.

The ACLU, representing three abortion clinics, maintains the law (which also requires that abortion clinics meet the standards of ambulatory clinics) is medically unnecessary and unconstitutional. In its filing, attorneys for the state countered that there were “documented problems with patient care” at existing abortion clinics.

“Over the last ten years, the Alabama Department of Public Health has cited abortion clinics for several serious violations. Some of these recent episodes raised the sorts of concerns about continuity of care that are relevant to the issues in this case,” state lawyers wrote.

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