Federal Judge Blocks Landmark Alabama Abortion Ban — for Now
Written by Luis Miguel
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked an Alabama law aimed at preventing nearly all abortions within the state, keeping the legislation from going into effect until the court resolves the case in full.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, a Jimmy Carter appointee, issued a preliminary injunction against the Human Life Protection Act, which was slated to go into effect next month.
In his 17-page opinion, Thompson argued that the law “violates the right of an individual to privacy, to make choices central to personal dignity and autonomy.”
The federal judge added that Alabama’s landmark pro-life legislation “defies the United States Constitution” and “diminishes the capacity of women to act in society, and to make reproductive decisions.”
The Human Life Protection Act, signed into law by Republican Governor Kay Ivey in May, would ban abortion at any stage of pregnancy and set a punishment of life in prison for doctors who perform abortions.
The law would not make exceptions for rape or incest, but would allow for abortions “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother” and if the “unborn child has a lethal anomaly.”
The temporary decision from the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama has halted not only the Yellowhammer State’s abortion law, but also legislation limiting early abortions recently passed in states such as Ohio, Georgia, and Missouri.
Thompson’s injunction arose out of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alabama and Planned Parenthood Federation on behalf of Alabama abortion providers.
Proponents of abortion celebrated the ruling. “Today’s victory means that people can still access the health care they need across Alabama — for now,” Planned Parenthood acting president Alexis McGill Johnson said in a statement.
But supporters of the law were not discouraged, having anticipated the opposition. Indeed, the legislation’s proponents said at the time it was passed that their goal is to provoke a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling that will supplant the precedent set by 1973’s Roe v. Wade, which struck down many state and federal abortion laws at the time and established that the Constitution protects a woman’s access to abortion.
“We must continue doing all we can to protect life. However, we also anticipated this challenge, and I support the rule of law,” Governor Ivey said in a statement on Tuesday, noting the pro-life law’s “overwhelming support” at the time it passed the Alabama legislature.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall called the Thompson ruling “not unexpected.” In a statement, he explained:
As we have stated before, the State’s objective is to advance our case to the US 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.
According to Roe, the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause provides a “right to privacy” that allows a woman’s right to choose an abortion.
The constitutional text in questions reads,
“nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
Supporters of abortion point to other passages of the Constitution. In What Roe V. Wade Should Have Said, pro-abortion legal scholars argue that statutes limiting abortion violate the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, which reads that “nor shall any State […] deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
And Northwestern University law professor Andrew Koppelman wrote in 1990 that restricting abortion leads to forced motherhood and therefore, forced labor, which violates the 13th Amendment’s prohibition of involuntary servitude.
Pro-lifers and constitutionalists, however, point to the simple fact that nowhere in the Constitution is authority to determine access to abortion given to the federal government. As the 10th Amendment makes clear, the “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Moreover, Roe’s grounding in the 14th Amendment is an instance of judicial activism that ignores the intent of the amendment’s drafters. As legal scholar Susan Wills wrote, “The Fourteenth Amendment was not intended to create any new rights, but to secure to all persons, notably including freed slaves and their descendants, the rights and liberties already guaranteed by the Constitution.”
(It should be noted that Jane Roe herself, real name Norma McCorvey, converted to Christianity and became fiercely pro-life later in life, even filing a motion in 2004 attempting to have Roe v. Wade overturned.)
Luis Miguel is a writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.
Courtesy of The New American