A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking Alabama’s “Human Life Protection Act,” which was to take effect Nov. 15.
Alabama’s Republican governor, Kay Ivey, signed the legislation into law in May, effectively banning abortion in the state at any stage of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is at risk. Under the law, termination of a pregnancy is considered a felony. Mothers would not be punished for having an abortion, but the person who performs the abortion could face 10 years to life in prison.
The bill passed with a 25-6 vote in the state’s Senate and 74-3 in the House.
“The legislation passed with overwhelming support in the Alabama Legislature and was signed into law as a testament to Alabamians’ longstanding belief that every human life is sacred,” said Ivey.
As anticipated, Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama sued the state to block the measure from being implemented.
U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson on Tuesday issued the temporary block, writing that the act “violates an individual’s constitutional right to obtain a pre-viability abortion, and thus … it violates her constitutional rights.”
“Once again, the abortion industry is using the judges in their pocket to usurp the will of the voters,” said Students for Life of America President Kristan Hawkins. “People want a voice and a vote on the issue of abortion. … It’s undemocratic to block the efforts of people to take a stand in defense of preborn life.”
While some were disheartened, most pro-life advocates were prepared for the judge’s action, viewing the ruling as a stepping-stone to their ultimate goal.
“Our law was designed to overturn Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court level, and today’s ruling is merely the first of many steps on that legal journey,” said Rep. Terri Collins, sponsor of the bill. “I remain confident that our mission will be successful and appreciate the support of millions of citizens who support our effort to preserve unborn life.”