On Thursday a federal court issued a preliminary injunction blocking two Alabama abortion restrictions that would have severely hindered access to the procedure in that state. The judge for the District Court for the Middle District of Alabama noted that the burden of the laws would have mostly fallen onto low-income women.
The first was SB 205, which would have forbid any clinic offering abortion from operating within 2,000 feet of a K-8 public school. This would have forced the closure of two clinics, one in Tuscaloosa and one in Huntsville, which together provide more than half of the abortions in the state. Their closure would have left Alabama with only three clinics to service almost one million women of reproductive age. No other states have enacted such restrictions.
The second law was SB 363, which sought to outlaw one of the safest second trimester abortion procedures commonly known as dilation and evacuation. A similar ban has already been blocked in Kansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
According to the ACLU, the organization has challenged seven anti-abortion laws passed by Alabama lawmakers in the past three years, including attempts to block Planned Parenthood from Medicaid funding and the unconstitutional admitting privilege law, which cost the state $1.7 million in legal fees.
As of December 1, 2015 Alabama abortion restrictions included a ban on the use of telemedicine, a 48 hour waiting period after receiving counseling designed to dissuade a woman from having an abortion, and a ban on abortion after 20 weeks unless the woman’s life is in danger.