NRL News

Federal Judge sets non-jury trial for May 19 in challenge to Alabama law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital

by | Apr 3, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson

A very quick update on the ongoing, ongoing case before U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. Television station WAFF is reporting that Judge Thompson has ordered a non-jury trial for May 19 in which he will hear arguments on Alabama’s HB57.

Alabama’s Women’s Health and Safety Act requires abortionists to have admitting privileges in a nearby hospital. A similar Texas law was just upheld by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

Pro-abortionists argue the law violates the due process rights of women seeking abortion.

The judge has already said he will set aside “all other issues raised by the clinics that sued over the law and by the state officials named as defendants,” according to the Associated Press.

HB57, passed in 2013, was 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 then said he would rule by March 31, 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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Categories: Judicial Legislation