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Federal judge issues preliminary injunction against Alabama for postponing abortions as part of a ban limiting elective and unnecessary medical procedures amid the COVID-19 outbreak

by | Apr 13, 2020

By Dave Andrusko

If you are the abortion industry, it is enormously helpful that you have “go-to” judges, such as U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, who will inevitably rule in your favor, as Yeakel has repeatedly in challenges to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order that included abortion among non-essential medical procedures banned during the state of emergency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another equally reliably, and far more verbose, ally is U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. On Sunday night, Judge Thompson issued a preliminary injunction that will “prevent the state from forbidding abortions as part of a ban on elective medical procedures during the Covid-19 outbreak,” The Guardian reported “He said abortion providers could decide whether a procedure could wait.”

In his 56-page court filing, Judge Thompson said the defendants  [Alabama state health officer Scott Harris and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall] ”and their offices cannot use the Alabama Department of Public Health’s order mandating the postponement of all medically unnecessary procedures to prevent healthcare providers from performing abortions,” Abbey Crain reported.

Judge Thompson wrote

“[T]he reasonable medical judgment of abortion providers will be treated with the same respect and deference as the judgments of other medical providers. The decisions will not be singled out for adverse consequences because the services in question are abortions or abortion-related.”

This ignores, of course, that all states which have forbad elective surgical abortions as part of a larger attempt to contain and control the COVID-19 virus have vigorously denied that they have singled out abortion or abortion providers.

Judge Thompson targeted what he saw as a lack of clarity, arguing the state officials “have put forth several divergent interpretations of the medical restrictions, each with dramatically different implications for the plaintiffs.”

The ACLU filed for preliminary injunction on behalf of abortionist Dr. Yashica Robinson.

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