The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging three anti-choice laws passed this year by Alabama’s Republican-dominated legislature.
Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama, said in a statement that some lawmakers are “laser focused” on restricting access to reproductive health care across Alabama.
“It’s long past time for our elected officials to stop interfering with a woman’s personal decisions and to start dealing with the very real problems in our state,” Watson said.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) in May signed into law two anti-choice measures that will regulate abortion clinics in the same manner as sex offenders and criminalize a common method of second-trimester abortion care and miscarriage management.
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SB 205 would prohibit the Alabama Department of Public Health from issuing or renewing a health center license to an abortion clinic or reproductive health center located within 2,000 feet of a public school, regulating abortion clinics like registered sex offenders.
The GOP-backed bill would force two clinics to close.
SB 363 would prohibit a physician from performing a so-called “dismemberment abortion” unless it is necessary to prevent serious health risk to the pregnant person. This law targets a procedure known as dilation and evacuation (D and E), frequently used during second-trimester abortions and after miscarriages.
The ACLU lawsuit also challenges a law that requires abortion providers to give patients a copy of their medical records, even if the patient does not want it. The ACLU contends this would jeopardize the confidentiality of pregnant people seeking abortion services.
Andrew Beck, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, said in a statement that Alabama lawmakers have a history of passing unconstitutional laws restricting access to abortion care.
“We are hopeful that the court will strike these laws down too, but it’s just plain irresponsible for politicians to keep forcing doctors to go court just to ensure that they can provide the care that women need,” Beck said.
The laws are set to take effect August 1.