On May 15, 2019, Alabama governor Kay Ivey (R) signed into law Alabama House Bill 314 (HB314), the “Human Life Protection Act.”  The new law bans abortion in the state unless the life of the mother is at stake and goes into effect in November of this year.

Laws like this one, including the recent spate of fetal “heartbeat” laws enacted or proposed in numerous states, have been designed with the stated intent of provoking legal challenges that land in the Supreme Court.  The goal is to get the Court to revisit and possibly even overturn Roe v. Wade.

While it’s not certain that the Supreme Court will take up the case or how they would rule if they did, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood want to find out.

The Washington Post reports:

The American Civil Liberties Union on Friday filed suit on behalf of abortion clinics against the state of Alabama to block the most restrictive abortion law in the nation.

. . . . The lawsuit, filed in United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, sets off a chain of events that both sides say is likely to lead to a years-long court battle. State lawmakers have said they passed the law specifically to bring the case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, which they see as having the most antiabortion bench in decades. The bill was designed to challenge the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by arguing that a fetus is a person and is therefore due full rights.

In the filing, Yashica Robinson, a doctor at the Alabama Women’s Center — one of four abortion providers in the state — argues that the law “directly conflicts with Roe and more than four decades of Supreme Court precedent affirming its central holding.”

Such a ban would inflict immediate and irreparable harm on patients “by violating their constitutional rights, threatening their health and well-being, and forcing them to continue their pregnancies to term against their will,” Robinson argued.

The other plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Planned Parenthood Southeast, Reproductive Health Services and West Alabama Women’s Center on behalf of themselves, their patients and physicians.

The ACLU is determined to fight for abortion “rights” to the very end, and according to Vox, have vowed to “absolutely make sure that abortion remains legal in all 50 states as it is today.”

“We are confident that the courts are going to block not only Alabama’s” abortion ban, but also similar laws in Ohio, Georgia, and elsewhere, Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, told Vox. “We will absolutely make sure that abortion remains legal in all 50 states as it is today.”

Alabama Governor Ivey welcomes the challenge, Vox continues.

In signing the bill last week, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey noted that it was all but certain to be challenged in court.

“No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable,” she said in a statement. “Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.”


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