A U.S. District Court judge issued a temporary injunction on Alabama’s near-total abortion ban, which was set to go into effect on November 15.
The ban, signed into law by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey in May, is one of the harshest anti-abortion bills in history. It charges doctors who perform abortions with Class A felonies, punishable by up to 99 years in prison. It allows for exceptions “to avoid a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother,” but does not allow exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
The ACLU and Planned Parenthood, along with OB-GYN Dr. Yashica Robinson, sued to stop the bill from taking effect.
On Tuesday, Judge Myron Thompson issued an injunction to block the law from taking place until the case is resolved. He called the bill a “ban” that “contravenes clear Supreme Court precedent.”
Thompson wrote that the law “violates the right of an individual to privacy, to make choices central to personal dignity and autonomy.” He also said that it “diminishes the capacity of women to act in society, and to make reproductive decisions.”
In short, he said: “It defies the United States Constitution.”
Unfortunately, supporters of the anti-abortion bill will simply take this opportunity to advance the case to the Supreme Court. Still, Thompson’s ruling marks a temporary victory for Alabama residents.
“Today’s victory means people can still access the health care they need across Alabama — for now,” Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.