A new Alabama law restricting doctors who perform abortions would force several women’s clinics to shut down, placing unconstitutional restrictions on a woman’s right to obtain one, a federal judge ruled Monday.
Several doctors live outside the state and would be unable to gain the privileges to admit patients to local hospitals required by the law, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson wrote in a 172-page opinion and an accompanying order. Furthermore, it’s unlikely that local doctors would begin performing abortions because of a history of violence across the South that includes bombings, shootings and arsons against clinics, the judge said.
That would effectively force three of the state’s five abortion clinics to close, the judge wrote. Those clinics are in the state’s three largest cities.
“The resulting unavailability of abortion in these three cities would impose significant obstacles, burdens, and costs for women across Alabama,” he wrote.
Thompson extended an earlier order blocking enforcement of the law and said he would issue a final order after considering more written arguments from lawyers.