Alabama abortion laws are restrictive, but not nearly as much as some neighboring states. However, the states clustered in the deep-south appear to be moving toward more restrictive laws.
Mississippi and Georgia both rank higher than Alabama on the Americans United for Life “Life List.”
The ranking takes a list of what the pro-life organization considers ideal restrictions and rates each state according to the standards. Florida and Tennessee are both significantly lower on the list. Mississippi is one of the most restrictive states for abortions in the country – ranking second only to Louisiana in the standards created by Americans United for Life.
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The Associated Press reported in October of 2014 that there were five abortion
clinics in Alabama. Those clinics are struggling to stay open. The Planned Parenthood Clinic in Birmingham closed in early 2014, leaving that city one of the largest in the nation with no abortion clinic. However, it reopened later in the year. A Huntsville clinic also closed because of restrictive state laws. It was able to reopen at a new location.
The struggles center around a relatively new Alabama law that requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges to hospitals in case complications arise from a procedure. Mississippi has a similar law. In July of 2015, the Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa filed a lawsuit over the law. The clinic is one of two in the state that provide second trimester abortions. The executive director of the ACLU in Alabama, Susan Watson, told The Associated Press
, “We’re asking the court to either strike the requirement or to make an exception.”
Tennessee has a law that requires a person seeking an abortion to prove residency in the state. USA Today reported that in 2015 Tennessee
adopted a waiting period of 48 hours before a woman can have an abortion. This is similar to the Alabama law, which also requires a 48 hour waiting period. While many states require some kind of waiting period, these two-day waits are among the longest in the nation. Tennessee also passed a recent law requiring many abortion clinics to be licensed as surgical facilities.
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Florida laws require an ultrasound before an abortion. That state also requires a minor to get the consent of a parent before getting an abortion. Like Alabama, the state of Florida does not allow abortions after a certain point in the pregnancy. While Alabama limits abortions at 20 weeks, Florida marks the prohibition period at “viability.”
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