Alabama has a Republican-controlled legislature and a Republican governor who want to ban or restrict access to abortions.
In 2019, Alabama lawmakers approved what was then the most stringent abortion ban in the country, making it a felony to perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy with no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. The only exception would be when the woman's health was at serious risk. A federal judge issued an injunction, under the precedent of Roe v. Wade, blocking the state from enforcing the law.
In 2018, voters agreed to amend the Alabama Constitution to say the state recognizes the "rights of unborn children" and "does not protect the right to an abortion or require the funding of abortion." A 1951 law made it a crime, punishable by up to 12 months in prison, to induce an abortion, unless it is done to preserve the life or health of the mother.
Alabama's three abortion clinics on Friday stopped providing abortions because of concerns of prosecution under the 1951 law, clinic owners and representatives said. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, a vocal critic of Roe, said abortion providers operating in violation of state law, "should immediately cease and desist operations." He did not mention the 1951 law but said all laws not enjoined by the courts would be enforced.
Alabama on Friday asked a court, citing the new Supreme Court decision, to dissolve the injunction blocking enforcement of the 2019 abortion ban. Marshall said the state would also move to lift other injunctions that blocked previous attempts to implement abortion restrictions, including a ban on abortion clinics near schools and a ban on the most common method for second trimester abortions.
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