A federal judge has prevented one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, which would have prevented almost any abortion in Alabama.
On Tuesday, October 29th, Judge Myron H. Thompson of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama published an injunction against the law, which was slated to proceed into effect November 15 after being endorsed into law this past May. Thompson determined that a constitutional challenge to the law is expected to succeed, and ruled the law is unenforceable while litigation proceeds.
The law would authorize abortion only if the pregnant person’s life were at risk, with zero exemptions for cases that include rape or incest. Any doctor who performs an abortion would face ten years to life in prison.
Other states, including Georgia, Mississippi, and Ohio, aimed to roll out “heartbeat bills,” which would ban abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Fetal cardiac activity is discoverable at six weeks into a pregnancy, during at which time most women do not indicate that they are pregnant. Federal or district courts have obstructed all of those states’ bills. Anti-abortion advocates are striving to get any abortion-related lawsuit up to the US Supreme Court for the possibility of the Court to ban abortion nationwide in a decades-long upheaval of judicial precedent in Roe v. Wade and related cases.