By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Monday, June 27, the US Supreme Court struck down a Texas law regulating abortion clinics. The decision likely impacts a number of Alabama statutes that sought to regulate or limit abortion providers, including one that is almost identical to the Texas statute, which was overturned by the Supreme Court.
The Alabama Statute had already been overturned by federal Judge Myron Thompson in the case of ‘Planned Parenthood versus Strange;’ but was being appealed. A number of Alabama officials commented on the ruling which was viewed as yet another victory for Pro-Choice activists in the Supreme Court.
Attorney General Luther Strange (R) issued a statement regarding the impact of Monday’s US Supreme Court decision against Texas’ abortion clinic law. AG Strange said, “The US Supreme Court ruled today against a Texas law requiring abortion clinic doctors to obtain local hospital admitting privileges. The Texas law, which was declared unconstitutional, is nearly identical to an Alabama abortion clinic law currently under legal challenge.”
AG Strange said, “While I disagree with the high court’s decision, there is no good faith argument that Alabama’s law remains constitutional in light of the Supreme Court ruling. Accordingly, my office will dismiss our appeal of a 2014 federal court ruling declaring Alabama’s abortion clinic law unconstitutional.”
US Representative Martha Roby also expressed disappointment over the 5 to 3 Supreme Court ruling. Rep. Roby said, “In the wake of the disturbing revelations from Kermit Gosnell’s “House of Horrors” Philadelphia abortion clinic, Alabama and several other states enacted laws to raise the standard of medical care required at facilities that perform abortion. The laws required doctors performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges and sought to bring facility standards up to par with outpatient surgical centers. That the Court would strike such laws down is disturbing.”
Congresswoman Roby said, “I’m disappointed by the Court’s ruling. It’s amazing to me that some want to lower the standard of medical care just so more abortion clinics can stay open, rather than requiring them to improve to meet the new standard. More and more Americans are being exposed to the atrocities of the abortion industry. I will continue to fight on behalf of the unborn, advocating for greater protections for life under the law and better care for women subject to unsafe conditions.”
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan also released a statement following the ruling: “The Alabama Republican Party strongly supports a core component of the GOP platform – pro-life values that commit to protect unborn life. Today’s ruling from the Supreme Court is a direct blow to these values.”
Chairman Lathan continued, “Rather than make women’s health a priority, proponents of this decision would rather keep open as many abortion clinics as possible. These clinics, without strong surgical standards and doctors that have hospital admitting authority, are not operating with a woman’s best interest in mind. This decision is a grave reminder that the balance of the High Court hangs by a thread. It is imperative we make Donald Trump the Republican nominee for president this November. His list of possible Supreme Court nominees will guarantee a solid, conservative position on the court. This election is the opportunity for America to be proactive in choosing our Supreme Court that will affect generations to come.”
“State Representative Ed Henry (R-Hartselle), who has championed Pro-Life legislation in the legislature, including a 48-hour waiting period for abortion procedures in Alabama and prohibiting State tax dollars from funding abortions under Obamacare, released his own statement. Rep. Henry wrote, “The Supreme Court ruling in the Texas abortion case disregards the sanctity of unborn life and threatens the health and safety of women across the country. The current Supreme Court continues to erode our nation’s moral fabric and turns a blind eye to the fundamental constitutional principles its members are sworn to uphold. It is vitally important that we elect a president who will appoint strict constructionist legal scholars, not politically-motivated liberal hacks, to the highest court, and that is one of many reasons why I support Donald Trump for president.”
Not everyone was upset by the ruling. The Executive Director of the ACLU of Alabama, Susan Watson said, “The Supreme Court decision on Whole Women’s Health is great news for the clinics and women of Alabama. This ruling upholds Judge Thompson’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Strange. We expect the state of Alabama to dismiss its appeal to the eleventh circuit after it considers this decision.”
Director Watson added, “The ACLU of Alabama will continue our fight to ensure all women in our State have access to safe and legal abortions.”