By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson has ruled that two Alabama abortion laws are unconstitutional. The ruling blocks the state from enforcing these laws.
The first law prohibits the licensing or renewal of a license of an abortion clinic within 2,000 feet of any K-8 public school. The second law banned an abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation. This is the most common method used in the second trimester.
Judge Thompson issued a 148-page ruling on Thursday ordering state authorities from enforcing the statutes. Judge Thompson had already granted a temporary injunction barring the state from enforcing the law. Thursday’s decision made permanent that ban.
“Despite Alabama’s continued attempts to restrict access to abortion, the courts have definitively held that access to an abortion is a constitutional right,” The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama said on social media.
Mike Lewis, a spokesman for the Alabama attorney general’s office, said the state will appeal Thompson’s ruling.
The law banning abortion clinics within 2,000 feet of schools would have shut down two of the state’s five abortion clinics, the Alabama Women’s Center of Huntsville and West Alabama Women’s Center of Tuscaloosa. The two clinics perform an estimated 70 percent of all abortions in the state.
The judge said that other clinics could be forced to relocate or close if new schools were constructed.
“This ever-present possibility would threaten the right of all women in Alabama to access an abortion,” Thompson said.
The federal courts have blocked similar laws in Kansas and Oklahoma.
State Rep. Mack Butler, R-Rainbow City, responded on social media. “Congress not only has the authority per our US Constitution but also has the responsibility to impeach a federal judge for bad behavior. After the recent action of Federal Judge Myron Thompson regarding his continued slaughter of unborn children, this state lawmaker is calling for his immediate removal. We must take a stand against this federal overreach and stand up for the defenseless. I am requesting all my legislative colleagues join me in this stand as well as the people of Alabama. Please share. Living life upside down.”
Butler compared the decision protecting the abortion clinics to the infamous Dred Scott that ruled that blacks could not be U.S. citizens, and that even free states could not protect escaped slaves from southern slave hunters seeking to capture the former slaves and return them to bondage. The ruling, which challenged states’ rights to govern themselves, was responsible for further enflaming tensions that eventually resulted in the Civil War.
Rep. Butler told the Alabama Political Reporter, “Trump will change the makeup of the Supreme Court soon and we will take a case all the way and overturn their evil. These evil leftist judges have blood stained hands.”
Original reporting by the Associated Press’s Jay Reeves contributed to this report.