ACLU and Planned Parenthood File Motion for Summary Judgment in Alabama Abortion Restriction Lawsuit

Groups Ask for Permanent Relief from Law that Would Force Most Clinics in the State to Stop Providing Abortions

December 16, 2013

Robyn Shepherd, ACLU National, 212-519-7829,
Brooke Anderson, ACLU of Alabama, 334-265-2754,

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Alabama and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed a motion for a summary judgment today asking a judge to permanently block an Alabama law that would place medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers and force most clinics in the state to stop offering abortion care.

"This motion is the next step in ensuring that Alabama women have access to the health care that they need," said Susan Watson, the executive director of the ACLU of Alabama.

Should the law stand, abortion providers would be required to obtain staff privileges at local hospitals, which are medically unnecessary and difficult to obtain. Leading medical groups, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have opposed such requirements because they are unnecessary for the provision of safe, high-quality health care, and because they prevent women from getting necessary services.

The law would force three of the state’s five abortion clinics, including the Planned Parenthood health centers in Birmingham and Mobile and Reproductive Health Services in Montgomery, to stop providing abortions. Only facilities in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa would remain open.

Alabama law does not require doctors providing surgery at other health centers to have admitting privileges, even for more complicated procedures.