Appeals Court Finds That Ban Would Have Put Women’s Health at Risk
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A federal appeals court today struck down an Alabama state law prohibiting physicians from providing dilation and evacuation (D&E), a medically proven method for performing abortions.
Today’s decision from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in the case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union is the first by a federal appeals court on the constitutionality of a ban on the D&E procedure.
“Today, the court told Alabama politicians they can’t disregard a woman’s health and decision-making in favor of their ideological agenda,” said Randall Marshall, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama. “This ruling ensures that doctors can continue to use their best judgement to provide the care that is right for their patients.”
Andrew Beck, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said, “The upshot of this ruling is that women’s health, not politics, will guide important medical decisions about pregnancy. Laws like this are part of a larger strategy by anti-abortion politicians to push abortion out of reach entirely. Today, the court affirmed a woman’s right to get the care she needs.”
Leading medical experts such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists oppose this type of abortion restriction. An evidence-based and non-partisan report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine described D&E as a “superior method” of abortion, finding that it is extremely safe with minimal complications.
Similar bans in Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas have all been blocked when challenged in court. The ACLU is challenging a similar law in Kentucky.
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