In addition to the state’s new ban on dismemberment abortions, on Thursday Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed into law legislation requiring abortion facilities to be at least 2,000 feet away from public elementary and middle schools.
The new law is expected to cause the closure of a Huntsville abortion facility that had already moved in 2013 to comply with abortion regulations, and potentially close a location in Tuscaloosa. A state House committee rejected an amendment that would exempt the Huntsville location from the requirement.Pro-lifers argue the law will spare children the experience of witnessing protests and conflicts outside abortion centers. The American Civil Liberties Union, however, has vowed to challenge the law in court.
“Now that it’s successful in Alabama, we believe it will be a template or pattern for other states in the future to follow with the strong prospect of it holding up in federal court,” pro-life activist Rev. James Henderson said. “Not only do we feel good about the victory, but we see this as an opportunity to expose the ACLU for what they are as far as their pattern of standing against basic morality and Christian values.”
The two affected abortion facilities are estimated to account for 72 percent of abortions in Alabama.