The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), ACLU of Alabama and Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed a lawsuit on behalf of Alabama abortion providers Friday challenging the near total abortion ban approved earlier this month.
The Alabama Human Life Protection Act bans performing abortions in the state and imposes criminal penalties of up to 99 years in prison on doctors who perform abortions.
It is one of the most restrictive abortion bans as it criminalizes “any person to intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion” at any stage of pregnancy with only exceptions for averting death or “serious health risks.” The governor signed it, despite admitting that it may be “unenforceable” and that she wishes for the act to be challenged by a Supreme Court decision.
The complaint stressed that the US Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized the fundamental federal constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy as central to equality, dignity, and bodily integrity.
“Alabama’s state motto is audemus jura nostra defendere, which means ‘we dare defend our rights.’ That’s exactly what we’re doing here today,” Staci Fox, President and CEO at Planned Parenthood Southeast said in a statement. “Abortion has been safe and legal in this country for more than 45 years and we aim to keep it that way. We are protecting the rights of our patients. We are defending the work of the brave folks who came before us. And we are fighting to take this country forward, not backwards.”