By AL.COM. Written By Mike Cason | [email protected]
Twenty-one states support Alabama’s petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision by lower courts to block Alabama’s law restricting dismemberment abortions.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that the states endorsed a brief submitted to the Supreme Court by Louisiana’s attorney general.
The case concerns a method of abortion used in only about 7 percent of all abortions in Alabama but used in almost all abortions after 15 weeks of gestation. The procedure is known by the medical term dilation and evacuation.
The Alabama Legislature passed a law in 2016 requiring that doctors kill the fetus before conducting the dismemberment procedure to extract it in parts.
In 2017, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that the law placed an undue burden on women’s right to an abortion because it would effectively terminate the access to an abortion after 15 weeks. Thompson found that the methods suggested by the state to cause fetal demise before the dismemberment were “unsafe and experimental” and not a feasible alternative to the standard dilation and evacuation procedure.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Thompson’s decision.
The ACLU of Alabama, which has represented the abortion clinics that challenged the state law, has said the law is a part of a long-standing strategy to ban abortion in the state.
Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia have passed laws similar to Alabama’s. Other states that joined in the brief were Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.
“The support of these states underscores how significant the national interest is in resolving this issue,” Marshall said.
The brief says it’s important for the Supreme Court to hear the case because litigation is pending on dismemberment abortion in multiple courts across the country.