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Guns N Roses

US District Judge Myron Thompson ruled yesterday that a 2013 Alabama state abortion clinic law is unconstitutional. Thompson ruled that the law’s requirement that abortion doctors have admitting privileges at hospitals in the same metropolitan area where they do abortions is an undue burden on womens’ right to abortions, because it would force the closing of three of the five clinics in the state, leaving only the clinics in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa.

But the best part is that the judge’s opinion made a brilliant analogy that is sure to piss off conservatives: Suppose the state or federal government passed a new restriction on who could sell firearms, and it resulted in only two vendors being able to stay in business, one in Huntsville and one in Tuscaloosa. “The defenders of this law would be called upon to do a heck of a lot of explaining – and rightly so in the face of an effect so severe. Similarly, in this case, so long as the Supreme Court continues to recognize a constitutional right to choose to terminate a pregnancy, any regulation that would, in effect, restrict the exercise of that right to only Huntsville and Tuscaloosa should be subject to the same skepticism.”

If you want to see how much this pisses off conservatives, read the comments on the article linked at the top of this post.



  1. Michael wrote:

    Wow. That comment section is quite the epitome of complete willful ignorance. I hate to resort to stereotypes, but that section is really not doing educated Alabamans any favors.

    I’m curious to see how this plays out, though. This ruling was at the district level. Texas has a similar law (requires admitting privileges within 30 miles) that made Wendy Davis famous for her epic and amazing filibuster (a true speaking filibuster). The district court there ruled against that law, but a federal appeals court vacated that ruling and upheld the law. Note that TX is in the 5th district and AL is in the 11th. So it is possible that this leads to a split decision that requires SCOTUS intervention.

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 2:09 pm | Permalink
  2. wildwood wrote:

    “educated Alabamans.”

    Is there such a thing?

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink
  3. Michael wrote:

    For clarification (in case you’re following), the TX law is still under challenge. The ruling from the 5th back in March upheld the requirement that doctors have admitting privileges, which is what the AL court just struck down. The key difference between the two is that the TX provision would not force closures, whereas the AL one would, given the locations of the abortion providers.

    The current challenge to the TX law does revolve around closures, because another part of the law requires clinics to upgrade their facilities unnecessarily. If enforced, 18 out of the 25 providers in TX would be forced to close at the end of the month. The 7 that would remain are major surgical centers in metropolitan areas like Houston, Dallas, and Austin.

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 2:24 pm | Permalink