Alabama AG says state’s abortion ban ‘fundamentally different’ from Louisiana measure struck down by SCOTUS
Alabama’s attorney general says his defense of the state’s 2019 abortion ban is proceeding, despite Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, and aims to challenge the two main SCOTUS decisions that allow abortion across the nation.
Pro-choice voters cheered and pro-life voters were dismayed when the Supreme Court handed down a decision on Monday that struck down Louisiana’s law requiring all doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
It was the first abortion case taken up by the court since Trump-appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced frequent swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy in 2018. As such, many conservatives were hoping the court would uphold the restriction on abortion providers.
Yellowhammer News asked Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall what he thought of the decision and where it left anti-abortion laws like the one Alabama passed in 2019.
Marshall said that he strongly disagreed with the ruling and was saddened that the “Court continues to embrace the erroneous conclusion that the Constitution grants the right to an abortion.”
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued an injunction last fall blocking the state of Alabama from enforcing the Human Life Protection Act. This was “welcomed” by State Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur), as the sponsor’s stated purpose for the law is for it to reach the Supreme Court.
The deciding vote in Monday’s decision was Chief Justice John Roberts, who joined the court’s four Democrat-appointed justices in ruling that the Louisana law imposed an undue burden on a woman’s right to get an abortion.
A similar law in Texas was struck down by the court in 2016, and Roberts said in his Monday decision that he did not want to break the precedent set by that position. This came despite Roberts in 2016 dissenting in that very case.
The latest decision by Roberts left many observers wondering whether he would cite precedent if a future case, like one over Alabama’s 2019 law, came before the court.
Yellowhammer News asked that question of Marshall, and he responded with a statement that said in part that Alabama’s case is “fundamentally different from the case the Court ruled on [Monday].”
He added that no party in Monday’s case “asked the Supreme Court to reassess the validity of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In contrast, Alabama intends to put that very question to the Supreme Court.”
Marshall advised that “[u]nlike Louisiana’s law which requires abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals, Alabama’s Human Life Protection Act directly challenges the legal grounds for an abortion in most all circumstances except to protect the life of the mother.”
The attorney general said that Alabama’s “objective is to advance our case to the Supreme Court where we intend to submit evidence that Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey were wrongly decided and that the Constitution does not prohibit states from protecting unborn children from abortion.”