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House Minority Ldr Daniels asks AG Marshall for clarification of abortion law

Now that the “Alabama Human Life Protection Act” is in effect in Alabama due to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, some are questioning the full scope of the Alabama abortion law.

Thursday, Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) sent a letter to Attorney General Steve Marshall asking for clarification on the 2019 abortion ban.

“In light of the recent United States Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization,” Daniels writes in the letter, “which triggered the implementation of the 2019 Alabama abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest and created criminal liabilities for medical professionals; I along with many of my constituents, including doctors and their staff, seek clarity to fully understand the legal definitions and potential consequences of performing medically necessary abortions as allowed and described in the current statute.”

The letter asks for clarification of the definition of abortion, what is considered a “medical exception,” the amount of “subjectivity and reasonable judgement’ that is allowed to doctors, and the definition of a woman according to the new law.

“Without the type of clear and detailed legal guidance that I’m requesting,” the letter continues, “doctors have recently expressed grave uncertainty regarding this law and have indicated that they may not treat these types of patients due to possible criminal liability or that they may delay certain types of maternal care to ensure compliance with the law.”

Daniels fears that uncertainties in the new law might put the health of many women in the state at risk.

“This matter is of great urgency as mothers may be unnecessarily denied care as doctors seek legal guidance,” he warns, “which is why I am requesting the opinion of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office on these matters.”

The minority leader also reiterated his position that the current law should be repealed by the legislature because it does not include more exceptions.

“As I stated in my letter to Governor Kay Ivey requesting a Special Legislative Session to repeal the 2019 abortion ban,” the letter says, “due in part to its lack of exceptions for rape or incest and its lack of clarity with respect to medical definitions and legal liability, ‘Alabama already has the nation’s third highest maternal mortality rate and this law is likely to exacerbate that.”

Daniels concludes by saying the Marshall needs to clarify the issue since the legislature has refused to act.

“Sadly, the Governor has denied my request to solve this matter legislatively,” he laments, “however this does not negate the the public’s need, or the medical community’s need, for clarity as it relates to Alabama law. This is why I have written you this letter outlining the urgent concerns of my constituents and to obtain time-sensitive information and guidance from your office.”

Yaffee is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts “The Yaffee Program” Weekdays 9-11am on WVNN. You can follow him on Twitter @Yaffee

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