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US groups sue Alabama over ’extreme’ abortion ban

  • 24 May 2019
  • Author: QT01
  • Number of views: 650
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US groups sue Alabama over ’extreme’ abortion ban
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood, an abortion and healthcare provider, have sued Alabama over its ban on abortion.
The groups called the "extreme" law a "manmade public health emergency".
The ban, which offers no exceptions for rape or incest, was signed last week but has not taken effect.
Anti-abortion supporters expected legal challenges, and hope the appeals will reach the US Supreme Court and allow them to re-visit federal laws.
Randall Marshall, executive director of the Alabama ACLU, said: "Abortion remains - and will remain - safe and legal in Alabama. With this lawsuit, we are seeking a court order to make sure this law never takes effect."
The southern state's controversial abortion law has made national headlines for weeks.
Under Alabama's new ban, physicians who provide abortions could go to jail for up to 99 years, but a woman seeking the procedure would not be criminally liable.
The law allows exceptions only if the mother's life is seriously at risk or the foetus has a fatal complication.
Alabama is one of several states to pass highly restrictive abortion laws this year - and dozens more have proposed similar bills in their legislatures.
On Friday, Missouri's governor signed into law a bill banning abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
The governors of four states - Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio - signed bills in recent months banning abortion if an embryonic heartbeat can be detected.
Currently, abortion is still allowed in the US thanks to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v Wade, which ruled that abortions are protected up until viability - the point at which a foetus is able to survive outside the womb, around the third trimester of a pregnancy.
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