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Key Piece of Ala. Antiabortion Law Halted for Another Month

Key Piece of Ala. Antiabortion Law Halted for Another Month

July 11, 2013 — A key provision of a new Alabama law regulating abortion clinics remains on hold after a federal judge extended a temporary restraining order in a lawsuit, AL.com reports.

The law requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The plaintiffs -- three of Alabama's five abortion clinics -- argue that the requirement is not medically necessary and would result in their closure.

Gov. Robert Bentley (R) and state officials defending the law contend that admitting privileges ensure continuity of care. They also argue that clinics should not use doctors who travel from out-of-state to provide abortions because they might not be available for follow-up care.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson previously blocked the state from enforcing the law until July 12. The extended restraining order will keep it on hold until at least Aug. 15.

Randall Marshall, legal director for the ACLU of Alabama, said the extension will give both parties and the court time to determine how to proceed (Cason, Al.com, 7/9).