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July 14, 2015

FEATURED BLOG

"Advocates Fight To Keep Tuscaloosa Abortion Clinic Open," Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check: "Reproductive rights advocates filed a lawsuit in federal court Friday" over an Alabama admitting privileges law (HB 57) "to prevent the sole licensed abortion clinic in Tuscaloosa," the West Alabama Women's Center, "from being forced to shut down," Mason Pieklo writes. According to Mason Pieklo, "three of Alabama's five licensed abortion clinics ... filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality" of the law after it was passed in 2013, and a court order temporarily blocking the law "remains in effect today." The new lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alabama, contends that the law is unconstitutional, noting that "[t]he only hospital in Tuscaloosa is unwilling to grant" the clinic's provider, William Parker, admitting privileges, "for reasons unrelated to his competency" and "no OB-GYN in the Tuscaloosa area is willing to serve as the clinic's outside covering physician, due to anti-choice sentiment and fear of being publicly associated with an abortion clinic," Mason Pieklo writes. As a result, the clinic "risks closing," she explains, adding that the clinic "provid[es] about 40 percent of abortions in the state, and is one of only two clinics in Alabama where women who need second-trimester abortions can obtain care" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 7/13).