National Partnership for Women & Families

Alabama | In the News

Featured Blogs
"Celebrating 10 Years of Paid Family Leave in California -- Now Let's Get the Word Out!" (Shriver, Huffington Post blogs, 7/2) and "While You Were Paying Attention to Hobby Lobby, it Got Harder To Get an Abortion" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/6).

New Ala. Law Requires Stricter Building Standards for Abortion Clinics
An Alabama law (HB 57) requiring abortion clinics to comply with stricter building standards went into effect on Tuesday, AP/Tuscaloosa News reports.

State Law Prompts Ala. Abortion Clinic To Relocate
The only abortion clinic in northern Alabama plans to voluntarily surrender its license and close by June 30 because it does not comply with building standards required under a new law (HB 57), Alabama Media Group reports.

Ala. Admitting Privileges Case Concludes
A federal judge expects to rule by the end of July on the constitutionality of an Alabama law (HB 57) that requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, the AP/Tampa Tribune reports.

Featured Blogs
"Reflections on the Fifth Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. George Tiller," (Joffe, RH Reality Check, 5/28); "Caught in a TRAP," (Bazelon, "Jurisprudence," Slate, 5/26).

Admitting Privileges Laws Threaten Abortion Access in Large Swaths of U.S.
State laws requiring that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals threaten to leave women in broad areas of the country without abortion access in their region, particularly in rural and low-income parts of the South and Midwest, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Featured Blogs
"Repro Wrap: Here a Clinic, There a Clinic, Soon Nowhere a Clinic, and Other News," (Marty, Care2, 5/23); "Louisiana Committee Passes Bill That Would Keep Pregnant Women on Mechanical Support Against Their Wishes," (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 5/23).

La. Admitting Privileges Bill Could Further Cripple Abortion Access in the South
The Louisiana House on Wednesday passed a bill (HB 388) that would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, a mandate that could severely limit abortion access across a "broad stretch" of the South because of similar laws in neighboring states, the New York Times reports.

Federal Trial Begins Over Ala. Admitting Privileges Law
A trial begins in federal court on Monday over the constitutionality of an Alabama law (HB 57) that requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, the AP/Memphis Commercial Appeal reports.

NYT Editorial: Blocking Abortion Access is Real Aim of State Laws
"[I]n state after state, with the enthusiastic support of Republican lawmakers, it has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for women to get safe and legal abortion care," a New York Times editorial states.

Ala. Antiabortion-Rights Bills Head to Gov.
The Alabama Senate last week approved two antiabortion-rights bills (HB 489, HB 494), but the chamber did not vote on two other House-approved abortion-related measures before the legislative session ended on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Ala. Admitting Privileges Lawsuit Will Proceed
A federal judge has ordered a trial to determine the constitutionality of an Alabama law (HB 57) that requires physicians who perform abortions in the state to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, Reuters reports.

Judge Sets Trial Date Over Ala. Admitting Privileges Law
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson has set a May 19 trial date for a case over the constitutionality of an Alabama law (HB 57) that requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, Reuters reports.

Ala. Bills Would Set Some of Nation's Harshest Abortion Restrictions
A package of Alabama bills would create some of the strictest abortion regulations in the nation, including a ban on abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detectable, the Huffington Post reports.

Featured Blog: 'AL HB31: Where Saving a Woman's Life Becomes a Question of Conscience'
An Alabama bill "would allow the entire hospital staff, including but not limited to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, counselors, and social workers, to refuse to provide medical care in situations that would 'violate their conscience,'" Feministe reports.

Ala. Antiabortion-Rights Bills Head to Gov.
The Alabama Senate this week approved two antiabortion-rights bills (HB 489, HB 494), but the chamber did not vote on two other House-approved abortion-related measures before the legislative session ended on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Ala. Antiabortion-Rights Bills Head to Gov.
The Alabama Senate this week approved two antiabortion-rights bills (HB 489, HB 494), but the chamber did not vote on two other House-approved abortion-related measures before the legislative session ended on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Judge Orders Trial in Ala. Admitting Privileges Lawsuit
A federal judge on Monday ordered a trial to determine the constitutionality of an Alabama law (HB 57) that requires physicians who perform abortions in the state to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, Reuters reports.

Ala. Could Consider Bill Extending Mandatory Delay Period for Abortion Next Week
While there is less than a week before the Alabama Legislature's 2014 session ends, lawmakers still could vote on a bill (HB 489) that would extend the state's mandatory delay period before an abortion from 24 to 48 hours, WHNT News reports.

Spread of TRAP Laws Threatens Clinics Nationwide
The burgeoning number of states imposing strict regulations on abortion clinics "is proving one of the most effective [tactics] in years for pro-life groups" that seek to limit access to abortion services by closing clinics, the Washington Times reports.

Blogs Comment on Abortion Clinic Closures, 'Birth Control Truthers,' More
"Three More Abortion Clinics Forced To Close in Texas: 'This is a State of Emergency,'" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress); "Alabama Report Makes it Clear How Brutally Women Are Treated in Prison," (Marty, Care2, 3/5); "Nation's First Birthing Center/Abortion Clinic Opens in Buffalo. This Is Huge," (Marcotte, "XX Factor," Slate, 3/6).

'Fetal Heartbeat' Abortion Ban, Other Restrictions Advance in Ala.
The Alabama House on Tuesday passed four antiabortion-rights measures, including a bill (HB 490) that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, Reuters reports.

Ala. Bills Would Set Some of Nation's Harshest Abortion Restrictions
An Alabama House panel on Tuesday advanced a package of bills that would create some of the strictest abortion regulations in the nation, including a ban on abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detectable, the Huffington Post reports.

Arguments Continue Over Ala. Admitting Privileges Law
A federal judge on Friday heard testimony in a lawsuit challenging an Alabama law (HB 57) that requires physicians who provide abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Abortion-Rights Opponents Succeeding With State-Level Bans on Abortion Coverage
Although a federal bill restricting abortion coverage is not expected to advance beyond the House, abortion-rights opponents have prohibited most health plans from offering such coverage in many states, Mother Jones reports.

Featured Blogs
"AL HB31: Where Saving a Woman's Life Becomes a Question of Conscience" (Caperton, Feministe, 1/31) and "Repro Wrap: So Many TRAPs, so few Clinics and Other News" (Marty, Care2, 1/31).

Refusal Bill Advances in Ala. House
The Alabama House Health Committee on Wednesday advanced legislation (HB 31) that would allow most health care providers to refuse to participate in abortion care or other services if they personally object, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Both Sides Seek Summary Judgment in Lawsuit Over Ala. Admitting Privileges Law
On Monday, Alabama state attorneys and attorneys representing three abortion clinics filed court papers asking a federal judge to issue summary judgment on the legality of a state law (HB 57) that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Ala. Abortion Clinic Regulations Debated at Public Hearing
Alabama abortion-rights opponents last week urged state health officials to go further than an existing proposal to regulate abortion clinics, the AP/Huffington Post reports.

Ala. Seeks To Tighten Abortion Clinic Requirements
The Alabama Department of Health on Wednesday proposed new rules that would reduce the number of abortions doctors can perform before their facilities would be regulated as abortion clinics, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

National Journal: How 20-Week Bans Force Women To Carry Dying Fetuses
National Journal examined how 20-week abortion bans affect couples who are told their fetus will not survive or will be born with severe mental or physical problems.

Proposed Rule in Ala. Would Make More Physicians Register as Abortion Providers
A proposed rule by the Alabama Department of Health could require more physicians in the state to register as abortion providers, AP/WTOK reports.

States 0-8 in Court Challenges Over Antiabortion Laws
States facing court challenges over abortion restrictions enacted this year have lost in every case that has reached a judge, Bloomberg reports.

Judge Issues Permanent Injunction Against Ala. Women's Health Clinic
An Alabama judge on Thursday issued a permanent injunction to close a Birmingham abortion clinic for violating state law by operating without a license, the Jackson Clarion Ledger reports.

Featured Blog
"5 of the Most Extreme Anti-Abortion Lawmakers in the U.S." (McDonough, Salon, 7/29).

Judge Extends Delay on Ala. Admitting Privileges Law
A federal judge has extended through March 24, 2014, a temporary stay on a provision in an Alabama law (HB 57) that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, AP/Modern Healthcare reports.

Featured Blogs
"Federal Court Blocks North Dakota Law That Would Ban Abortion as Early as Six Weeks" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 7/22); "Solutions in Search of a Problem: Texas Is Latest to Enact Rules Aimed at Shutting Down Abortion Providers" (Cohen, RH Reality Check, 7/19); "Legal Wrap: States Ramp Up Anti-Abortion Activity, Again" (Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 7/22); "Despite North Carolina's Attack On Abortion Clinics, Planned Parenthood Pledges To Stay Open" (Culp-Ressler, "Think Progress," Center for American Progress, 7/19); and "Thanks To Better Sex Ed, California's Teen Birth Rate Has Plummeted By 60 Percent" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/19).

Key Piece of Ala. Antiabortion Law Halted for Another Month
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.

Featured Blogs
"Lone Star State Not Alone" (Louise Melling, American Civil Liberties Union's "Blog of Rights," 7/2) and "After One Year of Forced Ultrasounds in Virginia, Report Examines Role of CPCs" (Robin Marty, RH Reality Check, 7/8).

Temporary Restraining Order Blocks Ala. Abortion Law
A federal judge on Friday granted a temporary restraining order blocking Alabama from enforcing a law (HB 57) that places new restrictions on abortion providers, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.

Lawsuit Challenges Ala. Law Requiring Hospital Admitting Privileges for Abortion Providers
Planned Parenthood Southeast and the American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday filed a lawsuit seeking to block an Alabama law (HB 57) that requires doctors who provide abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, the New York Times reports.

In Planned Parenthood Speech, President Obama Criticizes 'Absurd' Antiabortion Laws
In a speech to Planned Parenthood on Friday, President Obama condemned lawmakers who are restricting access to abortion and contraception and pledged to fight with women's health advocates "every step of the way," the New York Times' "The Caucus" reports.

Featured Blogs
"State Policy Trends 2013: Abortion Bans Move to the Forefront" (Elizabeth Nash/Rachel Benson Gold, RH Reality Check, 4/12) and "Federal Court Blocks Mississippi Admitting Privileges Law" (Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 4/15).

States Embracing More Aggressive Approach on Abortion Restrictions
Although states enacted a record number of abortion restrictions in both 2011 and 2012, abortion-rights opponents this year are employing more aggressive tactics in conservative states where lawmakers are receptive to their ideas, according to abortion-rights advocates, the Washington Post reports.

Ala. Gov. Signs Abortion Clinic Regulations; Opponents Threaten Legal Challenge
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) on Tuesday signed into a law a measure (HB 57) that will impose stricter regulations on abortion clinics, prompting opponents to warn that they might launch a legal challenge, CNN reports.

Featured Blogs
"Outlawing Abortion Won't Help Children with Down Syndrome" (Alison Piepmeier, New York Times' "Motherlode," 4/1); "Seven States Working Hard To Shut Down Abortion Clinics" (Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," 4/3); "Nevada Lawmaker Receives Death Threats After Talking About Her Abortion" (Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "Think Progress," 4/4).

Ala. Gov. Bentley Poised To Sign Abortion Clinic Regulations
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) on Wednesday affirmed that he will sign legislation (HB 57) to impose stricter regulations on abortion clinics, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Bills To Ban Abortion Gain Prominence Among State Conservatives
In a shift from past decades, abortion-rights opponents have increasingly focused on state legislation banning abortion after certain points in pregnancy, ABC News reports.

Ala. Gov. Pledges To Sign Abortion Clinic Regulations if Passed by Legislature
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) said at a recent antiabortion-rights rally that he would sign a bill (HB 57) to more strictly regulate abortion clinics if it passes the Senate, the AP/Chattanooga Times Free Press reports.

Featured Blogs
"Some Arkansas Legislators do the Time Warp; Pass Most Extreme Abortion Bill in the Nation" (Hayley Smith, ACLU's "Blog of Rights," 2/28) and "States With the Highest Teen Pregnancy Rates Lack Adequate Sex Ed Requirements" (Rebecca Leber/Adam Peck, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," 3/1).

Featured Blogs
"Anything But Delicate: Alabama's Solution to Substance Abuse During Pregnancy" (Josie Sustaire, Law Students for Reproductive Justice's "Repo Repro, 2/20) and "Something To Celebrate: Philadelphia Board of Health Calls for Public Funding, Insurance Coverage for Reproductive Health Care" (Claire Cooper, RH Reality Check, 2/21).

Ala. House Passes Stricter Abortion Clinic Regulations
The Alabama House on Tuesday voted 73-23 to approve a measure (HB 57) that would increase regulations on abortion clinics, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.

Ala. House Passes Contraceptive Coverage Refusal Measure
The Alabama House on Tuesday voted 67-28 to approve a bill (HB 108) that would allow employers to opt out of the federal contraceptive coverage rules, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.

State Efforts To Ban Telemedicine for Medication Abortion Care Gaining Steam
Telemedicine bans are abortion-rights opponents' latest tactic to restrict access to medication abortion, and the laws have been implemented in several states that do not even offer the service, Bloomberg reports.

Featured Blogs
"Which State Will Ban Abortion First?" (Elissa Berger, American Civil Liberties Union's "Blog of Rights," 2/2) and "New York City Public Schools Handed Out 'Morning-After Pill' To Thousands More Than Reported" (Sara Gates, Huffington Post blogs, 2/4).

Antiabortion-Rights State Lawmakers Hope To Continue Momentum of Last Two Years
Emboldened by new Republican majorities in three states and GOP control of both legislative chambers in 26 states, abortion-rights opponents are working to build on the momentum of the last two years, when 135 state abortion restrictions were enacted, Bloomberg reports.

Featured Blogs
"Where Abortion Bans Lead" (Juliet Lapidos, New York Times ' "Taking Note," 1/28) and "The Alabama Supreme Court Decision: Will it Make Delivering Appropriate Health Care to Pregnant Women More Difficult?" (Sarah Roberts, ANSIRH Blog, 1/25).

Ala. Supreme Court Rules Child Endangerment Law Applies to Pregnant Women
The Alabama Supreme Court on Friday upheld a lower court ruling that a state law prohibiting the chemical endangerment of children can be used to charge a woman for allegedly endangering her fetus during pregnancy, the AP/Columbus Republic reports.

States in 2012 Passed Second-Highest Number of Abortion Restrictions Ever, Guttmacher Finds
States passed 43 abortion restrictions in 2012, a "sharp decrease" from 2011 but nonetheless the "second-highest number" enacted in a single year, according to a new study by the Guttmacher Institute, The Hill's "Healthwatch" reports.

Texas Gov. Perry Calls for 20-Week Abortion Ban; New Suits Filed Over Women's Health Program
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Tuesday voiced his support for legislation that would ban abortion in the state after 20 weeks of gestation, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Featured Blogs
"Alabama Abortion Clinic Struggles; Mississippi's Forges On" (Lauren Barbato, Ms. Magazine blog, 9/19).

Most State 'Fetal Pain' Bills Yet To Face Court Challenges
Several states have enacted abortion bans later in pregnancy based on the disputed theory that a fetus can feel pain after 20 weeks of gestation, but only one has been challenged in court, Politico reports.

Report Notes 40 Laws Enacted in 15 States That Could Hinder Women's Access to Abortion Care, Reproductive Health Service
U.S. women increasingly face barriers to obtaining reproductive health services as states continue to pass laws restricting access, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Reuters reports.

High Number of State Abortion Restrictions Marked by Increased Focus on 'Fetal Pain' Bills
The number of state-level abortion restrictions is approaching record-setting levels again this year, a fact that some abortion-rights opponents attribute to their increased focus on so-called "fetal pain" legislation, Stateline/Kaiser Health News reports.

Bill To Impose New Abortion Clinic Restrictions Dies in Ala. Senate Committee
An Alabama Senate committee did not bring up for a vote a House-approved bill that would require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as outpatient health centers before a deadline, effectively killing the bill for the session, AP/WTVM reports.

Ala. House Approves Bills on Abortion Coverage, Clinics Standards
The Alabama House on Tuesday approved a bill that would allow the state to restrict insurance coverage of abortion in certain health plans, sending the measure to Gov. Robert Bentley (R), the AP/Gadsden Times reports.

Ala. Senate Holds Public Meeting on 'Personhood' Bill
The Alabama Senate Health Committee on Wednesday held a public hearing on a bill introduced by Sen. Phil Williams (R) that would define personhood as beginning at "the moment of fertilization and implantation in the womb," Alabama Live reports.

Ala. House Panel Approves Restrictions on Abortion Clinics, Coverage
The Alabama House Health Committee on Wednesday approved two bills that would increase regulation of abortion clinics and restrict insurance coverage of abortion, Alabama Live reports.

Ala. Abortion-Rights Opponents Worried Legislature Will Not Advance Their Proposals
Abortion-rights opponents in Alabama are concerned that the state Legislature will reject most of their proposals for the second consecutive year, even though their Republican allies have an overwhelming majority, the AP/Alabama Live reports.

New York Times Magazine Examines Prosecutions Against Pregnant Women Under Alabama's Chemical-Endangerment Law
This week's New York Times Magazine examines Alabama's chemical-endangerment statute, which has been used to convict approximately 60 women of endangering the life of their fetuses or newborns since it became law in 2006.

Ala. Lawmaker To Amend Ultrasound Bill To Allow Option of External Procedure
Alabama Sen. Clay Scofield (R) on Sunday announced he would rewrite a bill (SB 12) so that women seeking abortion care could choose between a mandatory vaginal or abdominal ultrasound, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.

Alabama | In the Courts

This section provides a brief overview of significant cases impacting reproductive rights and health in Alabama.

Planned Parenthood Southeast, Inc. v. Bentley
Challenge to an Alabama law, which would take effect on July 1, 2013, that requires all physicians who perform abortions to have staff privileges at a local hospital.