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Judge rules Alabama abortion restriction unconstitutional

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A federal judge Friday permanently struck down part of an Alabama law that required abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson in 2014 had previously blocked the state from enforcing the provision, but on Friday ruled it unconstitutional. Thompson wrote that the requirement would cause clinics to close and "impose a substantial obstacle to a woman's choice to undergo an abortion."

State abortion clinics had filed a lawsuit in 2013 challenging the requirement as unnecessary and an undue burden on women's right to access abortion services. Four of the five abortion clinics in Alabama would close if the provision was enforced, clinic administrators have said.

"Politicians passed this law in order to make it impossible for women in Alabama to get abortions, plain and simple. This victory ensures that women in Alabama can make their own private health care decisions without the interference from politicians," Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast said in a statement.

Thompson's decision comes as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether a similar Texas law is constitutional.

The Alabama attorney general's office did not have a comment on Thompson's decision.


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