Alabama Prohibited From Banning Abortions During Coronavirus Pandemic, Federal Judge Rules

Isabel Leah Cohen

On Sunday, a federal judge blocked the state of Alabama from banning abortions as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic, reported CBS.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson passed a preliminary injunction against the state for attempting to include abortions in the temporary ban against elective medical procedures. The judge declared that the decision about whether an abortion could wait would be up to the medical providers of the clinic providing the service. Thompson explained that Alabama's efforts to fight the spread of the virus would not outweigh the suffering caused by restricting an individual's right to terminate a pregnancy.

"Based on the current record, the defendants' efforts to combat COVID-19 do not outweigh the lasting harm imposed by the denial of an individual's right to terminate her pregnancy, by an undue burden or increase in risk on patients imposed by a delayed procedure, or by the cloud of unwarranted prosecution against providers."

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, commented on the emergency abortion bans being implemented by several U.S. states, according to the official website of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

"These emergency abortion bans are an abuse of power and part of an ongoing effort to use sham justifications to shut down clinics and make an end run around  Roe v. Wade."

The Associated Press has attempted to reach out to the Alabama attorney general's office for a statement on the ruling, but has not yet received a response.