Planned Parenthood Southeast (PPSE), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and ACLU of Alabama filed a lawsuit on May 24 on behalf of Alabama abortion providers challenging an extreme law that bans abortion in nearly every case and punishes doctors with up to 99 years in prison for providing care. Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill into law on May 15, making Alabama the fifth state this year to enact an abortion ban.
The lawsuit comes amid nationwide opposition to the extreme ban and follows a week of protests throughout the country opposing state abortion bans. Earlier this year, Kentucky, Georgia, Ohio, and Mississippi also enacted laws banning abortion, and the Missouri governor is expected to sign a ban soon. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have also filed suit against the ban in Ohio and are preparing a legal challenge in Georgia. The ACLU has filed suit in Kentucky. No abortion ban, including Alabama’s, is in effect and abortion remains legal in all 50 states.
“Alabama’s state motto is audemus jura nostra defendere, which means ‘we dare defend our rights.’ That’s exactly what we’re doing here today,” said Staci Fox, President and CEO at Planned Parenthood Southeast on the day the lawsuit was filed. “Abortion has been safe and legal in this country for more than 45 years and we aim to keep it that way. We are protecting the rights of our patients. We are defending the work of the brave folks who came before us. And we are fighting to take this country forward, not backwards.”