The Alabama House of Representatives recently passed an abortion bill that would prohibit abortion clinics from operating within 2,000 feet of a public school. If Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signs the bill into law, the ACLU and a Huntsville abortion clinic have vowed to take legal action against the state.
The bill’s sponsor Republican State Senator Paul Sanford said that his intention for the abortion bill was not to close down abortion clinics, but to keep kids away from the “chaos” around them. A co-sponsor of the abortion bill Ed Henry added: “I personally don’t feel like these type of facilities need to be anywhere near our children.”
The bill states:
“…the Alabama Department of Public Health may not issue or renew a health center license to an abortion clinic or reproductive health center that is located within 2,000 feet of the property or campus of a public school.”
Abortion clinics that are within 2,000 feet of public school property – such as the Women’s Center for Reproductive Alternatives, located in Huntsville across from a middle school – would have to move.
CNS News reported on the kind of “chaos” that the bill’s sponsor was perhaps talking about:
Parents of the Alabama middle school have complained about signs from protestors at the clinic scaring their children, as well as traffic problems, according to WHNT News in Alabama.
The owner of the Huntsville abortion clinic, Dalton Johnson, said he plans to challenge the legislation, as well as another bill that also passed Wednesday banning dismemberment abortions.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also plans to sue if the legislation becomes law.
“We all agree that protecting our children is a top priority. But this law isn’t about protecting Alabama’s children,” Susan Watson, executive director of the ACLU of Alabama said in a statement. “It’s about making a sure a woman who has decided to have an abortion can’t get one.”
“And make no mistake about it: If the legislature passes this bill, the ACLU will challenge this law in court,” Watson stated.
Another abortion bill was passed in Alabama’s state House prohibiting dismemberment abortions, where the unborn baby is killed by being torn limb from limb. As CNS News noted above, the Huntsville abortion clinic owner is planning on challenging that law as well.