Derechos Humanos / Human Rights

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21 states urge Supreme Court to hear Alabama abortion case 

Source: Jurist

February 05, 2019

-United States-

 The Attorneys General from 20 states and the Governor of Kentucky filed an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court Monday asking the court to hear an Alabama abortion case.

The Alabama law outlaws the use of dilation and evacuation abortions. The method is most often used during weeks 15 to 18 of a pregnancy. Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia have enacted similar laws.

The brief argues that Alabama has the right to regulate the method of abortion because the state “has an interest in protecting and fostering respect for human life, including unborn life,” and the state has “the power to regulate the medical profession, including on matters of medical judgment and ethics connected to abortion.”

The lower court overturned the law, calling three methods of fetal demise before the abortion as being “infeasible.” The brief argues that “it has no constitutional obligation to guarantee that the remaining alternative abortion methods are medically equivalent. Rather, the state retains the authority to balance the medical tradeoffs against its interest in respect for unborn life.”

The Attorney Generals included in the amicus brief represent Louisiana, Georgia, Arizona, Idaho, Arkansas, Indiana, Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, South Carolina, Missouri, South Dakota, Montana, Texas, Nebraska, Utah, North Dakota, West Virginia and Ohio.

Several abortion laws have faced legal challenges in the US in recent months. Also on Monday, Indiana’s Attorney General filed a petition to the US Supreme Court requesting the Court to hear a case involving an Indiana law that requires an ultrasound be performed at least 18 hours before receiving an abortion. In January, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed an emergency appeal to the US Supreme Court to hear a case regarding an Louisiana law that requires abortion physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the procedure.

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