On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) requested that a federal court suspend a recent Alabama law that adds additional steps for minors seeking an abortion.
The law was passed earlier this year and became effective July 1.
“The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Alabama today asked a federal court to block a new Alabama law that could force some minors seeking an abortion to stand trial” a press release by the ACLU declared.
The press release goes on to argue, “The law, which applies to minors who cannot safely obtain a parent’s consent and are therefore seeking a judicial bypass of that requirement, goes far beyond any other parental consent law in the country.”
“The judicial bypass already creates additional and somewhat daunting steps for a minor seeking an abortion. But Alabama’s law goes beyond any other state’s process judicial bypass by allowing the district attorney, the guardian appointed to represent the fetus, or the teen’s parents to call witness to testify against the teen,” the press release added.
Andrew Beck, staff attorney with the ACLU, told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “For decades, the Supreme Court has made clear that a law requiring minors to obtain a parent’s consent to an abortion is unconstitutional unless the state provides minors an opportunity to go to court to obtain a court order authorizing the abortion.”
Beck goes on to say, “This process, known as judicial bypass, must be confidential and not overly long. The Alabama law flouts these requirements by bringing district attorneys and a guardian for the fetus into the bypass hearings.” He described the law as “flatly unconstitutional.”
Rep. Mike Jones, an Alabama Republican state legislator who sponsored the law, defended it by noting that it helps demonstrate that minors are fully aware of their actions.
Jones told TheDCNF, “Ultra-liberal groups like the ACLU have resorted to filing lawsuits to block legislation they don’t like because they no longer have allies in the Alabama legislature.”
“This law ensures that if a minor is seeking an abortion without parental consent, they fully understand the ramifications of their decision and prove that they are wholly aware of its impact – it’s that simple” Jones added.
“This act clarified previous law to provide judges and court officers with much-needed guidance on the procedures for these types of determinations, which are very important to the health and well-being of our minors, all while keeping proper safeguards in place to protect their privacy,” he continued.
Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard also spoke on the issue in a statement back in February: “It is unfortunate that liberal activist judges on the U.S. Supreme Court have made abortion legal in the United States, but Alabamians are fortunate to have a Republican legislature that continues to protect and prioritize life in our state.”