U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson has officially blocked the controversial abortion bill, which aims to almost entirely ban abortion in the state of Alabama, arguing that the bill completely contradicts the 1973 Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade.
Called the Human Life Protection Act, the bill prohibits all abortions in the state, except in cases in which the mother’s life is at risk. Under the bill doctors who dare to perform unauthorized abortions are subject to serious jail time and face up 99 years in prison.
While the bill was scheduled to go into effect next month, Thompson issued a preliminary injunction on Tuesday, preventing the bill from becoming a very grim reality.
In his 17-page opinion, Thompson wrote that the bill is unconstitutional and “violates the right of an individual to privacy, to make choices to personal dignity and autonomy,” adding that it ultimately “diminishes the capacity of women to act in society, and to make reproductive decisions.”
While Judge Thompson’s ruling is certainly a victory, the fight is not yet over. As stated by the current president of Planned Parenthood, Alexis McGill Johnson, “Today’s victory means people can still access the health care they need across Alabama — for now.”
The overall goal of the bill is to ultimately overthrow Roe v. Wade, making abortion illegal all across the nation, a fact that Gov. Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall have been very vocal about. For any long-term change, Thompson will have to affirm Tuesday’s ruling and make an appeal to the Supreme Court.