Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The abortion wars in Alabama

I've witnessed anti-abortion violence in the American south. At last, the law is on the the side of women's rights again.

Alabama’s courts ruled for abortion providers by citing the harassment they face. It’s time everyone noticed.

Pamela Willis Watters in Huntsville, Alabama, Theguardian.com, Tuesday, 5 August 2014 07.45 EDT

Dalton Johnson is a hunted man – literally. He has security alarms and cameras at his home and office; he has a permit to carry a gun; he regularly changes his routines; he even shops in a grocery store across town from where he lives.

But Johnson isn’t a spy, a wanted man or even an undercover law enforcement officer. He’s the administrator of the Alabama Women’s Center – a clinic that performs abortions and offers birth control, pap smears and STD testing at a lower cost to help lower income women. He’s not alone – or paranoid – for taking these precautions: the physicians and other clinic staff must do the same.

Johnson’s problems don’t begin or end with a few anti-abortion zealots: he’s been forced to contend with the work of a number of anti-abortion Republicans in the Alabama state legislature and the newer, nationwide initiative called Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (Trap) laws. Under the pretense of “helping women”, these laws are designed to close clinics that perform abortions by putting unnecessary restrictions on women’s health facilities and the physicians who work there.

But on Monday in Alabama – thanks to US Judge Myron Thompson – Johnson got one small reprieve: the law that required abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges at local hospitals was struck down and declared unconstitutional.

(More here.)


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