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Judge strikes down Alabama’s admitting privileges law for abortions

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On Friday, US District Judge Myron Thompson struck down Alabama’s requirement that abortionists obtain hospital admitting privileges.

Abortion providers originally challenged the law in 2013, claiming it would have the effect of shutting down four of the state’s five abortion facilities. Thompson issued a temporary injunction against the requirement in 2015, but now has ruled that he deems it unconstitutional because it would “impose a substantial obstacle to a woman’s choice to undergo an abortion.”

However, another court case in Louisiana recently led a judge to conclude similar claims were unfounded, because they were based on abortionists claiming they would choose to go out of business rather than being forced to by admitting privilege requirements.

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While abortion advocates commonly argue that admitting privileges are medically unnecessary, 32 medical societies including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists signed on to the American College of Surgeons’ 2003 affirmation that admitting privileges are an important health and safety standard.

The office of Alabama’s Republican Attorney General Luther Strange has not commented yet on whether it will appeal the decision.

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