A federal judge has set a May 19 trial date for a lawsuit challenging a new Alabama abortion law.
U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson will hold a non-jury trial concerning an Alabama law that requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit patients to nearby hospitals. Three of Alabama's five licensed abortion clinics challenged the law on grounds it would force them to close.
The judge has ruled the trial will focus on one issue: whether the law violates the due process right of women seeking abortion by creating substantial obstacles.
The Alabama Legislature is getting closer to extending the waiting period for an abortion in the state.
The Senate Health Committee voted 7-1 Wednesday to approve a bill that extends the waiting time from 24 hours to 48 hours after a woman receives information from an abortion clinic about the procedure and associated risks. Republicans senators cast the yes votes, and Democratic Sen. Billy Beasley cast the lone nay vote.
Abortion opponents are asking the state to impose tighter restrictions on doctors performing the medical procedure in Alabama.
The state health agency held a public hearing Thursday on a proposed rule that would drastically reduce the number of abortions a physician's office can perform without being considered an abortion clinic. Such a designation increases state oversight.
Activists told a hearing officer they want even tighter regulations, with doctor's offices unable to perform any abortions without being considered a clinic. They say that would help protect women.
Alabama's governor says he plans to sign legislation mandating stricter abortion clinic standards like Mississippi has done.
Opponents say Alabama's legislation will be challenged in court like Mississippi's.
The Republican-led House and Senate approved the bill Tuesday night, mostly along party lines. It now goes to Gov. Robert Bentley. He said Thursday he plans to sign it after his lawyers make sure there have been no unanticipated changes from the bill he endorsed early in the legislative session.