Law professor weighs in on Texas abortion decision and what it c - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Law professor weighs in on Texas abortion decision and what it could mean in Alabama

Posted: Updated:

Last summer, lawyers for Planned Parenthood challenged two provisions of a new abortion law in Texas. One provision places strict limits on how abortion-inducing pills are prescribed. The other requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles of a clinic. A lower court decided the restrictions were unconstitutional. But, on appeal, the Federal Court ruled Texas was within its rights to pass and enforce the restrictions.

Alabama's legislature passed a similar law in 2013. The Women's Health and Safety Act, however, has been tied up in federal court for the past year.

Corky Strickland, from Samford's Cumberland School of Law, weighed in on what the decision in Texas could do for Alabama's law.

Stirckland says Federal Judge Myron Thompson, here in Alabama, doesn't have to follow the decision made in Texas. But he says any decision coming out of a U.S. Court of Appeals is going to be highly persuasive.

"Now that we have an appellate opinion on this issue, albeit a different statute, I'm sure he'll take that into account," said Strickland.

He says, when deciding the constitutionality of the regulations in question, the court has to consider two things.

"Number one, they have to look at whether there is a rational basis for the regulation. Does the legislature have some sort of legitimate purpose in mind? and is this regulation rationally related to the pursuit of that purpose?."

The second part of the analysis had to do with undue burden.

"The court has to look at whether the regulation places an undue burden on the woman's right to choice, particularly in the first trimester and parts of the pregnancy where abortion is constitutionally protected."

Judge Thompson is expected to make a decision on the Women's Health and Safety Act on April 2nd.

However he rules, Stickland suspects this will continue beyond his decision.

"Given the relative lack of precedent on that particular issue, except for the one fifth circuit decision, almost inevitably it will be appealed to the 11th circuit and they will take their own look at it. Once they rule, it's possible that the case will go on to the U.S. Supreme court or it could be that the U.S. Supreme court waits for other opinions from other courts," said Strickland.

Strickland says part of the reason why laws relating to abortion are so controversial is because the right to an abortion comes from the Due Process Clause. He says the definition of due process can be vague and interpreted differently.

  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Gadsden reelects Mayor Guyton, approves Sunday alcohol sales

    Gadsden reelects Mayor Guyton, approves Sunday alcohol sales

    Gadsden reelects Mayor Guyton, approves Sunday alcohol sales

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 8:55 AM EDT2014-08-27 12:55:56 GMT
    Gadsden's Mayor Sherman Guyton wins reelection with 56% of the votes. The city also voted in favor of Sunday alcohol sales with over a 2-1 ratio; 68% to 32%.More >>
    Gadsden's Mayor Sherman Guyton wins reelection with 56% of the votes. The city also voted in favor of Sunday alcohol sales with over a 2-1 ratio; 68% to 32%.More >>
  • Anniston police and fire departments downsized by proposed budget cuts

    Anniston police and fire departments downsized by proposed budget cuts

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-08-27 00:01:02 GMT
    The Anniston city manager's proposed budget for 2015 cuts more than $1.5-million in spending compared to this year. The police and fire chiefs are concerned about the cuts to public safety.More >>
    The Anniston city manager's proposed budget for 2015 cuts more than $1.5-million in spending compared to this year. The police and fire chiefs are concerned about the cuts to public safety.
    More >>
  • Third anniversary of murder of Anniston police officer

    Third anniversary of murder of Anniston police officer

    Monday, August 25 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-08-26 00:44:45 GMT
    The family of Justin Sollohub took him off of life support three years ago Monday. "He lived from the 24th to the 25th for the organ donation," Jeniffer Morris said about her son. "Organ donation needs to be important to everybody. We never know, when there's somebody in our [family], when it hits home, that somebody needs an organ. It is important to us but it needs to be important to everybody."More >>
    The family of Justin Sollohub took him off of life support three years ago Monday. "He lived from the 24th to the 25th for the organ donation," Jeniffer Morris said about her son. "Organ donation needs to be important to everybody. We never know, when there's somebody in our [family], when it hits home, that somebody needs an organ. It is important to us but it needs to be important to everybody."More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...