Governor Robert Bentley has signed two bills that could make it much harder for women to get abortions in Alabama, but legal challenges loom.
One bill bans licensing or renewing abortion clinics that are within 2,000 feet of a public K-8 school. That could close at least two of Alabama’s five clinics, two that account for well over half the state’s abortions. Supporters of the law say it protects students from disruptive protests. Critics say it’s another way to make abortions hard or impossible to get. The American Civil Liberties Union plans to challenge the law, which goes into effect in three months.
Governor Bentley also signed a bill banning dilation and evacuation, or D & E — a common second-trimester procedure — unless it prevents a “serious health risk” to the mother.
Bentley spokesperson Jennifer Ardis says, “He’s a strong pro-life advocate. There was no question about these bills … they’re in line with his philosophy.”