MONTGOMERY, Ala., August 10, 2014 — While no one was surprised at Judge Myron Thompson’s recent decision to strike down a new Alabama law requiring abortionists to gain hospital admitting privileges, many pro-lifers, especially those who live in Alabama, were shocked at the overwhelming amount of unproven facts, inaccuracies, and outright lies Judge Thompson used to justify his opinion – that opinion being that such a law would shut down 3 out of 5 abortion clinics in the state, creating an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.
However, the evidence Judge Thompson offers to prove an “undue burden” on women seems to read like a 172-page ACLU pamphlet on the ‘burden’ of being an abortionist. Instead of focusing on standard medical practices, continuity of care, or patient safety, Thompson spends long pages recounting the “history of violence” against abortion providers in Alabama and defining the “abortion stigma” that “carries detrimental professional consequences in the state….”
Fr. Terry Gensemer, Director of CEC For Life, comments, “There is no ‘history of violence’ against abortionists in this state. Many of the incidents Thompson cites did not even take place in Alabama, and not one of them involved a known member of the Alabama pro-life community. Such rhetoric is insulting and anti-Christian. It does nothing but promote a climate of violence and prejudice against the one group Thompson repeatedly attacks in his decision – pro-life Christians.”
Judge Thompson also did little to hide any disdain for the justifications offered by the state, calling them “weak, at best.” According to Thompson, the state’s reasoning for the new law – continuity of care and an obligation to ensuring patient safety – is not strong enough to excuse the obstacles women may face traveling further distances to obtain abortions.
Of course, Thompson creates these hypothetical obstacles based on two important assertions: that no new abortion clinics will ever open to replace the current ones, and that abortions can only be legally performed in these free-standing clinics, as opposed to a private doctor’s office. In fact, Thompson states with certainty that “no doctor in the entire state of Alabama performed an abortion in her private office from 2007 to 2012.”
Fr. Gensemer comments, “How Judge Thompson can know with such certainty whether a new clinic will or will not open in this state is beyond me. However, how he can make the claim that abortions are only performed in free-standing clinics is even more puzzling. Not only is it legal in Alabama for a private doctor’s office to perform up to 9 abortions per month, but we know with absolute certainty that private physicians in Alabama are providing abortions. On this point, Thompson is either acting out of ignorance or deception – neither of which make for sound judgment.”
Attorney General Luther Strange has already stated that his office will appeal the decision.