Alabama AG hires experts to defend abortion ban blocked by federal court

Alabama attorney general’s office lines up expert witnesses and consultants to help state defend near-total abortion ban state lawmakers approved two years ago.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson blocked the law in October 2019, a few weeks before its entry into force.

Thompson reigned in favor of abortion providers in Alabama, who claimed the law violated women’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy before the viability of the fetus. The Alabama ACLU and Planned Parenthood supported the lawsuit.

The state appeals the decision. Supporters of the legislation said they expected federal courts to block it initially. They said their goal was initiate legal action who would reach the United States Supreme Court for reconsideration of the Roe v. Wade who established the constitutional right to abortion.

Four contracts for the attorney general to hire experts today passed the Alabama Legislature’s Contract Review Committee review, which reviews state agency contracts each month.

The GA office is hiring Justin Buckley Dyer from Columbia, Mo .; Michael J. New of Hyattsville, Maryland; Scott W. Gaylord of Greensboro, North Carolina; and Dr. Byron C. Calhoun of Charleston, W. Va.

The contracts are worth $ 75,000 each and will run from August 2021 to August 2023.

Clay Crenshaw of the Attorney General’s Office told the Contracts Review Committee he expects the case to start moving. The legislators on the committee asked no questions.

Under the law, called the Human Life Protection Act, doctors who perform abortions would be charged with a Class A felony, punishable by 10 to 99 years in prison. It includes only one exception: authorizing abortions in cases of serious risk to the health of the woman. Women could not terminate pregnancies caused by rape or incest.

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