MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WDHN) — Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has filed an appeal against a federal court decision to block an effective ban on all abortion procedures due to a state health order.
On March 20, State Health Officer Scott Harris limited the types of medical procedures allowed in the state
(MONTGOMERY) —Attorney General Steve Marshall is appealing to the 11th U.S. Circuit of
Appeals after a recent federal district court order partially enjoined enforcement of Alabama’s
COVID-19 health order as it relates to abortion procedures.
In March, State Health Officer Scott Harris ordered a temporary end to “all dental, medical, or surgical procedures that are not necessary to treat emergency medical conditions or avoid serious harm to patients,” including elective procedures like abortions.
“The purposes of the order are to promote social distancing and ensure that scarce healthcare resources—including personal protective equipment for medical providers—are available for the fight against COVID-19,” Marshall wrote.
In response to this measure, abortion clinics sued the state for a lack of clear guidance on whether they would be prosecuted under the order. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson eventually decided in the clinics’ favor Sunday, preventing abortion providers exercising “reasonable medical judgment” from getting punished.
Now, the attorney general’s office is looking for an emergency stay of the lower court decision while it works for an appeal.
“My office today filed for an emergency stay of the preliminary injunction order partially
blocking enforcement of the State health order while we simultaneously asked the 11th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals to hear our appeal of the federal district court ruling,” Marshall said.
The attorney general said that the order did not target abortion providers specifically but asked them to follow the order like other practices do.
“Abortion providers’ attempts to obtain special treatment under the emergency health orders—
orders the district court recognized are facially constitutional—create a potentially dangerous
limitation upon the ability of the State to further respond to the coronavirus pandemic,” Marshall said.
You can read the attorney general application for a emergency stay and its appeal by followng the links below: