In a victory for abortion rights, Alabama has been told it can’t ban abortions as part of the state’s response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Abortion clinics had sought an injunction preventing the state from forbidding abortions as part of a ban on elective medical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic, which was granted by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. “Based on the current record, the defendants’ efforts to combat COVID-19 do not outweigh the lasting harm imposed by the denial of an individual’s right to terminate her pregnancy, by an undue burden or increase in risk on patients imposed by a delayed procedure, or by the cloud of unwarranted prosecution against providers,” Thompson wrote in an opinion. Similar legal fights over abortions during the pandemic are ongoing in Texas, Ohio, and Oklahoma, with states arguing they need to conserve medical equipment and potential hospital beds.
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