Quote of the Day

[Content Note: War on agency; anti-choice terrorism.]

"The court is convinced that, if this requirement would not, in the face of all the evidence in the record, constitute an impermissible undue burden, then almost no regulation, short of those imposing an outright prohibition on abortion, would."—US Judge Myron H. Thompson, in his opinion which struck down and declared unconstitutional Alabama's Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) law which would have required abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges at local hospitals.

In his decision, Thompson explicitly cited the violence and intimidation of anti-choice extremists as a key part of the reason for his ruling.
Thompson's opinion included an exhaustive history of violence against abortion providers, including in Alabama.

"The first abortion doctor in the nation to be murdered, Dr. David Gunn, provided abortions at the Montgomery clinic, among other clinics. He was murdered in 1993," Thompson noted. "A now-closed clinic in Birmingham was bombed, killing an off-duty police officer serving as a security guard and wounding a nurse. Not long after, the Tuscaloosa clinic was essentially destroyed by an arson. That clinic was later attacked by a driver who ran his car into the front of the building. There were other incidents of violence as well."

Thompson said that violence had to be considered as a backdrop to the law, partially because it explained both hospitals' reluctance to help the doctors comply with the law and also the barriers that women already face in accessing abortion. "Against the backdrop of this history of violence, abortion providers and women seeking abortions in Alabama today live and work in a climate of extreme hostility to the practice of abortion," he wrote.
In addition to Irin Carmon's piece linked above, this piece on the decision by Pamela Willis Watters is also great.

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