Alabama Minors No Longer Have To Face Their Foetus' Lawyer In Court If They Want An Abortion

After seemingly endless news on the attrition on abortion rights in the US, some good news of legislative changes have arrived from across the pond

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It feels like each day we bring upsetting news that women's reproductive rights are under further threat in the US.

Terrifying legislation like the new law that means Arkansas rapists will be informed if their victim wants to abort their child seems to be getting seriously consideration.

And though it is true to say that pro-lifers both on the streets and in the congressional sheets are doing their damn hardest to make women have children they don't want to, there is some good news coming from our friends over the pond.

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In New York, the Attorney General Eric Schneideman filed a federal lawsuit against protesters who picket outside of abortion clinics.

And there is an 18 year-old called Maddy Rasmussen who has created an interactive map of abortion clinics across the U.S. alongside information on the corresponding restrictions and laws in that state.

Now, since Friday, minors in Alabama, if their parents or legal guardian do not provide consent for their abortion, will no longer have to go to a trial-like proceeding in court, opposite their unborn foetus' lawyer.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Russ Walker is responsible for this particular bit of legislation being thrown out. The law would have meant that a minor would have had to face a cross examination by the district attourney - which could have been extremely stressful, let alone publicly humiliating.

The process was called a 'judicial bypass' and from 1987 meant that if a pregnant Alabama minor did not have permission (from their parent or guardian) to have their abortion a judge must decide, depending on the minor's 'maturity'.

In 2014 this law was amended to require a judge to appoint legal representation to the unborn foetus.

This type of law is called a 'personage law'. Personage laws are put in place as an effective way of humanising unborn foetus' and making abortions more restricted without overturning Roe vs. Wade.

The amendment also allowed involved parties to reveal the identity of the minor to third parties such as their teachers or employers, as well as creating a lengthy court proceeding that would ensure the pregnancy progressed further than the 20 week limit on abortions.

Thankfully, Walker issued a 54-page opinion that ruled the 2014 amendment unconstitutional.

According to Huffpost she claimed that the amendment violated the minor's, 'constitutionally guaranteed option of an anonymous and expeditious [judicial] bypass.'

'The Act clearly imposes an undue burden on the rights of the minor participants to whom it applied.'

Andrew Beck, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, called Friday's ruling 'a victory for women, for young people, and for reproductive health in Alabama.'

He continued:

'When a young woman decides to end her pregnancy, she should be able to do so with compassion and respect, without cruel barriers that shame her and put her in harm's way.'

Hear, hear.

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