Alabama Abortion Law

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A new abortion law went into effect today (Monday) in Alabama. The "Women's Right To Know Act" passed in the final minutes of the 2002 legislature.

It requires that at least 24 hours before an abortion, a doctor or a representative must provide the woman with information about the alternatives to abortion.

Patients must also be informed about the risks of abortion, the financial obligations of the father, and development of the fetus.

The information must be provided in person or by return receipt certified mail.

On September 30th, Montgomery Federal Judge Harold Albritton refused to halt implementation of the law. But Albritton did order the state Department of Public Health to delay distribution of state-produced brochures and videotapes about abortion and alternatives after a lawsuit by abortion clinics. Albritton said he will review the materials generated by the state.

The materials, required under the new law, were challenged by plaintiffs who said the materials included false or misleading information about abortions.

Alabama joins the states of Mississippi, Louisiana and Pennsylvania, which also require a 24-hour waiting period for abortions.