Ala. attorney general ready to defend new abortion law in court

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -- Dr. Willie Parker is a Board Certified obstetrician gynecologist who performs abortions for his patients.

“There has not been one procedure that I have performed that I would be jailed for,” Parker said.

Under Alabama’s recently-signed abortion law, he will be prevented from performing abortions unless the mother’s health is at risk. The law goes into effect in six months, barring expected lawsuits.

“Right now we are operating under the laws that say that abortion is legal in this country and legal in this state,” the doctor said.

The ACLU of Alabama said it, the national ACLU, and Planned Parenthood could file a lawsuit in the next three to four weeks.

“We are already preparing a lawsuit and a challenge will be filed,” said Randall Marshall, the executive director of the ACLU of Alabama.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said the state will accept the challenge.

“It is the responsibility of the attorney general, to the extent that that bill is challenged constitutionally, to be able to defend it in court," Marshall said Thursday. "And we will be prepared to do so if in fact that happens.”

Supporters of the abortion law say they want it to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. Marshall says they will want the court to take another look at the facts that determined Roe v. Wade in 1973.

“What we’ve seen since Roe v. Wade is an advancement in medical science and our understanding of the pregnancy and what goes on in a woman’s body,” Marshall said. “We expect the litigation in these cases will be examining what is the factual basis for Roe v. Wade.”

The ACLU says it could take around three years before the U.S. Supreme Court could possibly take the case, and the group thinks the chances of that happening are slim.

If the state loses in court, Alabama would foot the bill in legal fees, which could amount to hundreds of thousands, or even millions of taxpayer dollars.

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