Judge temporarily blocks Alabama abortion restrictions

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of new Alabama abortion restrictions banning clinics near schools and outlawing a common second trimester abortion procedure.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson on Wednesday issued an order to delay enforcement of the laws that were set to take effect Aug. 1.  Thompson scheduled an Oct. 4 hearing on a request from abortion providers to permanently block the laws.

Lawmakers this spring voted to ban clinics within 2,000 feet of public K-8 schools. They also banned a common second-trimester abortion procedure known as dilation & evacuation.

The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the restrictions, saying they would dramatically cut abortion access and close the state’s two busiest clinics.

Thompson said lawyers for both sides agreed to the enforcement delay ahead of the hearing.

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