published Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Judge delays decision on Alabama abortion law

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson told attorneys in June that he hoped to rule by the end of July. But Thompson notified attorneys Thursday that he needs extra time and will have a ruling by Monday. Thompson said he needs time to consider a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that blocked a similar Mississippi law.

Alabama's law requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit patients to nearby hospitals. Three of Alabama's five abortion clinics use out-of-town doctors who don't have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Proponents of the law say it is a safety measure to protect the health of women. Opponents say it restricts abortion through unnecessary regulation.

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