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February 4, 2019

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Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Steve Marshall
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
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Alabama Attorney General

Attorney General Marshall Announces Support of 21 Other States to Ask
U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Alabama’s Dismemberment Abortion Case
(MONTGOMERY) -Attorney General Steve Marshall said he is pleased that 21 other states are
supporting Alabama in his petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case challenging
the constitutionality of Alabama’s law banning dismemberment abortions. The State of
Louisiana was joined by 20 additional states in an amicus curiae brief filed today in the case of
Marshall v. West Alabama Women’s Center.
On December 20, 2018, Attorney General Marshall filed a cert petition with the Supreme Court
seeking review of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ August 2018 ruling against Alabama’s
2016 law which banned the gruesome second-trimester abortion procedure. About seven
percent of the abortions performed in Alabama each year are dismemberment abortions. State
law allows the use of more humane alternative medical procedures to perform second-trimester
“The support of these states underscores how significant the national interest is in resolving this
issue,” said Attorney General Marshall. “At least nine states have enacted similar laws, and
litigation is pending in the Fifth Circuit, the Eighth Circuit and multiple state courts.”
In a dismemberment abortion, a doctor dismembers a living unborn child and extracts him or
her one piece at a time from the uterus using clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, or scissors.
Attorney General Marshall argued that Alabama’s law is similar to the federal ban on partial
birth abortions which was enacted in 2003 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2007.
Attorney General Marshall noted that federal law already constitutionally prohibits partial-
birth abortions and has asserted that the lower courts were wrong to enjoin Alabama from
enforcing its ban on dismemberment of a living fetus. “There is no ‘meaningful difference’
between death-by-dismemberment abortion in the womb and partial birth abortion outside it,”
Attorney General Marshall wrote in his brief. He argued that the U.S. Supreme Court needs to
act to resolve inconsistencies in how the two procedures are treated legally, and to reverse the
lower court ruling in Alabama.
Louisiana was joined in the amicus brief by the states of Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia,
Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio,
Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Kentucky.
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300