Federal judge issues temporary restraining order on abortion clinic law

MONTGOMERY, AL (WAFF) - A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order to temporarily block a new Alabama law that requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit patients to a nearby hospital.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson heard arguments from attorneys on both sides Thursday. The law was supposed to go into effect Monday.

Plaintiffs said it is difficult for abortion clinic physicians to get hospital admitting privileges, and the law would shut down three of Alabama's five licensed abortion clinics.

Those clinics in Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham provided 40 percent of the abortions done at Alabama clinics last year.

Attorneys for the state said the law will enhance the safety of women seeking abortions.

The temporary restraining order is set to expire on July 12, 2013 at 2:45 p.m.

"I am disappointed in Judge Thompson's ruling, and my support of this legislation has not changed," said Governor Robert Bentley.

Copyright 2013 WAFF. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.