HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Alabama Women’s Center clinic administrator Dalton Johnson confirmed Tuesday that north Alabama’s only clinic that performs abortions will soon voluntarily surrender its license to operate, due to new safety requirements recently signed into law.
Johnson said Friday will be the last procedure day at the clinic. The license will be voluntarily surrendered on Monday.
For years, we have seen pro-life and pro-choice advocates with signs in front of the clinic on Madison Street in Huntsville. Both groups were out there today, like usual. But come Monday, the pro-life group feels they will have claimed a victory when the clinic closes its doors.
“It’s a day we’ve worked and prayed for for 20 years, over 20 years,” said James Henderson. Henderson is a pro-life activist and stood with his fellow advocates outside of the Women’s Center Wednesday.
“There were once three abortion clinics in this town and we worked and prayed at all three of them and now finally the third one is closing,” he said.
The Women’s Health and Safety Act requires the clinic to meet the ambulatory health care standards by July 1st. Clinic administrators said it just isn’t going to be possible to do that in its current location. “That’s the big factor,” said Henderson. “HB57 imposed some reasonable standards, the same standards as ambulatory surgery clinics and they’re not able to meet those.”
“Trap laws in Alabama are legislative attacks against women,” argued Jayme Calhoun with Alabama Reproductive Rights Advocates.
Pro-choice advocates are hopeful they will be able to re-open the clinic in a timely manner. “We’re very confident that we’re going to find another location to open that will be compliant with the laws in Alabama,” Calhoun said.
When the time comes for the advocates of both groups to end their sidewalk standoff, Henderson said he will move on to the next place he feels needed.
“We’ll continue what we’re doing and if they do stay closed, we’ll go help our Christian friends in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa,” he said.