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October 7, 2014

Alabama abortion law allows judges to appoint lawyer for foetus

US civil liberties organisation files lawsuit to block anti-abortion rights law.
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Reproductive Health Services is shown, in Montgomery, Ala. on July 30, 2014. (AP/BRYNN ANDERSON)

Minors in the US state of Alabama seeking abortions without parental approval face additional barriers due to a recent law allowing judges to provide lawyers for foetuses. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit contesting the regulation last week.

Prior to the new law effective on July 1, parental approval could be circumvented by a judge if parental involvement was not in the best interest of the minor (including cases of abuse or incest). However, now judges also have the option of providing foetuses with legal representation. Witnesses can also be brought to court to testify in favor of the foetus against the minor.

In the tweet below, the ACLU highlights one of the changes made by the new law.

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