Federal Judge Blocks Alabama Abortion Laws, Minority Mental Health Summit in Birmingham

Jul 14, 2016

A federal judge has temporarily blocked the enforcement of new state laws banning abortion clinics near schools and outlawing a commonly used second trimester abortion procedure.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued an order yesterday delaying enforcement of the laws that were set to take effect Aug. 1. Thompson scheduled an Oct. 4 hearing on a request from abortion providers to permanently block the laws.

Lawmakers this spring voted to ban clinics within 2,000 feet of public K-8 schools. They also banned a common second-trimester abortion procedure known as dilation & evacuation.

The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the restrictions, saying they would dramatically cut abortion access and force the state's two busiest clinics to close.

Thompson said lawyers for both sides agreed to the enforcement delay ahead of the hearing.

A mental health summit is being held in Birmingham today in recognition of minority mental health awareness month.

The theme is “When Women Speak,” and many keynote speakers are women from diverse backgrounds. The summit will focus on topics like post-partum depression, women veterans with PTSD, and cultural competence.

Nada Richardson is the founder of the No More Martyrs mental health awareness campaign. She hopes this will create a conversation about mental health.

“This is an event that is in recognition of July, which is minority mental health awareness month, and we are seeking to have kind of a community conversation about mental health stigma, and health disparities related to mental health awareness and access to resources in minority populations.”

Richardson hopes that this event will build a stronger minority community and reoccur in years to come.

Lines and lures will be cast all over the Gulf Coast this weekend. The 83rd annual Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo kicks off this afternoon.

The Mobile Jaycees host the 3-day fishing tournament located on Dauphin Island. Anglers from all over the country will be competing for up to $1 million in cash and prizes this year.

Eric McCall is the Vice President of Media Relations for the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo. He says the tournament is expected to bring in over 3000 anglers and 75,000 spectators.

“It is the largest fishing tournament in the world, recognized by Guinness back in 2011 as being the largest. It is also the oldest fishing tournament in the United States, and we are on our 83rd year.”

The tournament offers more than just a good competition among anglers. There will be live music as well as food and drink throughout the entire weekend.