Abortion Clinic Sues Alabama, Harpersville Tomato Festival

Jul 17, 2015

West Alabama Women's Center, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

A Tuscaloosa abortion clinic is suing the state of Alabama over a regulation that could cause the facility to permanently close.

The West Alabama Women's Center filed the federal lawsuit against state health officials last week. The suit deals with a regulation requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, or a contract with a physician who does to handle patients with complications.

The requirement is not new. However, the clinic's previous physician retired and the new doctor has been unable to gain admitting privileges or find a local gynecologist to take the contract.

Susan Watson of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama says the regulation is unnecessary. She says doctors face harassment by anti-abortion activists if they work with clinics.

The clinic is one of only five abortion providers in Alabama.

The Huntsville chapter of the NAACP is continuing its push to remove the Confederate battle flag from the Alabama State Troopers vehicles and uniforms.

The symbol appears on the state’s coat of arms. Since last month’s shooting at a church in South Carolina, confederate symbols have been taken down across the nation.

Reverend Robert Shanklin is the president of the Huntsville NAACP. He says the only flag that should be displayed is our nation’s flag.

“Personally, I don’t think it needs to be replaced with anything. You got the United States flag on there, and that’s enough. That’s the official flag of the land and that’s plenty.”’

For some, the Confederate flag represents southern heritage and pride. For others, it's a symbol of racism and oppression.

Fans of farm to fork cooking will gather in Harpersville tomorrow to celebrate the tomato.

Stone Hollow Farmstead will host the Alabama Tomato Festival tomorrow. The event will include cooking demonstrations by Angela Schmidt of Chef U, and Maureen Holt of Little Savannah Restaurant. There will also be samplings of a variety of tomato dishes, including tomato lemonade.

Bree Garrett is the program manager & wellness educator for Stone Hollow Farmstead. She says they want to showcase and highlight local farmers and sustainable farming methods.

“Not only are people going to be able to eat good food and enjoy good drinks and listen to good music, but I think it’s gonna bring about people that are like-minded and are really interested in the local food movement. It’s just gonna be a lot of fun for everybody that comes.”

Garrett says a percentage of the proceeds will go to help start a fund for area farmers.

An Alabama state senator wants to pass legislation to prevent the removal of historic monuments, markers and school names following debate over the display of Confederate emblems on public property.

Republican state Sen. Gerald Allen says the legislation would protect all history in the state. Allen filed the bill in the special legislative session that began Monday. However, Allen must get the support of two thirds of state lawmakers since the bill is outside of Gov. Robert Bentley's call for the special session.

Allen says the bill is not intended as a reaction to the governor's decision to remove four Confederate flags from a monument next to the Capitol.

Governor Bentley says he has no plans to remove any other Confederate monuments on Capitol grounds.