Judge to rule on inmate's request for an abortion, Alabama climate change

Jul 28, 2015

A federal judge says he will rule by Friday on a female prisoner's request for an abortion.

U.S. District Abdul Kallon made the comment after hearing arguments yesterday in a lawsuit filed by the woman.

The unnamed prisoner filed suit against Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton seeking a court order that would let her leave jail to travel to Huntsville for the procedure.

The woman says in court documents she was unable to obtain an abortion before going to jail, and denying her one now violates her constitutional rights. She's in her first trimester of pregnancy.

Singleton contends the woman isn't going through the proper paperwork procedure. And he testified that releasing the woman presents a security risk.

Court papers don't say why the woman is in jail.

A new report on climate change says Alabama's summers could get longer and hotter. The study details the economic impacts of several decades of future climate change in Alabama and throughout the United States.

Al Sommer is a Dean Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University and a member of Risky Business’ Risk Committee. He says the main climate problem facing Alabama is worsening heat, and that can cause some serious health risks.

“When you can’t regulate your own body temperature, you get heat stroke and you die. And the poor may not have their own air conditioning, so you may have to set up facilities where the poor can go on really hot days to bring their temperature to a survivable level.”

In addition to an uptick in the mortality rate, the Risky Business report estimates the increased heat will cause a drop in statewide labor productivity and agricultural yields.

One of the unofficial headquarters of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham is now an endangered historical site.  The A.G. Gaston Motel was put on the nation’s 11 most endangered historical places.  The Motel’s “War Room” was used by Doctor Martin Luther King Junior and Reverend’s Fred Shuttlesworth and Ralph Abernathy as a place to plan the marches to Washington and Selma to Montgomery.

Birmingham Mayor William Bell says the History of the Gaston should be preserved…

“We feel that it’s not only structurally a facility that needs to be saved but from a standpoint, it tells a story, or another piece of the story about the Civil Rights Movement here in Birmingham, Alabama.”

Bell says the renovations will help turn the Gaston and the surrounding area in to a museum for the Civil Rights Movement.  He expects the site, that will be called the Freedom Center will be ready in the next eighteen months.