Ala. abortion law lets judges appoint lawyers for fetuses

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The American Civil Liberties Union is asking a federal judge to block an Alabama law that allows a fetus to be represented in court when a minor is seeking judicial permission for an abortion.

ACLU lawyer Andrew Beck told a judge Wednesday that the law forces teens to go through an adversarial court proceeding.

While states have rolled out new abortion restrictions in recent years, Beck says the Alabama law is unique.

Teens can seek permission from a judge, instead of their parents, to have an abortion. The 2014 law lets district attorneys question the teen during the judicial hearing and says judges can appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the fetus.

State lawyers say it allows the judges to obtain information and permission for the abortion is usually granted.

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