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U.S. judge rules Alabama abortion law unconstitutional

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A U.S. judge on Monday ruled unconstitutional an Alabama law that threatened to close three of the state's five abortion clinics.

The measure, similar to laws passed by 10 other states, requires doctors who perform abortions to have privileges to admit patients to a nearby hospital.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled Alabama's law imposed an undue burden on a woman's ability to choose an abortion.

"The evidence compellingly demonstrates that the requirement would have the striking result of closing three of Alabama's five abortion clinics," the judge wrote.

"The court is convinced that, if this requirement would not ... constitute an impermissible undue burden, then almost no regulation, short of those imposing an outright prohibition on abortion, would," the judge added.