The bill would require that abortion providers obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals and that abortion clinics meet the same building standards as ambulatory clinics.
The measure also would prohibit anyone other than a physician from dispensing medication abortion drugs, with penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine for providers violating the requirement (Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser, 2/20).
An amendment that would have barred hospitals from denying admitting privileges to abortion providers failed (Wilkinson, Reuters, 2/19).
State Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin (R) -- the bill's sponsor -- said the measure "protects the right of women having an abortion to have it in a healthy, safe environment."
Opponents of the bill said it is medically unnecessary and aimed at closing the state's five abortion clinics. A similar measure in Mississippi is threatening to close the state's last abortion provider.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
House Bill Gives Businesses Contraception Exemption
Later, the House voted 67-28 to approve a bill (HB 108) that would allow employers to opt out of the federal contraceptive coverage rules.
State Rep. Lynn Greer (R), the bill's sponsor, said it is aimed at promoting religious liberty.
However, several other lawmakers said the legislation is an attack on reproductive rights (Montgomery Advertiser, 2/20).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership