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 (Montgomery Advertiser, 2/20).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.