Alabama House panel approves two anti-abortion bills
The Alabama House House Health committee approved two pieces of legislation on Thursday that would restrict women’s access to an abortion.
The Montgomery Bureau reported that one bill would place new regulations on abortion clinics. The other would allow the state to opt out of providing health insurance for abortions under provisions of the health care reform law.
The new regulations would require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory health care centers and have a performing physician with local hospital admitting privileges. The physician would also be required to be involved in the before and after care of patients.
Opponents of the proposed regulations argued that they are merely meant to restrict a woman’s ability to terminate her pregnancy.
“We believe the ultimate aim of this bill is to make abortion services so difficult that the number of health care facilities offering them and the women able to afford them will plummet,” Kim Adams, of the National Organization for Women, said.
The committee also held a public hearing on a “personhood” bill that would declare that a human embryo was legally a person, completely outlawing abortion. The legislation is expected to be voted on next week.
Republicans in state legislatures across the country have pushed for tighter restrictions on abortions, such as requiring ultrasounds before a woman can terminate her pregnancy or mandating a 24-hour waiting period.
Thanks to their electoral victories in 2010, conservatives lawmakers successfully enacted 92 measures aimed at restricting abortion in 2011, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
“By almost any measure, issues related to reproductive health and rights at the state level received unprecedented attention in 2011,” the institute said.
[Image via UTSFL via Flickr, Creative Commons licensed]