Alabama Governor Signs Law Tightening Rules for Abortion Clinics

Image: Alabama Governor Signs Law Tightening Rules for Abortion Clinics Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley.

Tuesday, 09 Apr 2013 01:47 PM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Doctors who provide abortions will face stricter standards in Alabama starting in July under a law signed on Tuesday that requires them to have admitting privileges at hospitals in the state.

Proponents say the legislation, the latest salvo in the national debate over abortion, will make pregnancy terminations safer, while critics say it will unnecessarily restrict a woman's right under the U.S. Constitution to choose an abortion.

The Alabama bill was passed last week by state lawmakers and signed by Republican Governor Robert Bentley, a former dermatologist.

"As a physician, and as a governor, I am proud to sign this legislation," Bentley said in a statement. "This bill provides appropriate standards of care. It has been endorsed by pro-life groups across Alabama."

Most Alabama clinics hire out-of-town physicians to provide abortions and partner with local doctors who have hospital admitting privileges to provide follow-up care.

Alabama is the seventh state to require hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers, according to Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager at the Washington-based Guttmacher Institute, which studies reproductive health.

A similar law in Mississippi is threatening to shutter that state's sole abortion clinic, which has been unable to obtain hospital privileges for its physicians.

Nash said the increased stigma and fear of reprisals associated with abortion has over time resulted in fewer providers entering the field. A lack of providers often forces clinics to look beyond their immediate cities to find doctors willing to perform abortions.

In Alabama, the state's four licensed abortion clinics will have 180 days to meet the new standards after the law takes effect on July 1. The measure also mandates the clinics to meet the same facility standards as ambulatory care centers.

As with the law in Mississippi, legal challenges are expected from advocacy groups such as Planned Parenthood.

Nikema Williams, vice president of public policy for Planned Parenthood Southeast, said it "stands ready to do whatever it takes to protect Alabamians' health and rights in the face of this dangerous law and blatant attack on women's health and rights."

Lawmakers across the country have passed new restrictions on abortion rights in recent years, including laws approved in the last month in North Dakota and Arkansas that are seen as direct challenges to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion in 1973.

North Dakota in late March became the first state to approve a ban on most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, about six weeks into pregnancy, and the first to ban abortions solely because of fetal genetic anomalies.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Time Warner Cable Customers Lose Internet Service Nationwide

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 09:54 AM

Time Warner Cable, which is planning to combine with Comcast, said Internet service is largely restored after frustrated . . .

Police Departments Suspended for Losing Pentagon Equipment

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 09:37 AM

Nearly 200 state and local police departments have been suspended from a Pentagon program that allows local agencies to  . . .

WSJ: Buffett Makes Tax Whopper on Burger King Deal

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 06:40 AM

Billionaire Warren Buffett may be an ally of President Barack Obama's quest to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans,  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved