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New regulations set for abortion clinicscomment (0)

April 25, 2013

Many Alabamians are applauding the new safety regulations put in place for Alabama’s abortion clinics.

The legislation — known as the Women’s Health and Safety Act and sponsored by Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs — was signed into law by Gov. Robert Bentley on April 9.

The new law, which goes into effect July 1, requires doctors used by abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges in the same city where they perform abortions and will require clinics to meet the same building safety code standards as ambulatory surgical centers. In addition, strong enforcement procedures are included in the bill for doctors or clinics that do not comply with the new standards, according to a press release from Bentley’s office.

Noting the legislation has been attempted for several years, McClurkin said she wants to provide women with a safe environment. “You can take your cat or dog to the veterinarian” and they have more health regulations than abortion clinics, she noted.

The bill has faced some opposition, particularly among opponents who contend the legislation would shut down the state’s five abortion clinics.

Those supporting the legislation are careful to note their focus is on the care of the patient.

Don Wallace, Northport certified public accountant and former Tuscaloosa County commissioner, said, “While we might regret that any mother would choose to end the life of her unborn baby, we should certainly expect that rules should be in place to provide for the basic medical safety of the woman involved in the procedure. 

“I would hope we can all agree that an abortion clinic that does not meet high safety standards should not be in business any longer in our state,” he said. “When we go to a hospital or local medical center, we expect those facilities and their physicians to adhere to high safety and medical standards.”

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


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