Women seeking abortions in Alabama are one step closer to having new and important medical safeguards after House passage of the Women's Health and Safety Act, a measure sponsored by State Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin (R - Indian Springs) and designed to substantially raise standards of treatment, care and aftercare in abortion clinics throughout Alabama.
"Though I am a committed opponent of legalized abortion, the U.S. Supreme Court has sadly allowed it to remain the law of the land, so we must do everything possible to ensure the procedure is performed in a safe and healthy environment that is also prepared for emergencies that may arise," McClurkin said. "As I have noted several times before, Alabama has more health regulations in place to protect your cat or dog at a vet clinic than it does for a woman receiving an abortion, and that shameful disparity will change with passage of this bill."
The Women's Health and Safety Act would require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as emergency health care centers, especially since invasive procedures are involved, and would place stronger requirements on doctors who perform the procedures. Additionally, provisions in the bill would require clinics to report the names of minors who seek an abortion.
The legislation also provides strong enforcement mechanisms against abortion clinics unable or unwilling to meet the reasonable and medically appropriate health and safety standards set for these facilities.
"If an abortion clinic is truly dedicated to providing adequate care, ensuring dependable safeguards, and putting patients' needs before profits, it will embrace this legislation rather than oppose it," McClurkin said. "With passage of this bill, dangerous, unregulated, fly-by-night abortion clinics will discontinue operations in Alabama, and women will begin receiving the standard of care that their health requires and their mental state during a desperate time deserves."
The bill, which now proceeds to the Senate for consideration, serves as the centerpiece bill of the "We Dare Defend Our Right to Life" section of the House Republican Caucus' 2013 "We Dare Defend Our Rights" legislative agenda.