After lengthy debate, Alabama House passes "abortion-safety bill"
Voting 73 to 23, the Alabama House today passed a bill that supporters say will improve patient safety at abortion clinics, and critics say is a backdoor attempt to close the state's five remaining clinics.
The bill would mandate the personal presence of an Alabama-licensed physician during every abortion procedure. That physician would be required to have admitting privileges at a hospital within the metropolitan area.
Currently, clinics are permitted to use out-of-state doctors and contract with local on-call doctors to provide follow-up care in the event of complications.
The bill would also declare abortion a surgical procedure that "involves the taking of a human life" and declare abortion clinics ambulatory health facilities, requiring them to meet the same building codes.