Alabama OKs Bill After Botched Abortions That Could Close Clinics

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 19, 2013   |   7:33PM   |   Montgomery, AL

After multiple botched abortions in the state of Alabama that inured women over the last couple of years, state legislators have responded by approving a bill that would require abortion clinics to meet more stringent health and safety standards.

But pro-abortion lawmakers said they worried abortion clinics that couldn’t comply would be forced to close.

As LifeNews reported last year, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Birmingham, Alabama faces a lawsuit for negligence for a botched abortion that left a woman unable to have children.

Roberta Clark walked into the Birmingham Planned Parenthood on August 20, 2010, for what she thought would be a routine first-trimester abortion. An ultrasound exam was conducted by an unlicensed, untrained worker indicated Clark was 8 weeks, 4 days pregnant with an intrauterine pregnancy, even though she was later to be found not pregnant at all.

California-based abortion practitioner Aqua Don Emmanuel Umoren, who contracts to do abortions for Planned Parenthood in Birmingham and for another abortion clinic in Huntsville, was on duty at the time. He reportedly conducted a pelvic exam that he said concurred with the 8 week, 4 day diagnosis.

Clark was given a suction abortion, after which she continued to complain of nausea, vomiting, and pelvic pain. The pathology report that indicated no fetal parts were identified in the tissue specimen that had been submitted for inspection that same day. Clark was not informed of this nor is there a record of her receiving any follow-up care from Umoren or Planned Parenthood.

Twenty-five days later, Clark was in a Birmingham hospital E.R. undergoing emergency surgery to save her life. Doctors removed her ruptured fallopian tube containing a 13-week fetus and placenta.

Another abortion clinic was closed after botched abortions and women were injured at the New Women All Women abortion clinic in South Birmingham.

Today, voting 73-23, legislators in the Alabama House voted for a bill to make abortion clinics adhere to a variety of stronger standards for women’s health. As one news report indicates:

The decision comes after more than four hours of debate. The Women’s Health and Safety Act now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Within moments of the passage, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, released a statement praising the decision.

“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,” she said. “So we must do everything possible to ensure the procedure is performed in a safe and healthy environment.”

During discussion, McClurkin denied her intent was to close abortion clinics by installing burdensome regulations.

“To me, this truly is a women’s right bill. It protects the right of a woman having abortion to have it in a safe and healthy environment,” she said.

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.