Alabama Backs Bill That Could Close Dangerous Abortion Clinics

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 3, 2013   |   1:13PM   |   Montgomery, AL

The Alabama state legislature has approved a bill that could close abortion clinics that fail to follow the same health and safety standards expected of legitimate medical centers.

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

The House passed it 68-21; the Senate voted earlier in favor, 20-10, The Associated Press reported. The bill, dubbed the Women’s Health and Safety Act, now goes to Republican Gov. Robert Bentley for approval into law.

The pro-con arguments are predictable. Supporters say the new law will protect women while opponents argue it’s going to limit women’s right to abortion, AP said.

But what the bill says is this: Abortion clinics may only employ doctors who are legally allowed to send patients to hospitals that are located in the same city as the clinic. And abortion clinics must have wider halls and doors, as well as improved firefighting sprinkler and suppression systems, AP said. The bill also requires clinic officials to tell patients exactly what medications they are given.

The Senate amendment, by Sen. Harri Anne Smith, I-Slocomb, would require abortion clinics to provide to patients at the time of discharge a list of prescription medicines they received while in the clinic.

The Senate rejected two other amendments by Smith, who is opposed to the bill. One would have removed a provision to require clinics to use doctors who have admitting privileges at hospitals in the same cities where they perform abortions.

Smith said that same provision in a Mississippi law has resulted in a lawsuit and predicted that would happen in Alabama.

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.