Alabama legislators moved forward with a bill on Wednesday to keep abortion facilities away from public school children. The bill is on its way toward final approval in the state legislature, but the ACLU already is threatening to challenge it in court, according to the Associated Press.
The bill would prohibit abortion clinics from operating within 2,000 feet of elementary and middle schools by banning the state Department of Public Health from issuing or renewing licenses for abortion facilities within the zone, the AP reports. It passed the state Senate earlier this month with strong support; and, after a committee vote this week, it moves to the full House for consideration.
State Sen. Paul Sanford, who sponsored the bill, said the measure will protect young children from the “chaos” that sometimes occurs around abortion facilities.
“My hope is that no more in the state would ever open that close to small children,” Sanford said when the state Senate passed the bill in March.
Here is more from the report:
The bill would appear to affect an existing Huntsville facility. The clinic was forced to move to its current location to comply with a 2013 law which placed new facility restrictions on abortion providers.
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Sanford previously said he was amenable to an amendment to grandfather the Huntsville clinic in, but the Health committee on Wednesday tabled an amendment which would do so.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama vowed to challenge the law in court if it makes it through the House.
“We all agree that protecting our children is a top priority. But this law isn’t about protecting Alabama’s children. It’s about making a sure a woman who has decided to have an abortion can’t get one,” said Susan Watson, Executive Director of the ACLU of Alabama.
Watson called the bill an attack on “the health and well-being of Alabama women.” She said it would be ACLU’s fourth lawsuit against the state in three years, AL.com reports.
“And make no mistake about it: If the legislature passes this bill, the ACLU will challenge this law in court,” Watson added.
But the pro-life legislators’ concerns are legitimate. The abortion giant Planned Parenthood has a reputation of targeting young, vulnerable women.
This spring, Planned Parenthood is constructing an abortion mega-clinic right near an elementary and middle school in Washington, D.C. In December, LifeNews reported that families at the sought-after elementary school in Washington, D.C. are increasingly concerned about the construction of the new abortion clinic next to the school.