By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Friday, the Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R) from Auburn announced that State. Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin (R) from Indian Springs is sponsoring the Women’s Health and Safety Act, or House Bill 57.
Speaker Hubbard said, “Rep. McClurkin has consistently been a strong advocate for children and women during her tenure in the legislature. Her tireless efforts to protect the right to life make her a perfect sponsor for this bill.”
Alabama State Representative McClurkin said, “Abortions are, sadly, legal in this country. Given this unfortunate truth, common sense should tell us that an abortion clinic should be held to the same high standards as any medical office that practices invasive procedures. We must ensure that dangerous, unregulated, fly-by-night clinics will be shut down because, sadly, the state of Alabama has more health regulations in place to protect your cat or dog at a vet clinic.”
The bill was pre-filed on Friday as part of the House Republican Caucus’ 2013 Legislative Agenda, “We Dare Defend Our Rights.”
Statistics show that abortion centers, on average, operate at an alarming level of non-compliance with acceptable standards of medical care, putting abortion patients at unreasonable risk.
Rep. McClurkin and the Alabama House Republican Caucus are proposing the Women’s Health and Safety Act to address long standing dangerous and unsanitary conditions in the Alabama abortion industry. The Caucus wrote, “Questionable Supreme Court rulings have eliminated the state’s ability to prohibit abortions altogether. However, states may enact meaningful abortion-related reforms, and the Women’s Health and Safety Act is such a measure. With this bill, House Republicans make clear that should a woman choose to have an abortion, it should be performed in the safest pre-and-post operative environment available. Specifically, this legislation would require direct physician involvement and set mandatory standards for nursing care and post-operative follow-up visits at abortion clinics as well as establishing severe penalties for non-compliance.”
The Women’s Health and Safety Act would require that abortion clinics in Alabama would have to meet the same standards as emergency health care centers and would place stronger requirements on doctors who perform the procedures. Abortion clinics that are unable or unwilling to meet the new health and safety standards would face severe enforcement action.
The Alabama House Republican Caucus announced a 2013 legislative session agenda that is based on the state motto – “We Dare Defend Our Rights”. The stated intent of the agenda is to preserve the conservative beliefs and values of Alabamians. The bills in the agenda, including McClurkin’s HB 57, are expected to be among the first addressed and passed by the Alabama House when the 2013 regular session convenes on February 5.