By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Planned Parenthood Southeast has announced in a press release that they and their allies plan to gather in Montgomery for Women’s Day on Tuesday April 2.
The pro-choice groups said in their statement, “Planned Parenthood Southeast will gather with supporters from across Alabama at the State House to rally for women’s health. During this session, legislators fast-tracked House Bill 57 (HB 57), which threatens to restrict women’s access to safe and legal abortion by shutting down women’s health centers throughout the state. Coming from all corners of the state, rally participants also will meet with lawmakers to urge them to reject HB 57 and other bills that attack women’s health and rights.”
The Women’s Day Rally will be held on: Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. at the State House in Montgomery whatever the weather does.
The group said that Alabama State Representative Darrio Melton (D); Milly Kennamer Breeden (a pro-choice Republican activist); the Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party Judge Mark Kennedy; the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, Staci Fox; the Executive Director of the West Alabama Women’s Center, Inc., Gloria Grey; and University of Alabama student Amanda Reyes will all address the crowd. Additionally the group has invited Sen. Vivian Figures (D), Sen. Harri Anne Smith (I), Sen. Linda Coleman (D), Sen. Priscilla Dunn (D), and Sen. Tammy Irons (D).
Following the rally the participants are encouraged to visit the offices of legislators to encourage them to vote “no” on HB 57.
On Tuesday the Alabama House of Representatives voted to pass the Women’s Health and Safety Act, HB 57, by a margin of 73 to 23. HB 57 holds Alabama abortion clinics to the same health and regulatory standards as those applied to other out patient surgical centers in the state.
Representative Mary Sue McClurkin (R) from Indian Springs was the sponsor of the bill in the Alabama House. Rep. McClurkins told the Alabama House, “House Bill 57 is a bill that would improve the safety of women who choose to have an abortion. This is a bill that has been debated in this house before.” McClurkin presented a long list of individual citations that have occurred in abortion clinics under Alabama’s current lax regulatory standards over the last few years as evidence that the bill is needed.
Rep. McClurkin told the House, “Abortion clinics are not operating with the standard of care that you would choose.” McClurkin said that this bill protects the right of a woman having an abortion to have that procedure done as safely as possible. The bill would stipulate that only a physician may perform an abortion. McCurkin said that a, “Physician performing an abortion must be licensed in Alabama and have admission privileges at a local Alabama hospital.” The bill also instructs the physician to encourage a girl age 16 and under having the abortion to reveal the name of the father. Abortions on a child 14 year olds or younger must be reported to the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR). The physician must also give his name and telephone number to patients so that they can contact him if they experience any complications. The bill also stipulates that nurses involved in assisting abortions must be professional Rns or LPNs. Section Six of the bill describes the safety codes. McClurkin said that the bill holds Alabama abortion providers to just the common codes that ambulatory surgery centers have to abide by. McClurkin said that the bill makes sure that professionals are the ones performing abortions.
Alabama Citizens For Life said in a statement on their website, “Senator Scott Beason (R from Gardendale) is championing this bill in the Senate Chamber and we are grateful for his assistance as well. We are continuing to ask ALL of the Senators to Vote Yes on HB57 WITH NO AMENDMENTS.”
If HB 57 passes the Senate without amendment it would go to the Governor for his signature.