By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday the Alabama Senate passed the Women’s Health and Safety Act. After 11:00 pm on Tuesday night the Alabama House of Representatives approved the amendment that was added by the Alabama Senate. HB 57 will now go on to the Governor for his signature. The motion to concur passed in the House by a vote of 68 to 21.
The Senate amendment required that abortion clinics must give their clients a list of any medications that they may have been given during the operation. The bill had already required that abortion clinics provide their clients with the name and telephone number of the doctor who performed the procedure.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin (R) from Indian Springs. It was carried through the Senate by Scott Beason (R) from Gardendale.
Rep. McClurkin said, “If an abortion clinic is truly dedicated to providing adequate care, ensuring dependable safeguards, and putting patients’ needs before profits, it will embrace this legislation rather than oppose it. With passage of this bill, dangerous, unregulated, fly-by-night abortion clinics will discontinue operations in Alabama, and women will begin receiving the standard of care that their health requires and their mental state during a desperate time deserves.”
Abortion providers including Planned Parenthood claimed that House Bill 57 (HB 57) will require medically unnecessary regulations that only target health care centers that provide safe and legal abortions.
Planned Parenthood Southeast Vice President of Public Policy Nikema Williams said, “This legislation will make it harder to access health care, which will put women’s health in danger,” following the vote to pass the bill. Williams said, “Abortion already is one of the safest medical procedures for women,” said Williams. “The people behind this legislation really want to make all abortion illegal and inaccessible in Alabama.”
The Chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party Mark Kennedy campaigned against the legislation. Chairman Kennedy said, “I was a judge for 22 years. Every women in Alabama has a constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.” Kennedy said that if the super majority cared about children and education they would not be destroying Alabama’s public schools. Kennedy said “We need to have a political solution. We need to demand equal pay for equal work.” Kennedy said that we need to let you (women) make the decision on whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.
This legislation is the strongest anti-abortion measure passed by the Alabama legislature since the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe Versus Wade forced the state to legalize the procedure which many conservatives feel is murder.
The bill is similar to a law passed in Mississippi and like that law will likely trigger legal challenges from the abortion providers and supporters.