Bill to stiffen abortion clinic rules passes panel


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama House committee has approved a bill that would stiffen the requirements for abortion clinics in the state.

The bill would place requirements on the facilities like requiring them to have wider hallways and would require clinics to have a doctor available when an abortion is performed.

The sponsor, Republican Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin of Pelham, says the new rules would require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as most facilities that perform surgical procedures.

But opponents, including clinic operators, say the measures are unrealistic and would result in the closure of most abortion clinics.

Abortion opponent Eric Johnston, a Birmingham lawyer, says the purpose of the bill is to protect the health of women, not to close clinics.

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