April 13, 2011 — Pennsylvania's House Health Committee on Monday voted 19-4 to pass a bill that would require clinics providing abortion services to meet the same safety standards as outpatient surgery centers, the AP/Beaver County Times reports. The bill was written following allegations that a Philadelphia physician performed illegal abortions that resulted in the death of a patient and infants.
The Pennsylvania Family Council said the bill would install critical health and safety protections for women seeking care at clinics. However, the American Civil Liberties Union said Pennsylvania law already contains guidelines for abortion clinics regarding equipment, staff, emergency transfers to hospitals, counseling and reporting. ACLU said the bill would require costly changes at the clinics, which could force many of them to close. The group said, "This will particularly impact poor women and women who reside in rural areas" (AP/Beaver County Times, 4/11).